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Breehl following brother's footsteps

February 25, 2006|By ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

UNION BRIDGE, Md. -

After getting the best of Winters Mill's Adam Morrell on Friday, North Hagerstown sophomore Joe Breehl is looking to get one up on his big brother today.

Breehl, the No. 7 seed at 112 pounds, upset No. 2 Morrell 4-0 in the quarterfinals of the Maryland Class 2A-1A West Wrestling Tournament.

The top four finishers in each eight-man bracket advance to next weekend's state tournament, and Breehl hopes to be one of them when the region tournament concludes today at Francis Scott Key. His older brother, Jon, a 2005 North graduate, was a two-time state qualifier for the Hubs.

"He got there as a junior and a senior, but not as a sophomore," Breehl said. "I always try to outdo him because he's my big brother."

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Of the 20 Washington County wrestlers who competed in Friday's quarterfinals, eight still are alive in the championship round, including four of the eight athletes North sent to FSK.

"Right now, our kids are wrestling well," North coach Greg Slick said. "That's what you hope, that your kids peak at the end of the season. If they can keep it going for another week, I'll be a really happy man."

Based on the seeds, Bre-ehl's victory over Morrell (22-8) was one of the major upsets of opening night.

"Maybe it was a surprise. I don't know," Breehl (16-7) said. "Maybe that kid shouldn't have been seeded second."

A rematch with Walkersville's C.J. Cotterman, the top seed, may happen.

"We just each have to win one more match," said Breehl, who lost to Cotterman earlier this season. "He pinned me in the third period, but I hung with him pretty good."

Joining Breehl from the county in this morning's semifinals are fellow Hubs Delon Agee (103), Jim Eichelberger (130) and Derek McCarty (171); Boonsboro's Bret Nalley (135); Smithsburg's Brandon Knight (145) and Justin Hovermale (160); and Williamsport's Rob Shawley (275).

Hovermale (27-2), the county's lone No. 1 seed, began his quest for his first state berth by pinning Middletown's Rich Freysz in 2:59.

"He fought off his back in the first period, but then in the second period I got my shot, took him down and handled him from there," Hovermale said. "I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."

Nalley (31-2), a two-time state qualifier, easily handled his first opponent. The Boonsboro senior, seeded second, was a 16-2 winner over South Carroll's Dan Hanagan.

Agee, a No. 2 seed, is making the most of his first region tourney. He won his first bout, 18-4.

"My goal was just to make it to regionals this year," the North sophomore said. "Now I think I'm going to make it to states."

McCarty (20-6), who edged Beall's Noah DeVore 7-6 on Friday, might have the most difficult semifinals assignment, f acing Walkersville's top-seeded Brad Nielson (31-0). Nielson, a Pennsylvania Independent Schools state champ for Mercersburg Academy last year, is the No. 1 171-pounder in the overall state rankings.

Still alive in the consolation quarterfinals, which begin at 10 this morning (contrary to a previously reported schedule) are: Boonsboro's Jon Wood (140) and Richard Riggs (152); North's Josh Borland (160); Joey Lamp (189); Michael Cline (215) and Tyler Hartman (275); Smithsburg's James Reilley (119) and Alex Akers (152); South's Jeremy Gross (215); and Williamsport's Peter Smith (125), Todd Judd (130) and Jesse Duvall (135).

The finals are schedule to begin at 5 p.m. today.

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