Changing public opinion

Wildcats' Baker shakes things up

Wildcats' Baker shakes things up

March 07, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The money was on River Hill's Cameron Kirby at the Maryland Class 2A-1A State Wrestling Tournament on Friday. And Williamsport sophomore Kemper Baker made him pay for it in their championship quarterfinal bout at 119 pounds.

"Going in, I knew people were thinking I wouldn't come out with it," Baker said. "But I always like to shock people."

Baker, competing in his first state tourney, scored three back points as time expired in the match for a 5-2 victory over Kirby, the state runner-up at 103 last year. The score had been 2-2 since the first period.

"Going into the third, I just knew I had to turn him," said Baker, who began the final period from the top position. "I just used my stuff and wrestled hard."


Of the eight Washington County wrestlers who competed Friday, Baker was one of three to go 2-0 to advance to today's semifinals and guarantee a top-six placing. Smithsburg senior Tyler Scott (189) and Williamsport senior Robbie Mies (215), the county's two West region champs, are the other two semifinalists.

"I'm very pumped for my semi," said Baker, who will face Pikesville's Ben Baker, the third-place finisher at 112 last year. "Hopefully I'll pull another upset and get to the state finals."

Scott's semifinal bout today against Harford Tech's Lance Lepard (43-3) should have a championship vibe to it.

"I'm not going to say I was looking past everybody else, but a lot of people have been saying that match is going to be one of the best ones here -- that that should be the real final match," said Scott (32-2), who defeated Hammond's Danny Flanagan 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

"A lot of pressure is off because I've at least placed somewhere. But I definitely want to win it."

Mies (32-4), who decked his first opponent Friday in less than a minute, blanked Chesapeake-Baltimore's Cameron Myers 6-0 in the quarterfinals.

"I was a little worried coming in," said Mies, who placed fifth at 160 last year. "Two days ago I wasn't feeling very well, just a little sick.

"But I prayed to God, and I'm feeling better. I'm ready to give it everything I've got."

Williamsport's Joey Sutch (135) and North Hagerstown's Devin Martinez (160) each went 1-1 Friday to remain alive in the consolation brackets.

The top four finishers at each weight from last weekend's regional tournaments qualified for states. Martinez finished fifth in the West, but gained entry when fourth-place finisher David Cowan of Mountain Ridge suffered a season-ending injury in practice a few days ago.

"I'm just happy to be here," Martinez said. "I'm ready to do my best and just see what happens."

Smithsburg junior Monica Hovermale -- who went 2-2 at states last year, falling one win shy of becoming the first female placewinner in 2A-1A history -- went 0-2 Friday at 103 and is done.

Smithsburg's Dean White (140) and South Hagerstown's Ian Anderson (145) also were eliminated.

Wrestling resumes today at 9:30 a.m. The consolation finals begin at 4 p.m. and the championship finals at 6:30.

Md. 2A-1A State Championships
Washington County results
Preliminary round
103 -- Kevin Dufour (Owings Mills) m.d. Monica Hovermale (Smithsburg) 13-1.
119 -- Kemper Baker (Williamsport) m.d. Bijan Banks (Bohemia Manor) 12-4.
135 -- Joey Sutch (Williamsport) d. Kiefer Maxwell (North East) 8-3.
140 -- Nathan White (River Hill) p. Dean White (Smithsburg) 1:43.
145 -- Josh Moore (North Caroline) d. Ian Anderson (South Hagerstown) 5-2.
160 -- Patrick Berry (Calvert) p. Devin Martinez (North Hagerstown) 1:05.
189 -- Tyler Scott (Smithsburg) t.f. Wes Skeeter (James M. Bennett) 16-0, 4:00.
215 -- Robbie Mies (Williamsport) p. Jon Iwaskiw (Mt. Hebron) :50.

Championship quarterfinals
119 -- Baker d. Cameron Kirby (River Hill) 5-2.
135 -- Josh Halper (Hammond) p. Sutch, 5:29.
189 -- Scott d. Danny Flanagan (Hammond) 6-2.
215 -- Mies d. Cameron Myers (Chesapeake-Baltimore) 6-0.
Consolation preliminaries
103 -- Mac Raum (Clarksburg) d. Hovermale, 7-1.
140 -- Jordan Trujilo (Owings Mills) d. White, 8-3.
145 -- Taran Carr (Owings Mills) d. Anderson, 8-6, OT.
160 -- Martinez d. Patrick Rivera (Harford Tech) 4-3.

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