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Leopards top 'Cats for Antietam title

February 01, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

WILLIAMSPORT - The No. 3 Smithsburg and No. 4 Williamsport wrestling teams literally butted heads Wednesday in an MVAL Antietam thriller, won 42-33 by the Leopards, who clinched the conference title.

The Wildcats lost the match by the same amount of points they gave up in the second bout of the night at 145 pounds as Smithsburg's Brandon Knight won by disqualification over Todd Judd.

Trailing 5-2 in the second period, Judd - who had already given away two points for a pair of unnecessary-roughness penalties in the first period - was penalized again for flagrant misconduct for an illegal head butt, ending the match.

Smithsburg (10-2, 5-0) got six points for the win and Williamsport (14-8, 4-2) lost three for the flagrant misconduct.

"That definitely didn't help. It was a nine-point swing," Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "I was hoping we'd get the win there. And I was thinking, at the most, they'd get three there. It was a huge turning point in the match."

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But trailing 6-3 after only two bouts, the match certainly wasn't over for Williamsport, which was outwrestled the rest of the way.

After Codi Trumpower's pin at 152 gave Williamsport a 9-6 lead, Smithsburg got consecutive pins from Justin Hovermale (160), Dan Rinebolt (171) and Jeremy Harbaugh (189) to take the lead for good at 24-9.

"I know that our middle weights are the strongest part of our team, and to be down three there had me a little worried," said Hovermale, who improved to 23-0 with 23 pins after sticking Williamsport standout Jimmy Fiorita (29-5) in 5:32 - Hovermale's longest bout of the year.

"Fiorita is really good. But I wanted a pin. I was out for a pin."

After Williamsport's Drew Williams won by forfeit at 215, the Leopards took their biggest lead of the night at 36-15 on back-to-back pins by David Ridenour (285) and Monica Hovermale (103).

Ridenour, who bumped up a weight to face Brandon Norris, was down 5-0 after nearly getting pinned, before pinning Norris in 1:28.

"That was awesome," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said. "A lot of our kids stepped up and did what they had to do - some really gutsy jobs."

Williamsport cut its deficit to 36-33 on straight pins by Mark Mayo (112), Ryan Llewellyn (119) and Earl Neville (125).

But Smithsburg ended the match with a pair of decisions from James Reilley (130) and Jon Gauss (135).

"I definitely got pumped before the match. I knew that we needed the win," said Reilley, who defeated Pete Smith 7-2 in a matchup of 2006 Washington County champions. "I wanted to stick him because I knew that would seal the match, but he's a tough wrestler. I couldn't turn him."

While the Leopards need to beat Catoctin on Saturday to complete a perfect run through the Antietam, they already have the conference title clinched because they beat Brunswick, which only has one conference loss, earlier this season. The head-to-head match with Brunswick would be the tiebreaker should Smithsburg lose Saturday.

The win over Williamsport also put Smithsburg a step closer to its first appearance in the four-team Maryland 2A-1A West region duals tournament since 1996.

"We still have to beat Catoctin. If we win Saturday, we're going," Dietrich said. "It'd be nice for the kids. But we're shooting for the county and the conference more than anything else."

A pin by Jesse Duvall (140) gave Williamsport an early 6-0 lead Wednesday.

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