The difference between Mt. Hebron getting into the 3A/4A East regional duals last year could be tracked to its early January defeat to Broadneck.
The Bruins won the match, 42-24, and eventually earned the No. 4 seed in the postseason duals. The Vikings, who were 16-0 when they lost that meet and eventually finished 18-4, were the first team out.
“We were literally a win away from qualifying last year, and there were some teams that qualified that we beat,” Mt. Hebron coach Dan Harman said. “Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.”
This year, Harman is determined to get his team to the postseason duals, and in a rematch against Broadneck on Thursday in its biggest test of the season so far, the Vikings looked like a team ready for the playoff spotlight. They won seven straight matches from 285 to 138 pounds and nine overall to beat the Bruins, 43-20, and improve to 9-0 on the year. Broadneck fell to 7-2 overall.
“I’m definitely proud of our performance,” Harman said. “The team has been working really hard and I felt like our conditioning, you could see that today.”
Mt. Hebron trailed, 14-12, when it made its run, which started with heavyweight Nick Nordhausen. The senior, who a regional title and placed fourth at the state tournament last season, won a 5-0 decision to give the Vikings a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Cassy Lopez (106 pounds) led 5-2 and eventually won via injury default, and freshman Jack McGuire (113) built an 8-3 advantage before beating the second-period buzzer with a fall in 3 minutes, 55 seconds to make it 27-14 in favor of the Vikings.
Khiam Doan (126) and Adam Scherr (138) both shutout their opponents — 3-0 and 5-0, respectively — and sandwiched another buzzer-beating pin by Justin Ordowski at 132 pounds, whose pin sealed the victory.
“Right now at 132, my kids are descending right now and can’t really get to their weights yet — everybody is dealing with that — but [Ordowski] really stepped up,” Harman said. “He’s pretty much a JV kid right now, so that’s a big step up for him regardless of who they had there.”
The 32-point rally by Mt. Hebron ended with back-to-back decisions from Broadneck’s Michael Garlington (145) and Owen Joyce (152).
“We came out and we wrestled tough but unfortunately we were down a few guys and they’re a really tough team,” Bruins coach Reid Bloomfield said. “That’s what happens when you have two tough teams going at it — the little things make the difference, and we came out short tonight.”
Harman said his team has been preaching conditioning in the early going and continuing to push the pace in the final period of matches. Outside of Kyle Keller’s 18-3 technical-fall victory at 170 pounds, Broadneck only scored two points in the third period in the other seven bouts that went the distance and failed to score in five of them.
Mt. Hebron had 15 third-period points in those matches, including nine by Yahir Lemus (120), who won a 15-2 decision in one of his first matches of the season after a preseason injury.
“We pushed the pace, we pushed the tempo. The majority of the matches we were putting the pressure on them, I liked that,” Harman said. “I thought we did really well on bottom, we were able to get out pretty well. Those are two things I’m happy with and things we’ve been working on a lot.”
The Vikings passed this test but the toughest matches are still ahead. They face Oakland Mills on Tuesday and Glenelg on Dec. 21 in what could ultimately decide this year’s county champion, but Harman feels his team is ready for the challenge.
As for Broadneck, Bloomfield said he “feels really good” about where his team is right now despite the defeat.
“If we get healthy, the goal is to peak at the right time,” he said. “Now is not the right time, obviously, we want to wrestle our best in January and February, so I think we’re still there once we get our guys back. We’ll be ready to go.”
Mt. Hebron (9-0) — 43, Broadneck (7-2) — 20
160: Ali Pender (MH) pinned Mack Groah (B), 3:38 [6-0]
170: Kyle Keller (B) tech fall Joe Gonzales (MH), 18-3 [6-5]
182: Zach Doyle (B) pinned Cody Stockenberg (MH), 0:53 [6-11]
195: Zach Wilhelm (MH) pinned Collin Thompson (B), 1:43 [12-11]
220: Vinny Pacciponti (B) dec. Isa Pender (MH), 2-1 [12-14]
285: Nick Nordhausen (MH) dec. Brent Floyd (B), 5-0 [15-14]
106: Cassy Lopez (MH) inj. default Bently Baker (B), 3:01 [21-14]
113: Jack McGuire (MH) pinned Ethan Kanetzky (B), 3:55 [27-14]
120: Yahir Lemus (MH) major dec. Jacob Miller (B), 15-2 [31-14]
126: Khiem Doan (MH) dec. Caden Groah (B), 3-0 [34-14]
132: Justin Ordowski (MH) pinned Dylan Rupert (B), 1:59 [40-14]
138: Adam Scherr (MH) dec. Terrance White (B), 4-0 [43-14]
145: Michael Garlington (B) dec. Bryce Kampert (MH), 5-0 [43-17]
152: Owen Joyce (B) dec. Jamison Hulbert (MH), 3-1 [43-20]
River Hill (3-1, 8-1) — 42, Centennial (1-2, 2-2) — 33
132: Matt Greenlee (RH) pinned Jordan Carton (C), 5:44 [6-0]
138: Jacob Blyukher (C) pinned Michael Crisitello (RH), 3:09 [6-6]
145: Billy Szeliga (RH) dec. Tristan Kneas (C), 8-6 [9-6]
152: Jason Kraisser (C) pinned Laith Aboarob (RH), 1:30 [9-12]
160: Zachary Grossman (C) pinned Liam Slade (RH), 4:38 [9-18]
170: Wadeed Marcos (C) pinned Seiba Rizk (RH), 5:00 [9-24]
182: Zach Wasilewski (RH) pinned Matthew Ritchie (C), 1:11 [15-24]
195: Alex Wasilewski (RH) pinned Lucas Shapiro (C), 3:18 [21-24]
220: Kai Uecker (RH) pinned Parker Subasic (C), 1:42 [27-24]
285: Nicholas Yee (C) dec. Anand Ambrosi (RH) [27-27]
106: Christopher Lee (C) pinned Dyson Muller (RH), 3:49 [27-33]
113: Eric Robinson (RH) pinned Elijah Ruiz-Lebron (C), 2:22 [33-33]
120: Jonah Richardson (RH) pinned Noah Paik (C), 0:20 [39-33]
126: Leo Buscher (RH) dec. Zaid Narmouq (C), 6-0 [42-33]
C. Milton Wright — 42, Howard (2-2) — 32
182: Ryan Messer (CMW) fft. [6-0]
195: Kris Moreno (CMW) pinned Spencer Lefever (Ho), 1:26 [12-0]
220: Wyatt Graham (CMW) pinned Jake Wrisk (Ho), 0:10 [18-0]
285: Sawyer Sturla (CMW) pinned Ritchy Pierre (Ho), 1:21 [24-0]
106: Trey Mitchell (Ho) fft. [24-6]
113: Maxxim Keller (Ho) fft. [24-12]
120: James Riveira (CMW) pinned Arjun Kundu (Ho), 1:43 [30-12]
126: Juan Ortega (CMW) pinned John Collins (Ho), 0:37 [36-12]
132: Brad Foote (Ho) tech fall Mark Hopkins (CMW) [36-17]
138: Ryan Keeley (Ho) dec. Jake Blanchard (CMW), 4-3 [36-20]
145: Shayan Kassiri (Ho) pinned Brayden Santos (CMW), 1:59 [36-26]
152: Will Tinney (CMW) pinned Nathan Gabriel (Ho), 3:41 [42-26]
160: Melvin Hipsley (Ho) dec. Logan Dvorak (CMW), 7-3 [42-29]
170: Ritchie Hall (Ho) dec. Christian Trombley (CMW), 4-3 [42-32]