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Lions settle for second at Hub Cup

January 13, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

The lightweights may have captured most of the weekend attention at the 16th annual Hub Cup Invitational at North Hagerstown, but, like all good wrestling matches, it all came down to the heavyweights.

Just ask Walkersville coach Bryan Biehl. He sent four wrestlers to the finals Saturday, yet may have rooted the hardest during the night's last final at 277 pounds.

And none of his athletes were even competing.

Clinging to a two-point lead over Quince Orchard in the team standings heading into the 277 championship bout, Walkersville needed a win from Middletown heavyweight Andrew Presnell against Quince Orchard's Raffi Mnatzakanian to hang on for the team crown.

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Yet, Presnell couldn't hang on in double overtime, as Mnatzakanian escaped for a 4-3 decision to give Quince Orchard the title.

"I was rooting for Presnell. We could have won the tournament," said Biehl, whose squad previously hadn't finished second to anybody all season. "But what will be, will be. Our boys came out and scored their points. They're well-deserving of second. It was a great tournament."

Quince Orchard finished with 211 points, two more than Walkersville. Paint Branch (155), Williamsport (149.5) and Northwest (130.5) rounded out the top five in the 18-team field.

The tourney's outstanding wrestler honor went to Quince Orchard's Frankie Baughan, the 114 champ. Baughan handed Williamsport's Mike McGill - last year's Hub Cup outstanding wrestler - his first loss of the season with a 14-7 decision in the evening's feature final.

Frederick's Mark Tsikerdanos pinned his way to the 105 crown in less than five minutes over four matches. The freshman Cadet stuck Walkersville's previously unbeaten Gleason Sweeney in 43 seconds in the semifinals and pinned Linganore's Casey Marwine in 1:26 for the crown.

At 121, Williamsport senior Brian Forsythe - one of four Wildcats in the finals - got the Wildcats' title truck rolling with a 9-0 decision over Quince Orchard's Ihsan Mohammed.

"I just figured I had to come here and wrestle hard," said Forsythe, who improved to 9-0 after missing much of the season with a stress fracture in his leg. "My senior year, I was bummed out because I couldn't wrestle the first half. But I've stepped it up and wrestled hard."

Wildcat Corey Leggett, the sixth seed at 137, also had himself quite a weekend. He advanced to the Hub Cup finals for the fourth straight year. Yet, this time he left with his first title, knocking off Walkersville's Zach McLain 11-5 in the final.

"I took the monkey off my back," said Leggett. "I had to prove that I have it all, that I have what it takes to be a champion."

Williamsport's Devin Hewitt capped the gold rush with a 5-3 decision over Damascus' Jim Creegan in the 147 final.

Host North sent one wrestler - Mike Wagner - to the finals and got the victory, as the senior Hub got by South Hagerstown's Terry Jones, 10-8.

Yet, Wagner wasn't overjoyed about it. After cruising to a 9-3 lead with four takedowns through two periods, Wagner just survived Jones' comeback bid in the third.

"I knew I had the lead, and I guess I just wrestled too defensively," said Wagner. "It's just frustrating when you can't wrestle your best. But it's a win and I'll take it."

In a battle of unbeaten pin masters in the 191 final, Catoctin's Derek Fogle showed off his stuff to Thomas Johnson's Mark Esmont - and the packed gym. Fogle went point crazy, scoring a 21-4 tech fall in 4:43.

The areas' others champs were Walkersville's Ed Asbill (132), Dan Caywood (142) and freshman sensation Brad Nielson (154), who quickly turned an early 2-0 deficit to South's Emens Rho into a first-period pin in their final.




16th annual Hub Cup



Champion: Quince Orchard

Outstanding Wrestler: Frankie Baughan, Quince Orchard

Quickest Pin: Mark Esmont, Thomas Johnson, :17

Most Falls, Least Time:Mark Tsikerdanos, Frederick, 4-4:40

Team Sportsmanship:St. James

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