'Cats run away with title

February 22, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

BOONSBORO - When the Washington County wrestling tournament championship bouts started Saturday, Williamsport, North Hagerstown and Smithsburg were locked in a tight battle, with seven points separating the three schools.

Eight matches and six Wildcats victories into the finals, it was obvious a mathematician wouldn't be needed to figure out which team won.

Williamsport claimed first place in half of the weight classes and ran away with the tournament, scoring 172 points to pull away from the Leopards (149.5) and Hubs (139).


Ryan Bowers (125) won a third straight county title, Mike McGill (135) won his second straight and Earl Neville (103), Spencer Peyton (119), Jeff Short (140), Adam Bridendolph (145) and Rob Shawley (275) also earned titles.

"We have real strong lower weights, and some other guys came through for us," Wildcats coach Mike Rechtorovic said.

Neville set the tone in the first championship match of the afternoon, taking down and pinning Smithsburg's Logan Miss in 1 minute, 36 seconds.

After Boonsboro's Brett Nalley won a second straight county title with a pin of Williamsport's Jabari Emanuel in 3:10, the Wildcats got a 15-2 major decision from Spencer Peyton against North's David Broadwater at 119, and a pin from Bowers over Boonsboro's Jon Wood in 3:38 at 125.

"Emanuel getting through to the finals helped us," Rechtorovic said. "Peyton wrestled an excellent match at 119, I thought that would be a tough match with Broadwater. Neville at 103 was big, because they wrestled a close match (in the dual meet)."

McGill pinned South's Terrail Blair in 5:22 at 135, Short pinned Smithsburg's Justin Hovermale in 4:45 at 140 and Adam Bridendolph was able to keep North's Alonzo Shaul at bay in the third period of a 7-4 decision to give the Wildcats six titles before the Leopards and Hubs had any. Shawley's 3-1 decision of North's Adam Bingham at 275 finished off Williamsport's second straight team title.

Smithsburg 189-pounder Scott White made quick work of what was supposed to be the tournament's toughest weight class.

He pinned Williamsport's Luke McDonald in 33 seconds in the semifinals and avenging a 12-4 loss to South's Eric McPherson in a dual meet earlier this season with a stunning 24-second pin of McPherson in Saturday's final.

"I was expecting him not to even tie up with me," White said. "He did, he was back on his heels and I saw it and took advantage.

"I was told this was the toughest weight class, so I'm happy to come out of it with two pins."

McPherson defeated North Hagerstown's Andrew Widmyer 7-2 in the semis to reach the final.

In one of the afternoon's gutsiest efforts, North Hagerstown's Dean Staley won the 171 title with a 6-3 decision over Smithsburg's Nate Hayes despite suffering a hand injury in the first period shortly after taking Hayes down for a 2-0 lead.

"It was kind of a scrambling situation and he got his hand rolled over on and he said he heard something pop," said Slick, who said he believed Staley suffered a broken bone in his hand. "I certainly wasn't going to force him to go on, but he didn't want to stop in a match he was leading."

Staley scored a second-period reversal for a 4-0 lead. After Hayes scored a takedown early in the third period to cut the lead to 4-3, Staley came up with a reversal with a minute left and held on for the win.

"The kid was just in a lot of pain, but that's what you do as an athlete, you try to rise above it," Slick said. "That's what champions do, they rise above."

Other individual champions were: South Hagerstown's Adam Hockensmith, who earned a 6-3 decision over Smithsburg's Derrick Quillen at 130; North Hagerstown's Jon Breehl, who pinned Smithsburg's Dylan Miss in 3:12 at 152; Smithsburg's Jeff Sprecher, who pinned North's Derrick McCarty in 2:43 at 160; and the Leopards' Mike Rinebolt, who in the closest match of the finals defeated North's Dan Fox 3-1 in double overtime on a reversal from the down position.

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