Lansdowne wrestling pins down Southwestern Battle for second straight year

Lansdowne produced a combined 16 pins in dual-meet matches against Woodlawn and Catonsville and the Vikings won their second straight Southwestern Battle, featuring the three schools in the southwest area.

The Vikings opened with a 63-16 win over Woodlawn and followed with a 59-15 triumph over host Catonsville.

Freshman Joe Mondsour (160), junior Anthony Brown (182) and seniors Austin Sparrow (195) and James Alston (285) each had two pins for the Vikings.

It was the second year in a row the Vikings defeated both schools, but last’s year match against Catonsville was much closer, as the Vikings won, 40-30.

This year’s 5-3 squad, coming off a 13-1 season when they qualified for the regional dual-meet tournament, came in beaming with confidence against the Comets.

After Jacob Lipscomb pinned Carl Baker at 126 pounds in the first match, Catonsville got even, 6-6, when junior Seth Murray won by injury default, at 132, over Damontez Rawlings.

Murray is the only three-year varsity wrestler on Catonsville’s roster.

Lansdowne proceeded to score 53 straight points, with pins from John Black (145), Matt Mendes (152), Monsour (160), Brown (182), Sparrow (195), Herberth Franco (215) and Alston (285).

“You’ve got to pin to win, that’s what it is all about,” Lansdowne coach George Dunn said. “They go after it for six minutes. The match is never over, never matter what the score is.”

That was never more evident than in the 152-pound match between Mendes and Catonsville junior Anointe’ Dewitt.

Dewitt led 5-3 after one period and 8-3 late in the second period.

In the middle of the third period, Dewitt’s lead was 10-5 when Mendes got a takedown and near fall to cut it to 10-9.

After the two wrestlers went out of bounds for the second time in the final minute, Mendes gave Dewitt an escape with 17 seconds left and trailed 11-9, but with nine seconds left, Mendez tied it with a takedown.

In overtime, he countered Dewitt’s double-leg takedown attempt and secured a pin with 28 seconds left.

“It was all or nothing. I was losing and I was down two, so I had to do something,” said Mendes, of his takedown in regulation.

In overtime, he was just hoping to outlast his foe.

“I’m thinking man, I’m tired, he’s tired, I’m not going to let him overwork me, so I take a shot immediately and it’s a stalemate, so I just go at it,” Mendes said.

Coach Dunn was impressed with his comeback.

“He showed a lot of grit, a lot of heart in that one,” Dunn said. “He never gives up.”

Lansdowne’s other winners were Peyton Collins (138), a 9-6 decision over Tye Perry, Kyrie Briscoe (170), a 17-6 major decision over Steven Diehl and Riley Bozeman, a 14-3 major decision over Parker Ritter.

Catonsville’s other victories were a forfeit win by Chase Ritter (113) and a 3-2 decision by sophomore Ewan Hemmis (120) over Desean Hunter.

Hemmis, who finished fourth at the Baltimore County tournament and was the only Catonsville wrestler to qualify for the state tournament last year, held a 2-0 lead after a reversal early in the second period.

With 27 seconds left, Hunter got a takedown, but in the final seconds, he was called for an illegal hold and Hemmis ended the match with a one-point victory.

In addition to Lansdowne’s wins this season over Catonsville and Woodlawn, the Vikings have also defeated Kenwood, Flowers and Calvert.

The only losses came in the Oakland Mills Duals, to Oakland Mills, North Point and LaPlata.

Winning Tuesday’s tri-meet wasn’t as much a surprise for Mendes as it was last season.

It’s a new team and coming off the record we had last year, the energy now is so much more than last year,” Mendes said. “Last year, we were more the underdogs, now we have a name in this and we have to keep that title.”

Dunn fully agrees.

“Last year, we had some guys who were happy to get the win, and this year, we expected it and our guys rose to the occasion,”he said.

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