With wrestlers from Patterson Mill and Harford Tech both falling short of region dual meet titles Saturday, Bel Air was left among Harford squads Monday to try for a title.
The Bobcats traveled to River Hill, the top seed host of the Class 3A-4A East Region Dual Meet Championship.
Second seed Bel Air opened with a 36-28 win over third seed Old Mill, but in the finals against River Hill, the Bobcats were stymied by criteria. River Hill beat fourth seed Glenelg, 36-27, in the other semifinal.
The Bel Air – River Hill match ended in a 36-36 tie, but by using tie-match criteria, the Bobcats were defeated based upon River Hill having won more matches by technical fall. River Hill 1, Bel Air 0.
The match started off a bit rough for Bel Air, losing the first two bouts, at 220 and 285 pounds, respectively, by pin. David Reagan put the Bobcats on the scoreboard at 106 with a 5:38 pin, but River Hill added a third early pin at 113 to surge ahead, 18-6.
Gavin Rupprecht added a 4:21 pin for the Bobcats at 120, but River Hill countered with a 12-0 major decision at 126 to lead 22-12.
Bel Air responded with four straight wins to move ahead, 30-22. Ryan Beveridge started the run with a 1:28 pin at 132. Sam Guo followed at 138 with a tight 5-4 win over Ryan Erskine. Cameron Watts then put the Bobcats up 24-22 with a 3-0 decision of Sean Guthier at 145. John Cross wasted no time increasing the lead, pinning his opponent in :56.
Leading 30-22, the match took a turn back to River Hill at 160. A 21-6 technical fall loss, left Bel Air leading, 30-27, and an 10-5 Bel Air loss as well at 170 pulled River Hill even, 30-30, with two bouts left.
At 182, River Hill used another pin to go back ahead, 36-30. At 195, River Hill forfeited to Bel Air's Cyler Crawford, thus tying the match and forcing the criteria that sent River Hill onto the win.
Huskies, Cobras fall too
Any hopes that wrestling teams from Patterson Mill and Harford Tech had of a dual meet region title were brought to a halt Saturday at North Caroline High School in Ridgely, site of the Class 1A-2A East region dual meet championship.
Patterson Mill was able to reach the region final, but host and top seed North Caroline was too tough for both the Huskies and Tech Cobras.
Second seed Patterson Mill won its semifinal match over third-seed Wicomico, 43-28, while fourth-seed Tech lost to North Caroline, 45-25.
In Patterson Mill's win, Huskies winning by pin were Colin McDonald, 113; Brent Iwanowski, 126; Jake Nikkila, 132; and Eric Eckstein at 220. The Huskies also got wins from Josh Holbrook, 160; Joe King, 195; and Brian Whitby at 285.
In Tech's loss, the Cobras won five bouts. Brenden Hayes pinned in :25 and Tyler Butler pinned in :28, at 120 and 145, respectively, while Johnathan Lechert won by major decision at 126. Andrey Kalwa earned a decision at 138 and Zach Granese was a winner by forfeit at 106.
In the finals, North Caroline limited the Huskies to just four wins, in a 49-24 win.
Collecting the wins for Patterson Mill, which were all by pin, were McDonald, 113; Nikkila, 126; King, 195; and Eckstein, 220.
Despite the loss, the Huskies celebrated junior Nikkila's 100th career win. Nikkila went 2-0 with two pins to become the Huskies first 100-win wrestler in school history.
Ritter leads Patriots
John Carroll junior Hunter Ritter won his second Maryland Independent School State Tournament title Sunday at McDonogh School in Owings Mills.
Ritter beat Good Counsel's Nick Miller, 14-2, in the 182 state final. Leading up to the title match, Ritter collected four pins, but fell :23 seconds short of teammate Chris Almony's least time for most falls. Almony finished third at 160.
Ritter, 50-2 this year (160-12 career), has been ranked No. 1 in Maryland at 195 all year, until last week, when he dropped to 182 pounds. With that change, the Maryland State Wrestling Association dropped him to No. 2 at 182.
Ritter's losses this year are to the USA's No. 8 (Haverford, Pa.'s, LJ Barlow) 5-2 and No. 10 (Parkland, Pa.'s, Nezar Hadad) 2-1 in OT, both at 195 pounds.
Other John Carroll placers in the state tourney were Mike McCabe (6th, 106); CJ Skokowski (5th, 113); Austin Smith (5th, 120); Zach Dwyer (4th, 126); Steven Jernigan (7th, 145); Austin Ross (8th, 152); Christian Scott (4th, 170); and Andy Reininger (5th, 220).
In team standings, John Carroll placed fourth out of 38 qualifying schools. McDonogh was champion with 239.5, just ahead of Good Counsel's 237. Mount Saint Joe was third with 202 and John Carroll fourth with 181.5.
This Patriots will be back in action this weekend with eight wrestlers competing at the Prep Nationals at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Ritter took third at 170 last season.