Gavin Howell's season debut turned out to be perfect timing for Boys' Latin. Howell scored a match-ending pin to help the Lakers rally past host Calvert Hall, 37-36, Thursday in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference match.
A back injury from football had kept the junior out of the lineup, but he refused to sit out another match with the win against the Cardinals at stake.
Howell, a transfer from Towson High who starts at middle linebacker, recorded a pin at 220 pounds in 4:40.
"Gavin has been banged up, and I wasn't even going to wrestle him," Boys' Latin coach Drew Haugh said. "I said, 'Gavin, you probably shouldn't wrestle.' He basically ran past me. He said, 'Coach, I can do it and beat this guy.' He proved his worth."
Calvert Hall led for half the match and went ahead, 36-25, after sophomore Ian Park (182) decked Andrew Murrow in 4:55.
But freshman Alec Blume's second-period pin of Calvert Hall junior Dalton Negm at 195 and Howell's fall allowed the Lakers to escape with the victory.
"We have pretty much dominated Calvert Hall the past couple of years," Haugh said. "But they are much better this year."
Boys' Latin, however, handled Calvert Hall in the lower weights to start the match.
After the Cardinals' Chris Stephan gained a forfeit at heavyweight, the Lakers got three consecutive pins from Kahlan Lee-Lerner (106), Nick Malinowski (113) and Hunter Cotsoradis (120) to go ahead 18-6.
Calvert Hall took six of the next eights bouts to give the hosts a 11-point edge — its second largest of the match.
Besides Park's pin, a fall from Wagner (145) and Jordan Huey's 6-4 overtime victory over Evan Gaines highlighted the Cardinals' stretch.
But the Lakers' back-to-back pins secured the win and improved them to 2-0 in the league while Calvert Hall dropped to 1-5.
"Our kids wrestled well," said Calvert Hall coach Roy Lobdell, whose team lost a tri-match to Mount St. Joseph and Archbishop Spalding Wednesday. "BL has a little more experience and they took advantage when we made a mistake. That was the bottom line."