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Sentinels earn family-style win

January 04, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

The South Hagerstown vs. Fort Hill wrestling match was like a good family tussle Saturday afternoon. It kept going back and forth, back and forth.

The Rebels got the early wins they needed from their brothers, Jake and Adam Hockensmith, but not the necessary late points from their Cousins as the Sentinels captured the lead for their third and final time in the next-to-last bout on the way to a 43-33 victory.

"It was definitely a barn-burner. It was fought hard on both sides," Fort Hill coach Bernie Nichols said. "I love matches like that. That's what makes wrestling great."

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With the Sentinels (3-1) clinging to a 37-33 lead, Nichols' son, Justin, sealed it in the final bout at 112 pounds, pinning Reggie Cousins in the second period.

Trailing 33-31, Fort Hill regained the lead for good at 103, getting a first-period pin from Michael Hupe.

"I have two really good lightweights, but I wasn't putting it in the bag," Bernie Nichols said. "South was more up for the match than I thought we were. They definitely showed up today. ... Those Hockensmith boys really looked good."

Jake Hockensmith, a sophomore, won a 9-0 major decision over Jared Skelley at 125 to cut the Rebels' deficit to 6-4 in the day's second bout. Adam Hockensmith, a senior, followed with an even more dominating performance at 130, building an 11-0 lead on Shawn Bennett before pinning him early in the second period for a 10-6 South edge.

Adam Hockensmith credited some of his success to his younger brother.

"We have different styles. I'm more of technical wrestler and Jake's more of a brute," he said. "We've started wrestling this year in practice for the first time, and it's really working well. Jake and Terrell Blair are my training partners."

Blair extended the Rebels' lead to 15-6 at 135, teching out Bill Aldridge 23-5 in 5:11.

After Ardie Butler answered for the Sentinels with a quick pin at 140, Roger Kline got the points back for South (3-4) with a second-period pin at 145.

Fort Hill then won three straight matches - a major decision at 152, pin at 160 and forfeit at 171 - for a 28-21 advantage.

After South's Eric McPherson made it a one-point match with a second-period pin at 189, Fort Hill's Jason Oates made it a four-point contest, 31-27, barely holding off late-charging Brandon Carbaugh for a 7-6 decision.

That set the stage for Phillip Powell at 275. Making his wrestling debut, the Rebels senior, who joined the team earlier in the week, decked Michael Yost in 26 seconds for the day's quickest fall and a 33-31 South lead.

"I wasn't even looking at the score," Powell said. "I just had to stay focused. That was my first match ever. I just started practicing four days ago. I didn't know what to expect. ...

"Then I looked up at the score and saw that we were winning."

However, with the Fort Hill lightweights on deck, that lead didn't last long.

"We were disappointed with how it ended," Adam Hockensmith said. "We all want to win as individuals but we still want to win as a team."

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