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Upper weights pin down victory for Panthers

bburden@capgaznews.com

Winning, 2-1, as the third period of his match began, Annapolis' Mike Grigsby sensed that his opponent was starting to lose energy. With the Panthers trailing by three in the night's penultimate match, Grigsby decided to go for it.

"When one wrestler can feel that another wrestler is tired, it is like a shark smelling blood in the water," Grigsby said.

The Panthers' lone senior recorded the critical pin 54 seconds into the third period in what ended up as the decisive match with St. Mary's forfeiting at the heavyweight class, and Annapolis defeated its crosstown rivals, 42-33.

Grigsby's win by fall followed teammate Brandon Jackson's pin at 220 pounds, as Annapolis recovered late from a 9-point deficit.

"Our little guys did what I thought they would do, and then Dimitri (Sfakiyanudis) stuck with it and came up big at 170 pounds," Annapolis coach Tom Sfakiyanudis said. "With Mike, you saw two big guys going at it and they were both dying at the end. You don't know who is going to end up on their back, and my guy just stuck with it."

Tate Scott got Annapolis (3-6) going with a late third period pin at 106 pounds for his 17th win. That started mostly a back-and-forth through the middle weights. Patrick Ruland and Grayson Rizzo followed with pins for the Saints (3-3) at 113 and 120 pounds, Craig Erwin had a pin for Annapolis at 126 pounds, and then the two squads traded forfeits.

Presley Miller followed with a pin for Annapolis at 145. St. Mary's' Sam Weisshaar defeated Quinn Johnson, 7-4, at 152 pounds. Weisshaar had a takedown and a reversal in the first period and an escape in the second to take a 6-0 lead. Johnson had back-to-back takedowns early in the third before Weisshaar closed out with another escape for the Saints. Luke Vaughters followed with a pin in the second period at 160 pounds to put St. Mary's back up by six.

Vaughters and Ruland are both 6-0 so far this season.

"Sam came out wrestling hard like I expected," St. Mary's coach Brad Best said. "We have a lot of inexperienced wrestlers, and I think Tom has a lot of young ones too. They are learning, kind of a baptism by fire. The thing I look for is that our guys do not give up, and I did not see any of that tonight. It is so much fun with these guys."

Dimitri Sfakiyanudis recorded a takedown just before the second period buzzer, and then had an escape and another takedown at the end of the third to decision Marcus Marshall, 11-8.

"We have come very far already this season, with so many guys new to the sport," Jackson said. "We have done pretty good lately."

Christian Frymark recorded a pin for St. Mary's at 182 pounds, before Jackson and Grigsby's falls. Jackson had a takedown and two near falls in the first period and was leading, 11-2, in the second before getting the pin. Grigsby's was closer. He had a take down in the first before allowing an escape in the second, before going for the fall in the third.

"I didn't want just the three points; I wanted the win," Grigsby said. "I felt him struggling a bit and that just gives you more energy and makes you want to attack. It is amazing to go home and say that we beat our crosstown rivals my senior year."

Tom Sfakiyanudis has just three wrestlers above the sophomore class, so large defeats like the Panthers took at South River and North County are part of the growth process, but he is liking the effort.

"We are rebuilding, but we have some athletes," Tom Sfakiyanudis said. "You like to develop them your way, but it can be hard. We have good guys though, and they are working hard."

ANNAPOLIS 42, ST. MARY'S 33

106: Scott (AN) pinned Conte, 5:30; 113: Ruland (SM) pinned Neal, 1:56; 120: Rizzo (SM) pined Lucas, :17; 126: Erwin (AN) dec. Houghton, 10-7; 132: Frantzen (AN) won by forfeit; 138: Muller (SM) won by forfeit; 145: Miller (SM) pinned Friel,1:53; 152: Weisshaar (SM) dec. Johnson, 7-4; 160: Vaughters (SM) pinned Leming, 3:25; 170: Sfakiyanudis (AN) dec. Marshall, 11-8; 182: Frymark (SM) pinned Darby,1:14; 195: Jackson (AN) won by pin, 3:35; 220: Grigsby (AN) pinned Veres, 4:54; 285: Ditto (AN) won by forfeit.

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