River Hill improved to 9-0 in the county standings Tuesday night, defeating Howard, 73-0, and Reservoir, 49-18. Reservoir also defeated Howard, 61-9.
With the wins, the Hawks are only two matches away — home against Wilde Lake on Jan. 26 and at Long Reach on Jan. 31— from celebrating their first county dual meet title since 2009.
But in terms of its quest for a top seed in the 3A/4A East regional duals tournament, Tuesday night could have been considered a setback for River Hill, which is battling Stephen Decatur for home advantage.
Both teams are still undefeated (regular season dual meet tournaments do not factor into regional seeding), and if they finish that way, point differential against a common opponent would be used as the first tiebreaker.
Stephen Decatur defeated Reservoir by 37 points (52-15) on Jan. 7, and on Tuesday night, River Hill beat the Gators by 31, which could mean "three hours down to the beach," as River Hill coach Brandon Lauer put it, "and we're not sight-seeing."
Although River Hill was kicking itself for the missed opportunity, Reservoir is certainly not a pushover. The Gators, state dual meet and tournament champions in 2010, are now 7-3 on the season (13-7 overall) and actually held an 18-13 lead after six bouts on Tuesday.
"We knew that they graduated a lot, but obviously we knew that they were a very good program and they weren't just going to hand it over to us," said River Hill 182-pounder Omar Messallam. "We knew it was going to be tough."
The Hawks got off to a quick start when Jason Johnson (285, forfeit), Michael Beck (106, decision) and Taariq Mohammed (113, major) built a 13-0 lead. But defending regional champion Mason Kilcarr (120) nearly halved it with his second period pin, and then Hans Wicklein (126) and Paul Quattrone (132) chipped away further with hardfought decisions.
At 138, Reservoir's Sam Rowell defeated River Hill's Brian Kirby, 6-2, in a showdown between two of the county's best freshmen to give the Gators the lead, 15-13, and then sophomore Wesley Beattie extended it with a 12-6 win at 145.
Donovan Delore stopped the Reservoir win parade with a pin at 152 that gave the Hawks the lead back, and worse yet for the Gators, River Hill still had its best wrestlers coming up, the upperweights.
Between 160 and 195, Jack Noonan, Cory Daniel, Messallam and Logan Kirby recorded five straight pins, and at 220 Jacob Benedict had his raised in forfeit to account for the final points in the 49-18 victory.
"We're just trying to stay consistent with our wins, maintain consistency with what we do in the room and work hard everyday," Messallam said. "I had faith in the whole team executing all of the moves that we normally do."
The comeback still wasn't enough to give the Hawks the edge in the playoff seeding race, and the score might have been even closer if Reservoir hadn't been missing two of its starters: junior Brian Beach (152) and sophomore Michael Sullivan (195).
Beach should be back soon, but Sullivan — who is on crutches while recovering from a torn meniscus — is hoping to return for the county tournament Feb. 17 and 18, where he is expected to have the second seed behind Logan Kirby.
River Hill 73, Howard 0
220: Jacob Benedict (RH) wbf. [6-0]
285: Jason Johnson (RH) pin Michael Frazier (Ho), 3:05. [12-0]
106: Michael Beck (RH) pin Nicholas Williams (Ho), 3:05. [18-0]
113: Taariq Mohammed (RH) wbf. [24-0]
120: Michael Bishoff (RH) wbf. [30-0]
126: Lee Carter (RH) wbf. [36-0]
132: Patrick Linden (RH) dec. Robert Bruffey (Ho), 7-0. [39-0]
138: Brian Kirby (RH) tf. Chris Song (Ho), 0:00/16-1. [44-0]
145: Casey Guthier (RH) tf. Colin Hawes (Ho), 0:00/15-0. [49-0]
152: Donovan Delore (RH) dec. Ryan Stover (Ho), 7-0. [52-0]
160: Jack Noonan (RH) dec. Drew Williams (Ho), 6-4. [55-0]
170: Cory Daniel (RH) pin Christopher Loiselle (Ho), 1:41. [61-0]
182: Omar Messallam (RH) pin Jared Rodriguez (Ho), 1:06. [67-0]
195: Logan Kirby (RH) wbf. [73-0]
River Hill 49, Reservoir 18
285: Jason Johnson (RH) wbf. [6-0]
106: Michael Beck (RH) dec. Troy Kilcarr (Re), 9-2. [9-0]
113: Taariq Mohammed (RH) maj. Joe Quattrone (Re), 14-2. [13-0]
120: Mason Kilcarr (Re) pin Michael Bishoff (RH), 3:00. [13-6]
126: Hans Wicklein (Re) dec. Lee Carter (RH), 4-3. [13-9]
132: Paul Quattrone (Re) dec. Patrick Linden (RH), 8-2. [13-12]
138: Sam Rowell (Re) dec. Brian Kirby (RH), 6-2. [13-15]
145: Wesley Beattie (Re) dec. Casey Guthier (RH), 12-6. [13-18]
152: Donovan Delore (RH) pin Brian Lamm (Re), 5:27. [19-18]
160: Jack Noonan (RH) pin Brendan Herberger (Re), 1:56. [25-18]
170: Cory Daniel (RH) pin Brian Glueck (Re), 4:25. [31-18]
182: Omar Messallam (RH) pin Connor Davis (Re), 1:42. [37-18]
195: Logan Kirby (RH) pin Matias Arrazola (Re), 3:04. [43-18]
220: Jacob Benedict (RH) wbf. [49-18]
Reservoir 61, Howard 9
106: Troy Kilcarr (Re) pin Nicholas Williams (Ho), 1:06. [6-0]
113: Joe Quattrone (Re) wbf. [12-0]
120: Mason Kilcarr (Re) wbf. [18-0]
126: Hans Wicklein (Re) wbf. [24-0]
132: Paul Quattrone (Re) dec. Robert Bruffey (Ho), 8-4. [27-0]
138: Sam Rowell (Re) pin Chris Song (Ho), 1:44. [33-0]
145: Wesley Beattie (Re) dec. Collin Hawes (Ho), 4-2. [36-0]
152: Ryan Stover (Ho) dec. Brian Lamm (Re), 12-5. [36-3]
160: Brendan Herberger (Re) dec. Drew Williams (Ho), 4-3. [39-3]
170: Brian Glueck (Re) pin NA (Ho). [45-3]
182: Connor Davis (Re) maj. Jared Rodriguez (Ho), 15-4. [49-3]
195: Matias Arrazola (Re) wbf. [55-3]
220: Pedro Iriarte (Re) wbf. [61-3]
285: Michael Frazier (Ho) wbf. [61-9]
Around the league
Spectators at Tuesday night's tri-meet between Mt. Hebron and Oakland Mills at Centennial were treated to a rare experience usually reserved for postseason all-star exhibitions: a showdown between two three-time state champions.
The clash of titans happened when Oakland Mills senior Tony Farace bumped up from 120 pounds to square off with Centennial senior Nathan Kraisser at 126.
Kraisser won the match convincingly, 19-4, but all in attendance got to witness two of the best wrestlers that Howard County has ever seen on the mat at the same time.
Both wrestlers will have the chance to become Howard County's first ever four-time state champions on March 3 at the state wrestling tournament.
Farace and Kraisser have met before on the mat, with Kraisser winning each of his first two county championships over his Scorpions counterpart.
Oakland Mills 48, Centennial 23
160: Joey Wysocki (C) dec. Dylan Juskus (OM), 4-1.
170: Benjamin Tucker (C) pin Noah Wright (OM), 5:12.
182: Dominick Clark (OM) pin Frederik Agvald (C), 3:58.
195: Tyrone Gaines (OM) wbf.
220: Will Hester (OM) wbf.
285: Roy Kadje (OM) wbf.
106: Zach Hensley (OM) wbf.
113: Anthony Ahumuda (OM) wbf.
120: John Parsons (OM) wbf.
126: Nathan Kraisser (C) tf. Tony Farace (OM), :00/19-4.
132: Hutson Baumann (C) pin Matthew Claxton (OM), :40.
138: Sameh Boulos (C) dec. Michael Moore (OM), 9-7.
145: Jaron Smith (OM) dec. Ian Harrison (C), 7-3.
152: David Ulysse (OM) dec. Nick Shearin (C), 5-2.
Mt. Hebron 50, Centennial 27
170: Benjamin Tucker (C) pin Max Varipapa (MH).
182: Antonio Vogt (MH) pin Frederik Agvald (C).
195: Patrick Wethington (MH) wbf.
220: Ryan Hassan (MH) wbf.
285: Alex Krynski (MH) wbf.
106: Jeff Hayden (MH) wbf.
113: Steven Sung (MH) wbf.
120: Alex Bisant (MH) wbf.
126: Nathan Kraisser (C) wbf.
132: Connor Strunk (MH) dec. Hutson Baumann (C), 6-1.
138: Sameh Boulos (C) pin Alex Hansen (MH), 3:05.
145: Joe Kendrick (MH) tf. Ian Harrison (C) :00/15-0.
152: Nick Shearin (C) dec. Stefan Chavis (MH), 7-5.
160: Joey Wysocki (C) pin Nawwal Ibad (MH), 5:54.
Oakland Mills 61, Mt. Hebron 14
106: Zach Hensley (OM) pin Jeff Hayden (MH), 3:20.
113: Stephen Sung (MH) dec. Anthony Ahumada (OM), 3-2.
120: Josh Parsons (OM) wbf.
126: Tony Farace (OM) pin Alex Bisant (MH), :52.
132: Connor Strunk (MH) pin Matthew Claxton (OM), :59.
138: Michael Moore (OM) maj. Alex Hansen (MH), 9-0.
145: Joe Kendrick (MH) tech. Jaron Smith (OM), 18-3.
152: David Ulysse (OM) pin Stefan Chavis (MH), 1:01.
160: Dylan Juskus (OM) pin Jon Whang (MH), 4:25.
170: Noah Wright (OM) pin Max Varipapa (MH), 1:21.
182: Dominick Clarke (OM) dec. Jarrett Davis (MH), 6-2.
195: Tyrone Gaines (OM) pin Patrick Wethington (MH), 1:29.
220: Will Hester (OM) wbf.
285: Roy Kadje (OM) pin Alex Krynski (MH), 3:10.
Hammond hosted a tri-meet with Atholton and Marriotts Ridge, but it was the visiting Mustangs who came away with two wins. Atholton left with a split decision, defeating the homestanding Golden Bears, 41-37, on a pin by 113-pounder Josh Pickens.
Marriotts Ridge 48, Hammond 30
106: Jeff Barbera (MR) pin John Lowe (Ha), :13.
113: Nicholas Spano (MR) pin Evan Nuss (Ha), 4:51.
120: Christian Jordan (MR) pin Joey McKinney (Ha), 1:55.
126: Zach Moody (MR) pin Anthony DiMeo (Ha), 1:29.
132: Wilson Low (Ha) pin Andrew Blaylock (MR), 1:31.
138: Codi Parton (MR) pin Shreif Shata (Ha), 1:55.
145: Justin Burkett (MR) pin Austin Painter (Ha), 2:28.
152: Jonathan Goodwin (Ha) pin Michael Bernal (MR), 1:55.
160: Bryan Overton (Ha) pin Michael Minn (MR), 1:05.
170: Josh Thibodeaux (Ha) dec. Lyle Fugate (MR), 15-10.
182: Michael Waters (Ha) pin Zack Neis (MR), :48.
195: Humphrey Anuh (Ha) dec. Chris Park (MR), 12-7.
220: Scott Desautelle (MR) pin Jeremy Nelson (Ha), 5:25.
285: Ryan Austin (MR) pin Justin Nelson (Ha), :30.
Atholton 41, Hammond 37
120: Joey McKinney (Ha) wbf.
126: Philip Frazier (A) pin Anthony DiMeo (Ha), 1:47.
132: Wilson Low (Ha) wbf.
138: Ben Fisher (A) pin Shreif Shata (Ha), 3:45.
145: Smith (A) pin Austin Painter (Ha), 3:43.
152: Jonathan Goodwin (Ha) maj. Patrick Mullens (A), 14-1.
160: Bryan Overton (Ha) pin Emilio Altamirano (A), 4:50.
170: Grant Echols (A) pin Ben Ballard (Ha), 4:31.
182: Michael Waters (Ha) dec. Matt Fields (A), 10-8.
195: Humphrey Anuh (Ha) wbf.
220: Brian Rodriguez (A) pin Jeremy Nelson (Ha), 3:27.
285: Payam Sojdehei (A) pin Justin Nelson (Ha), :59.
106: John Lowe (Ha) pin Isaac (A), 5:29.
113:Josh Pickens (A) pin Evan Nuss (Ha), 2:08.
Marriotts Ridge 39, Atholton 33
Glenelg 78, Long Reach 3
Glenelg 48, Wilde Lake 19
Scores not reported:
Wilde Lake at Long Reach