Winters Mill hadn't really been tested in a state dual meet all year. On Saturday night at North Point, that all changed.
The No. 2 Falcons got a pin from senior Chase Cullison at 3:44 in the second period over No. 9 Glenelg's Anthony Pagnotta to give Winters Mill its second consecutive Class 2A-1A state dual meet title, 35-30, over the Gladiators. Winters Mill entered the final match trailing, 30-29.
"Let's just say I'm speechless," Cullison said after the match. "Other than that, no comment."
Winters Mill coach John Lowe said: "We haven't really been in a close match like this all year, so I was wondering how we'd handle it. We had three guys at the end (Cody Sharkey, Arizona Oxendine and Cullison) who have a lot of experience. They really stepped up when we needed it."
Lowe said he juggled his lineup in order to set things up properly for the Falcons.
"We definitely bumped things around, so we could get that matchup in the last match," Lowe said. "We made one strategic move all night, and it paid off for us. Some days, you get lucky like that."
With the match tied at 15, the Gladiators got a 4-3 decision by Zack Shackleford at 126 pounds (over Christian Rose), and pins by Michael Budock (at 132 over Neal Rinker) and Ryan Carter (at 138 over James Guerico) to take a 30-15 lead. Then, Winters Mill took over the match.
After a forfeit by Glenelg at 145 made the score 30-21, the Falcons got a technical fall from Sharkey (at 152 over Austin Pagnotta) to cut the lead to 30-26, followed by a 4-0 decision by Oxendine (at 160 over Troy Walters) to make the margin, 30-29.
That set up the deciding match between Cullison and Anthony Pagnotta. Cullison was the aggressor throughout the match, and he got Pagnotta on his back in the second period. His pin set off a crazy celebration on the Winters Mill bench.
"This final was certainly harder than the one last year," said Lowe, whose team won the title over Owings Mills last season. "I'm so proud of these kids and all they've done. I'll take a good old-fashioned blowout any day. This kind of win is hard on my heart."
Winters Mill reached the finals by defeating Kent Island of Queen Anne's County, 44-24, in the semifinals. The Falcons lead the whole match, but Kent Island cut the deficit to just five points before Winters Mill pulled away.
The Gladiators reached the finals with a 48-15 win over No. 8 Owings Mills in the semifinals. The Gladiators used pins by Craig Burris (220), Sean Twigg (285), Parker Griffe (120), Michael Buduck (132), Austin Pagnotta (152) and Troy Walters (160) to eliminate the Eagles.
In the 4A-3A semifinals, No. 6 South River fell to Urbana of Frederick County, 35-28. South River entered the final match with a chance to win with a pin, but the Seahawks could not accomplish that task. Damascus of Montgomery County beat Urbana, 37-28, to win the 4A-3A title.
State Dual Meet Champions
(at North Point HS, Waldorf)
Damascus d. North Point, 33-30
Urbana d. South River 35-28
Winters Mill d Kent Island, 44-24
Glenelg d. Owings Mills. 48-15
Damascus 37, Urbana 28
Winters Mill 35, Glenelg 30
106 – Valdez-Cortez (WM) d. Null, 4-2;
113 – Logur (WM) p. Winters, 3:37;
120 – Griffe (GL) d Fisher, 4-2;
126 – Shackleford (GL) d. Rose, 4-3;
132- Budock (GL) p. Rinker, 2:41;
138 – Carter (GL) p. Guerico, 3:36;
145 – Cook (WM) wbf;
152 – Sharkey (WM tech fall over Au. Pagnotta, 18-3:
160 – Oxendine (WM) d. Walters, 4-0;
170 – Cullison (WM) p. An. Pagnotta, 3:44;
182 – Barron (WM) d. Baxter, 6-3;
195 – A Twigg (GL) p. Randall, 4:16;
220- Hightower (WM) d. Burris. 9-7, OT;
285 – S. Twigg p. Utz, 4:15.