Glenelg leads 1A/2A state wrestling tournament after quarterfinal round

In mid-February, Glenelg proved it was the best wrestling tournament team in Howard County, winning the county tournament over defending 3A/4A state champion River Hill.

And so far in the state tournament, Glenelg is proving it's the best team in the entire 1A/2A classification.

After the quarterfinal round, the Gladiators led second-place Winters Mill — the team that defeated them in the state dual meet championship — 42-41.

Glenelg qualified 12 wrestlers to the state tournament but only three — Tim Null (106), Anthony Pagnotta (170) and defending state champion Sean Twigg (285) — are still wrestling for state titles.

Five other Gladiators — Zach Shackelford (126), Mike Budock (132), Ryan Carter (138), Troy Walter (152), Austin Twigg (195) — fell in the quarterfinal round and are now wrestling for third place.

Anthony Pagnotta, whose younger brother Austin (145) missed the regional tournament due to illness, defeated Northwestern's Brandon Pitts (32-3) in the quarterfinals, 4-3, on a late escape.

Oakland Mills, in fifth place with 30 points, also advanced three wrestlers onto the semifinals: Zach Hensley (120), Jaron Smith (160) and Roy Kadje (285).

In the quarterfinals, Kadje defeated previously undefeated Brion Blades of North Caroline, 4-3, in double overtime.

Blades was 49-0 this season coming into the match.

"I looked at his record, but I wasn't really intimidated with the record because I wrestled him last year," said Kadje, who quickly pinned Blades in the opening round of last year's state tournament. "He's improved a lot since last year."

In double overtime "he got the choice to go down. I had to ride him out ... I just had to do it. It's that willpower that coach (Brad Howell) always talks about," Kadje said. "I just had to find it in my heart, finish high school strong. I had to do it for the team, and for myself, self pride. That gave me motivation to finish my match strong."

If Kadje can defeat Winters Mills' Jake Utz in Saturday morning's semifinal round, he could set up a rematch against Glenelg's defending state champion Sean Twigg.

Twigg has defeated Kadje three times this season, including an overtime win in the county finals.

"Ever since I've been wrestling (Twigg) a lot I've gotten a lot better on bottom, wrestling him every time has improved my wrestling," Kadje said. "No matches around here are easy matches."

Also on Saturday morning at 11, Glenelg's Tim Null (106) will get a chance to avenge his close loss to Owings Mills' Jake Rendelman from the state dual semifinals.

1A/2A state semifinal matches involving Howard County wrestlers
106: Glenelg sophomore Tim Null (36-4) vs. Owings Mills sophomore Jake Rendelman (36-1)
120: Oakland Mills senior Zach Hensley (36-1) vs. Oakdale junior Anthoney Savage (41-2)
160: Oakland Mills sophomore Jaron Smith (40-4) vs. Rising Sun senior Anthony Cimorosi (33-1)
170: Glenelg senior Anthony Pagnotta (25-4) vs. North Carroll junior Eddie Merrill (40-3)
285: Oakland Mills senior Roy Kadje (36-6) vs. Winters Mill junior Jake Utz (37-2)
285: Glenelg senior Sean Twigg (39-1) vs. Dundalk senior Wayne Maddox (35-7)

Top 1A/2A team standings (after quarterfinal round)
1. Glenelg, 42
2. Winters Mill, 41
3. Catoctin, 38
4. Owings Mills, 35.5
5. Oakland Mills, 30

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