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Leopards pass finals to keep title

February 18, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

WILLIAMSPORT - The Clyde Downs Trophy has found a comfortable resting place at Smithsburg.

The Leopards brought it to the 17th annual Washington County Public Schools Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, and - for the third straight year and sixth time overall - left with it.

Smithsburg won the title with 173 points. North Hagerstown finished second with 156, while Williamsport was third (152), Boonsboro fourth (70) and South Hagerstown fifth (63).

"It's pretty cool, yeah," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said. "The kids really turned it up a notch in the finals."

The Leopards trailed Williamsport by 2 1/2 points entering the championship finals, before getting title victories from Monica Hovermale (103 pounds), James Reilley (130), Justin Hovermale (152), Alex Akers (160), Jeremy Harbaugh (189) and Dave Ridenour (215).

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North and Williamsport took turns sharing the lead with Smithsburg during the first half of the championship bouts.

"It was crazy," said Reilley, who won his third straight individual title. "We really didn't know what was going on. A couple people were trying to calculate it, but we couldn't figure it out.

"A couple people were saying, 'It doesn't look like we're going to get it.' But we turned it on at the end. We knew when Ridenour won that we had it."

Harbaugh actually was the one who clinched it for the Leopards, pinning Williamsport's Lake McDonald in 2:27 at 189.

"I said to Harbaugh, 'I don't want to put any pressure on you, but if you win it, it's ours," Dietrich said. "And then Ridenour went out and put the icing on the cake."

"I went out there with one option and one option only," Harbaugh said, "and that was to pin the guy."

Despite sending nine wrestlers to the finals, Williamsport was unable to protect its lead, getting titles from only Mark Mayo (112) and Jimmy Fiorita (145).

Fiorita edged Smithsburg's Brandon Knight 3-1 in a rematch of last year's 145 title bout, won 10-8 in overtime by Knight.

"I wanted a lot of revenge. I waited a whole year for it," Fiorita said. "He fought hard, but I wasn't going to give it up."

North made its late run by going 5-for-6 in the finals. De'lon Agee (119), Dustin Smith (125), Jake Turner (135), Jim Eichelberger (140) and Josh Borland (189) won titles for the Hubs.

Agee trailed Williamsport's Earl Neville 3-2 in the third period before scoring a reversal with 37 seconds left and holding on for a 4-3 victory.

"I just knew I had to do it," said Agee, who also came from behind to nip Neville by a point in the Hub Cup finals last month.

South Hagerstown's Chris Bell prevented the Hubs from going 6-for-6. In the final bout of the tournament at 285, Bell fought off his back against North's Kyle Malcolm, overcoming a 5-0 first-period deficit by pinning Malcolm in 3:26.

One of the toughest brackets Saturday was 130, which featured three returning county champs - Williamsport's Peter Smith, who won at 125 last year, North's Joe Breehl (112) and Reilley (119).

Smith edged Breehl 9-8 in the semifinals before falling 5-1 to Reilley in the finals.

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