Archbishop Spalding's performance at the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament left no doubt that there's a new power in private school wrestling.
Cole Gallagher, Charlie Lynch and K.K. Smith all won individual titles, and No. 1 Archbishop Spalding put a total of seven wrestlers in the final round as the Cavaliers captured their first MIAA tournament championship on Saturday at Mount St. Joseph.
Spalding finished with 266.5 points, enough to beat out No. 2 McDonogh (237) and No. 4 St. Paul's (174) at the two-day tournament. The Cavaliers finished 33-0 in dual-meet competition, but coach Mike Laidley said they were pointing towards this competition.
"We never had a good showing here before," Laidley said. "We're proud of these guys — and we're excited."
In title bouts, Gallagher (112 pounds ) scored a 10-3 decision over Pallotti's Chris Halkos, Lynch (145) edged Mount St. Joseph's Brady Massaro, 2-0, and Smith (189) topped McDonogh's Kevin Marvel, 13-9.
"It's definitely a huge accomplishment, and we're proud of it," said Lynch, who's headed to Penn. "This shows the guys that hard work really does pay off."
The Cavaliers' Logan Breitenbach (125), Brady Gaynor (135), Will Switzer (140) and D.J. Smith (171) all finished second.
McDonogh also has depth, but the Eagles couldn't quite match Spalding. They placed only three wrestlers in the finals, getting wins from Jack Clark (130) and heavyweight Roman Braglio. Clark scored a 13-3 decision over John Carroll's George Weber, and Braglio topped Pallotti's Derek Pittman, 4-0.
"I think [Spalding] was definitely favored heading into the tournament," said McDonogh coach Pete Welch. "But you never know what can happen. It was good competition."
St. Paul's, the MIAA B Conference champion, won the most individual titles. The Crusaders captured four crowns at this event thanks to strong efforts from Jack Mutchnik (103), Eric Friedman (119), Pete Galli (140) and Brad Mutchnik (152).
Jack Mutchnik edged Loyola's David Mohler, 2-1 in three overtimes; Friedman scored a 10-3 decision over Scott Strappelli from John Carroll; Galli edged Switzer, 4-1; and Brad Mutchnik topped Curley's Chuckie Blankenship, 9-4.
Matt Green (215) also made the finals for St. Paul's, but he lost to Mount St. Joseph's Tyler Tippett. Tyler Rill (160) won the other Mount St. Joseph championship with a 5-2 victory over Archbishop Curley's Brett Brigman.
John Chenault (125, Pallotti), Brett Przywara (135, Curley) and Mathew Miller (171, John Carroll) were the other individual champions at the tournament.
Spalding will face another test next weekend at the Maryland Independent State tournament at McDonogh.
"They've got a talented bunch of kids," said John Carroll coach Keith Watson. "They're young and hard-nosed, and they've got experience top to bottom."
(at Mount St. Joseph)
Team scores (top 5): 1. Archbishop Spalding, 266.5; 2. McDonogh, 237; 3. St. Paul's, 174; 4. Curley, 155.5; 5. John Carroll, 149.
Championship round: 103- J. Mutchnik (SP) d. Mohler (LOY), 2-1 (3OT); 112- Gallagher (SPA) d. Halkos (PAL), 10-3; 119- Freidman (SP), d. Strappelli (JC), 10-3; 125- Chenault (PAL), d. Breitenbach (SPA), 8-4; 130- Clark (MCD) md Weber (JC), 13-3; 135- Przywara (CUR) d. Gaynor (SPA), 3-0; 140- Galli (SP) d. Switzer (SPA), 4-1; 145- Lynch (SPA), d. Massaro (MSJ), 2-0; 152- B. Mutchnik (SP) d. Blankenship (CUR), 9-4; 160- Rill (MSJ) d. Brigman (CUR), 5-2; 171- Miller (JC) p. D. Smith (SPA), 3:50; 189- K. Smith (SPA) d. Marvel (MCD), 13-9; 215- Tippett (MSJ) d. Green (SP), 5-4; Hvy- Braglio (MCD) d. Pittman (PAL), 4-0.
Consolation finals: 103- Still (SPA) p. Millner (JC), 2:24; 112- Meister (MCD) md Shaifer (BL), 8-0; 119- Ramos (MCD) d. Pente (SPA), 9-3; 125- Twigg (MCD) md Brigman (CUR), 8-0; 130- Graves (SPA) p. Floccare (BL), 1:33; 135- Schuster (LOY) d. Bode (MCD), 3-0; 140- Hague (MCD) d. Zito (LOY), 7-5; 145- Skudrna (SP) md Riorda (GIL), 12-4; 152- Pappas (STM) d. Patrick (MCD), 5-1; 160- Sataloff (MCD) d. Jalloh (AAC), 8-3; 171- Summers (CUR) d Rutledge (CH), 5-2; 189- Green (SP) md Lucas (MSJ), 10-2; 215- Williams (CUR) d. Jewet (PAL), 5-3; Hvy- Johnson (SPA) p. Waddell (MSJ), 3:18.