The fact that top-seeded Bel Air won the Class 3A North Region Dual meet title by beating fourth-seeded Franklin in the semifinals, and third-seeded C. Milton Wright, in the finals, wasn’t a surprise on Thursday night at Bel Air High.
What did come as a shocker to many fans was seeing two-time Bel Air junior Brent Lorin suffer his first career defeat after 119 straight wins.
The two-time state champion lost to C. Milton Wright freshman James Riveira in the 120 pound match, 9-5.
It was his first loss this season after 29 straight victories.
Riveira (33-1) avenged his only loss of the year after he was pinned by Lorin in the third period earlier this season, while trailing 8-6 entering the period.
“It’s unbelievable, indescribable,” Riveira said. “After I won that match I just blacked out.”
Riveira led from the start, getting a takedown 30 seconds into the first period and adding another one after Lorin escaped to lead 4-1 entering the second period.
Riveira’s escape and takedown in the second period expanded the lead to 7-1.
With 30 seconds gone in the final period, Lorin earned a takedown and Riveira got an escape and led 8-3.
Lorin’s final takedown came with 10 seconds left, and after cutting Reveira loose, he never scored again.
Riveira was carried off the mat on his teammate’s shoulders.
“I just had to stay away from his lockups and his judo stuff, so I just kept tapping and backing up and once I saw him hit his knees I just tried to go for it,” Riveira said.
“That’s probably the biggest win I’ve seen and he’s a freshman,” C. Milton Wright coach John Thornton said.
It was the last match the Mustangs (12-4) would win in the 43-18 loss.
“That kid is a seven-time junior league state champion,” Bel Air coach Craig Reddish said. “He’s not an average kid. It’s tough when the pressure builds and builds and builds.”
After Lorin’ s loss, Sincere Montgomery earned a pin at 126 and Jacob Reed won a 6-2 decision at 132, giving the Bobcats a 31-18 advantage.
Shy-Ello Mosley (138) sealed the regional title for the Bobcats with a hard-fought 11-9 decision over Ben Anders.
Grant Cole (145) got a pin in the first period and Liam Bowers (152) tacked on the final three points with a 1-0 decision over Will Tinney.
Bel Air opened the match with a 16-3 major decision by Dave Abboud (160) and 4-0 victory by Noah Byers (170) over Christian Trombley.
At 182, Jarritt Stencil was leading Dominick Jankovich 4-1 late in the third period when he pinned him with 16 seconds left.
“That was huge,” Reddish said. “In these kind of matches whoever gets the most bonus points is going to win. We thought we would win our share, but Riviera knocking off somebody changes the flow, so I think we responded well.”
Jack Brink pushed Bel Air’s lead to 16-0 with a 3-0 decision over Caleb Riley.
The Mustangs finally got on the board when Wyatt Graham pinned Joe Cirillo in the second period at 195 and they cut the lead to 16-12 when Sturia Sawyer pinned Brandon DeJohn at 285.
Trevor Lorin seized the momentum back for the Bobcats when he pinned Lexie Nguyen at 106 with 33 seconds left in the third period.
It was almost the second time on the night the freshman girl didn’t get pinned.
In the Mustangs’ 39-36 victory over Lansdowne (14-1) in the semifinals, she lasted until 49 seconds left in the third period before losing a technical fall to Riley Bozeman, 19-2.
“Those were two of the top 106-pounders in the state, but she fought,” Thornton said. “I was very proud of her.”
Bozeman is ranked 20th and Trevor Lorin is ranked 13th in the state.
At 113, Michael Mitrega’s 7-2 victory over Troy Dureza pulled the Mustangs within seven, 22-15, and Riveira’s victory made it 22-18, but that was the closest they would get.
“In 2010 we were state champs and we haven’t been back to the state tournament since and we’ve gotten to this level a whole bunch of times and lost, so getting over the hump here, really with only two seniors in our lineup, is really nice,” Reddish said.
Bel Air dismantled Franklin (10-5) in the semifinals, 58-12.
Brent Lorin (126), Bowers (152), Abboud (160) and Brink (195) had pins for the Bobcats.
In C. Milton Wright’s 39-36 victory over Lansdowne, Graham (220), Sturia (285), Riveira (120) and Jake Blanchard (138) won with pins.
Blanchard’s pin with one match left sealed the victory for the Mustangs.