Wrestling tourney offers big heavyweight battle

Top 3 ranked heavies will compete at S. River


January 29, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The heavyweight class - talented and deep - easily figures to be the most competitive when the county wrestling tournament comes to South River on Feb. 21 and 22.

The county boasts the top three heavyweights in The Sun's metro-wide rankings. Old Mill's William Bell is ranked No. 1 with a 17-2 mark, Glen Burnie's Justin Neal is No. 2 at 13-1 and Severna Park's Brian Payer is No. 3 at 18-4. Meade's Alec Eaton, ranked sixth with a 10-4 mark, cannot be overlooked either.

Bell, last year's county champion, will get another look at Payer when Old Mill and Severna Park meet in a tri-meet Friday with Broadneck. The two met this season at the Hammond Invitational with Bell coming away with a second-period pin after trailing 2-0. Bell also defeated Payer in last year's county tournament final and the Class 4A-3A East region final.

"I think the county is going to get four or five state place-winners [in the heavyweight class] - it's very, very deep," said Severna Park coach Paul Joyce.

Other top-ranked wrestlers from the county in The Sun 's rankings are Chesapeake's Corey Bowers, 17-1 at the 119-pound class, and Broadneck's Tyler Moyer, 18-0 at 215. Old Mill's Doug West (18-3 at 125) and Chesapeake's Chad LaPlanche (17-2 at 189) are both ranked second in their respective weight classes.

Showdown in Gambrills

Will another link be added to the girls basketball chain tonight at Arundel, where the No. 10 Wildcats will try to upend No. 6 Severna Park?

In the span of a week earlier this month, No. 16 Meade defeated No. 12 Chesapeake, then No. 18 Annapolis knocked off Meade, and then Chesapeake came back to beat Arundel.

All the while, Severna Park (11-2) has stayed flawless in county play at 8-0, including wins over Chesapeake, Meade and Annapolis. Arundel (11-3 overall, 6-1 county) will try to change that at 7:15 tonight in Gambrills.

Both teams are coming off strong performances Friday with the Wildcats getting by Glen Burnie, 80-42, behind a 23-point effort from sophomore guard Alex McGuire and Severna Park easing past Broadneck, 62-36, behind 26 points from senior Jessica Norris.

And both teams can get up and down the floor better than any others in the county, putting a premium on taking care of the basketball. Arundel coach Lee Rogers also said it will be important for his post players, particularly Tiffany Johnson, to stay away from foul trouble.

"We just have to play the way we've been playing. We're not going to do anything different - just come out and play hard," he said.

Infractions reported

Hammond's wrestling team and Wilde Lake's boys basketball team both have discovered ineligible players and reported the infractions.

The Golden Bears will forfeit their Francis Scott Key Tournament championship from Dec. 27-28, and the Wildecats will forfeit an 84-55 victory over North Carroll from Jan. 9.

Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association bylaws also require a letter of censure to be given to the coaches.

"It was a bad oversight on my part," said Wilde Lake basketball coach Phil Chenier. "I was told initially he was ineligible, and I told him to get it straightened out with his teacher. Then he was out ... with an injury."

Hammond athletic director Joe Russo said the wrestler in question was new to the team this season and not certified at any weight.

Sun staff writer Rick Belz contributed to this article.

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