Looking at the Reservoir wrestling schedule earlier this season, junior Wesley Beattie (170) figured that the matches with Oakland Mills and Mt. Hebron would be closely contested.
But he never could have predicted that both of those matches would be decided by him in the final bout.
One month ago, almost to the day, Beattie defeated Oakland Mills sophomore Jaron Smith — who won 30 matches and placed fifth at the state tournament last year — 8-6 in the final bout of a 33-28 Reservoir win.
On Tuesday night, at Mt. Hebron, the situation was eerily similar, with the match tied 30-30 and Beattie representing Reservoir's final wrestler. Only this time, his opponent wasn't quite as accomplished. Senior Alex Hansen, a first-year varsity wrestler, did a good job of fighting off the pin, but Beattie secured a second period tech fall, clinching the 35-40 Gators victory.
"It was really tough and close, and that scared me," said Beattie, who won a Grapple at the Brook championship over the weekend. "I knew it would come down to me. But I'm used to it."
The match started off well for Reservoir (8-2, 9-3), as Brian Glueck (182, pin) and Michael Sullivan (195) started the Gators off with a 9-0 lead.
But then the Vikings (5-4, 20-6) rallied hard with consecutive pins by Ryan Hassan (220), Nicholas Suri (285) and Josh Kendrick (106).
Kendrick, a freshman, trailed Ponton, a junior and defending county champion, early in the first period. But, Kendrick tied the match before the end of the period and then scored an escape, takedown, and nearfall to build a 7-2 second period lead. Then, halfway through the third period, Kendrick secured the momentum-changing pin.
"That was a nice swing," coach Todd DeCrispino said. "We were just hoping for some points and Josh ended up getting the pin."
But in the next bout, Reservoir took the momentum back by winning a match that could have gone either way, when Troy Kilcarr (113) defeated Jeff Hayden, 7-5. It was a rematch of the 2012 106-pound county tournament third-place match, when Kilcarr defeated Hayden, 4-3. Both wrestlers are sophomores.
Hayden won the first period, 2-0, but Kilcarr stormed back to win the second period, 5-1. Hayden escaped early in the final period to cut Kilcarr's lead to one, at 5-4, but the Reservoir wrestler clinched the win with a takedown with six seconds left on the clock.
"That could go either way," DeCrispino said. "They wrestle ten times it could be five their way, five our way. That was a tough match."
Troy's twin brother, Trent (120), followed with a strong major at 120, but then Mt. Hebron's Steven Sung (126), rallied with a third-period escape and a takedown with 36 seconds left to defeat Joe Quattrone, 6-5, to put the Vikings ahead, 21-16.
But Reservoir still had its best Kilcarr waiting to wrestle. And Mason Kilcarr (132) made it a special night, winning his 100th career victory with a 49 second pin, and putting the Gators back ahead, 22-21.
Hans Wicklein (138, tech fall) and Paul Quattrone (145) then made it three wins in a row, giving the Gators a 30-21 lead with only three bouts remaining.
But Mt. Hebron had two of its best wrestlers — Connor Strunk (152) and Joe Kendrick (160) — coming up down the stretch. But because senior captain Nick Lucchessi was not available on Tuesday, both wrestlers had bumped up a weight class.
Strunk, a sophomore and returning county finalist, gutted out a 4-3 victory over Reservoir's stout Stephen Sims. And then Joe Kendrick, who has committed to wrestle for Millersville University next year, scored the match-tying pin midway through the second period of the penultimate bout.
The tie was short-lived though, as Beattie scored his second walk-off win of the season.
"Connor and Joe always come through for the team. Joe put us right in there," DeCrispino said. "We had been talking about how important this match was, because with four matches to go they're directly ahead of us in the dual meet (standings). I thought if we could win this match and win two of our next three, we could qualify for regional duals, but I think this may have bumped us out."
Reservoir, meanwhile, is in good position to qualify for the regional duals.
"If we beat Decatur (on Saturday) we'll be in the regional duals, and that would be awesome," said Beattie, one of 12 underclassmen in Reservoir's starting line-up. "We're still a young team. Next year we're gonna have the same people pretty much. I just want to beat River Hill and Glenelg, and I think we could do that next year."
Glenelg and River Hill, the last two undefeated teams in the league standings, will meet at Glenelg on Feb. 1 in a match to decide the regular season county championship.
Reservoir 35, Mt. Hebron 30
182: Brian Glueck (Re) pin Andrew Ansaldi (MH), 3:35. [6-0]
195: Michael Sullivan (Re) dec. Austin Day (MH), 6-1. [9-0]
220: Ryan Hassan (MH) pin Bryan Lewis (Re), 1:11. [9-6]
285: Nicholas Suri (MH) pin Bradley David (Re), :38. [9-12]
106: Josh Kendrick (MH) pin Tyler Ponton (Re), 4:57. [9-18]
113: Troy Kilcarr (Re) dec. Jeff Hayden (MH), 7-5. [12-18]
120: Trent Kilcarr (Re) maj. Brandon Wilson (MH), 9-1. [16-18]
126: Steven Sung (MH) dec. Joe Quattrone (Re), 6-5. [16-21]
132: Mason Kilcarr (Re) pin Zach Stewart (MH), :49. [22-21]
138: Hans Wicklein (Re) tech. Alex Bisant (MH), 6:00/18-1. [27-21]
145: Paul Quattrone (Re) dec. Liam Curran (MH), 5-0. [30-21]
152: Connor Strunk (MH) dec. Stephen Sims (Re), 4-3. [30-24]
160: Joe Kendrick (MH) pin A.J. Strott (Re), 3:11. [30-30]
170: Wesley Beattie (Re) tech. Alex Hansen (MH), 3:30/16-0. [35-30]
Around the league
Marriotts Ridge 46, Centennial 30
138: Austin Kraisser (C) pin Sam Deitemyer (MR), 1:30.
145: Hutson Baumann (C) pin Spencer Wyatt (MR), 4:59.
152: Sameh Boulos (C) pin Ben Switlick (MR), 3:11.
160: Nick Shearin (C) pin Michael Min (MR), 5:37.
170: Lyle Fugate (MR) pin Bradley Fasulo (C), 0:55.
182: Vincent Stout (MR) pin Joey Shapiro (C), 2:32.
195: Chris Park (MR) pin Steven Wysocki (C), 2:33.
220: Culloty Desautelle (MR) wbf.
285: Ryan Austin (MR) pin Tyler Boettcher (C), :59.
106: Romtin Habibi (MR) wbf.
113: Matthew Nickell (C) dec. Thomas Olsen (MR), 6-4.
120: Will Parks (MR) wbf.
126: Sam Routt (C) dec. Austin Seaman (MR), 13-9.
132: Zach Moody (MR) maj. Cody Vergel de Dios (C), 15-6.
Oakland Mills 59, Howard 10
106: Dakota Thompson (OM) wbf.
113: Cody Thomas (OM) wbf.
120: Zach Hensley (OM) pin Nicholas Williams (Ho), :42.
126: Anthony Ahumuda (OM) wbf.
132: Bryan Crumback (Ho) pin Aaron Wood (OM), 3:53.
138: Robert Bruffey (Ho) maj. Matthew Claxton (OM), 9-1.
145: Bradley Montecino (OM) tech. Michael Patton (Ho), 5:58/17-2.
152: Nerio Bunn (OM) dec. Colin Hawes (Ho), 8-3.
160: Jaron Smith (OM) pin Matthew Polen (Ho), 1:04.
170: Dylan Juskus (OM) dec. Drew Williams (Ho), 9-3.
182: Robby Happy (OM) dec. Jared Rodriguez (Ho), 7-5.
195: Dominick Clark (OM) pin Michael Moran (Ho), 4:17.
220: Joseph Celtnieks (OM) dec. Justin Hipp (Ho), 7-1.
285: Roy Kadje (OM) wbf.
Wilde Lake 54, Hammond 27
126: Darren Ketchum (Ha) pin Romar DelaCruz (WL), 4:59.
132: Daniel Andrews (WL) pin Evan Nuss (Ha), 2:57.
138: Jordan Trinh (WL) wbf.
145: Anthony Solis (Ha) dec. Tyler Anderson (WL), 10-6.
152: Malik Jackson (WL) pin Justin Taylor (Ha), 3:23.
160: Bryan Overton (Ha) wbf.
170: Akintola Marakinyo (WL) pin Somachi Eluchie (Ha), 1:58.
182: Brandon Wood (Ha) wbf.
195: Nathanael Haase (WL) pin Justin Nelson (Ha), 3:41.
220: Jonathan Pearlman (WL) pin Jeremy Nelson (Ha), :36.
285: Ne'co Jones (WL) pin David McLaurin (Ha), :41.
106: John Lowe (Ha) pin Adam McNeil (WL), 2:23.
113: Noah Polonsky (WL) pin John Hedrick (Ha), :37.
120: Ethan Eckley (WL) wbf.
Long Reach at Atholton
MIAA B Conference
Glenelg Country 55, Mount Airy Christian 6
106: Jeremy Barrios (MA) wbf.
113: Adam Bothwell (GC) maj. Andrew Fry (MA), 12-4.
120: Sam Smith (GC) wbf.
126: Matt Campbell (GC) wbf.
132: Ken Kim (GC) wbf.
138: Christian Vinyard (GC) pin William Coard (MA), 3:50.
145: Reid Chaconas (GC) pin Benjamin Hickey (MA), :19.
152: Eddie Howlette (GC) wbf.
160: double forfeit.
170: Jon Jones (GC) wbf.
182: Demetrius Ravenell (GC) dec. Dakota Van Houten (MA), 3-2.
195: Emanuel Curtis (GC) wbf.
220: double forfeit.
285: double forfeit.