For a Winters Mill wrestling team that made a name for itself pinning opponents this season, the Class 2A West regional dual-meet semifinal against host Damascus represented a reversal of fortune.
Damascus recorded nine pins to roll to a 66-12 victory in less than an hour Thursday night.
Six of them came in less than a minute.
“This team is as good as advertised,” Falcons coach John Lowe said of the Hornets, who have won five consecutive dual-meet titles. “I think there is intimidation factor. Once they start racking up a bunch of wins, the guys say, ‘Oh well.’”
Damascus coach John Furgeson said all of his team’s experience over the years in the regional dual-meet tournament was significant.
Winters Mill was making its first appearance in the event in five years.
“We have been here and done it before,” Furgeson explained. “We have seen this intensity and our guys really came out to wrestle.”
Defending state champion Paul Evan Purkey (195 pounds, 30-3) started the night by pinning Hunter Lowe (25-5) in 38 seconds.
Winters Mill senior Alex Miller (25-7) had a 1-0 lead on Aiden Beall at 220 heading into the final period, but Beall scored on an escape, Miller was called for stalling and the Beall got a takedown as he prevailed 4-1.
“I thought the stalling call was a little premature,” Lowe said. “And I think he had a chance to take it at the end, but he just didn’t get there.”
Elijah Baisden (285, 35-1) and Michael Emerick (106, 33-3) registered pins for Damascus before Hunter Merson (112) of Winters Mill got the only pin for the Falcons — he took down Silas Patton in 4:41.
“He wrestled well like he has done all season,” Falcons assistant coach Zach Blessing said of Merson. “He faced a really tough competitor and he wrestled a great all-around match.”
There wasn’t much good news the rest of the night for Winters Mill as Damascus (15-0) prevailed in the next seven bouts — five of them were pins.
Falcons’ senior Trevor Fawley (170, 28-4) won by injury default at 170 over Jevani Christian. Ben Lokos (182) ended the night by pinning Noah Ocasio in 34 seconds.
The Falcons’ next focus is on the county wrestling tournament at Westminster on Feb. 17.
“We are not happy with how this part of the season ended,” Lowe said. “We want to end the next part in a very good way.”
195: Paul Evan Purkey (D) pin Hunter Lowe 0:38
220: Aiden Beall (D) dec Alex Miller 4-1
285: Elijah Baisden (D) pin Blake Billings 0:54
106: Michael Emerick (D) pin Garrett Dell 2:44
113: Hunter Merson (WM) pin Silas Patton 4:41
120: Nick Biava (D) m-dec Logan Konold 10-2
126: Johnny McLaughlin (D) pin Zach Kirby 0:56
132: Dyllan Ramirez (D) pin Colby Unkart 3:32
138: Josh Creegan (D) pin Nico Vagnier 3:03
145: Ryan Lawrence (D) pin Justin Toney 0:12
152: John Allen Furgeson (D) tech-fall Josh Burndley 20-3
160: Timmy Furgeson (D) pin Troy Blessing 3:13
170: Trevor Fawley (WM) by injury default
182: Ben Lokos (D) pin Noah Ocasio 0:34