Finishing touch

wrestling class 2a-1a state championships

Owings Mills' Friedman pins Mantua to capture title

March 08, 2009

COLLEGE PARK -In winning his second straight state title last night, Avi Friedman of Owings Mills denied River Hill's Scott Mantua his third in a row.

Mantua, a senior, was pinned for the first time in his high school career in 3 minutes, 48 seconds, as Friedman won the 112-pound Class 2A-1A state title at Cole Field House.

Friedman, last year's 103-pound state champion as a junior, finished the season 34-0 and is 81-0 over the past two seasons.

Friedman won with a spladle, a cross between a cradle and a split.

"It didn't really surprise me," said Mantua, who finished the season 46-2. "I've wrestled Avi at least 10 times. I know he has that move. ... It leaves the person in it no wiggle room."

It was a frustrating night all around for River Hill. The Hawks led the team scoring through the semifinals Friday but could not hold off Southern-Garrett, whose wrestlers won four of their five matches in the finals to clinch a 142.5-132.5 victory over the Hawks.

"It's bittersweet to finish second," River Hill coach Brandon Lauer said. "It's a big tournament and a lot to be proud of. But to lose by 10 points after leading almost all the way, it's difficult to appreciate how much we accomplished."

It was Southern-Garrett's first state championship.

"River Hill had a great tournament," Southern-Garrett coach Dave Taylor said of his nearest opponent, which was also trying to win the state title for the first time. "They're a hard, strong team, but in the end, our team winning four state titles was too much for them to overcome."

Winters Mill was third with 91 points, followed by Owings Mills (88) and Easton (69).

Southern-Garrett's George "Brutus" Scheffel got his third state title in his third weight class, taking a 10-1 major decision from junior Gus Mohlhenrich of Winters Mill in the 140 class.

Loch Raven's lone finalist, sophomore Patrick Downey, won at 160 with a 6-3 decision, and Harford Tech senior Lance Lepard won a major decision, 14-2, at 189 for his first title and kept Southern-Garrett from winning all five of its final matches.

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