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Reilley aims to avenge lone loss, win 4th county title

February 22, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

North Hagerstown senior Joe Breehl will compete in the 135-pound weight class at the 18th annual Washington County Public Schools Wrestling Tournament on Saturday at Smithsburg. Hubs coach Greg Slick has confirmed it.

"Awesome! I really want that match," said Smithsburg senior 135-pounder James Reilley. "I heard a rumor he was going to be at 140."

For top-seeded Reilley (21-1) to become the seventh four-time champion in the history of the tournament, it likely will be second-seeded Breehl (24-6) whom he'll have to beat in the finals - something he was unable to do in a dual meet last month.

Breehl handed Reilley his only loss of the season, winning a 6-2 decision at 140 in North's 37-31 victory over Smithsburg.

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"Joe's wrestling really well right now. But when we hit Reilley earlier, Reilley was a little sick," Slick said. "But I don't want to take anything away from Joe. That was one of the key matchups that allowed us to beat Smithsburg head-to-head."

"I don't think I performed my best," Reilley said. "But I'm not going to make any excuses. He wrestled well in that match.

"But I think I'll win this time."

With Williamsport's Jesse Duvall (25-8) also in the mix, 135 is the tourney's toughest weight class. Duvall is 1-1 against Breehl this season, but has never faced Reilley.

"It'll be interesting," Reilley said. "It's a pretty deep weight class."

Reilley was the county champ at 112 as a freshman, 119 as a sophomore and 130 last year.

Bret Nalley, a 2006 Boonsboro graduate, was the last four-time county champ.

"It's definitely a big thing in my mind. It's the most important one - No. 4," Reilley said. "That was definitely one of my main goals when I started wrestling in high school."

Reilley also has helped carry the Clyde Downs Trophy back to Smithsburg every year of his high school career, as the Leopards enter Saturday as the three-time defending team champs.

"Hopefully we can keep that streak going," Reilley said. "I like our chances. We have a good team."

Williamsport went undefeated against the rest of the county in regular-season dual meets this year. North was 3-1, Smithsburg was 2-2, Boonsboro was 1-3 and South Hagerstown was 0-4.

"They beat us in dual meets, but tournaments are a different thing," Reilley said. "We were huge underdogs two years ago (when Smithsburg went 1-3 in county duals), and it worked out for us."

"In this tournament, for your team to win, you have to have 13 or 14 wrestlers score points for you," Slick said. "The tournament is so close because of the small number of teams that participate.

"Some years, there's a clear walk-away, but the last few years there have just been a couple matches that have separated first and third place. It will be another good tournament."

Saturday's time schedule has changed due to the weather forecast. Preliminary bouts will now begin at 2 p.m. The championship finals should start around 5:30.

If the tournament is postponed Saturday, it will be held Monday at Smithsburg, beginning at 4 p.m.

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