Winters Mill changed things up in its regional dual-meet tournament rematch with Damascus, after the Falcons failed to match up with the Hornets a year ago.
They decided to shuffle their lineup in attempt to stay away from big point swings and knock Damascus from its perch as seven-time regional champs. The Hornets weren’t about to surrender, however.
Winters Mill’s game plan got rebuffed Wednesday night in the Class 2A West Region semifinals, with Damascus setting the tone en route to a 35-30 victory.
The Hornets reeled off four consecutive pins midway through the match to take control, and had the luxury of giving up the final three bouts as forfeits in order to stay fresh for the championship against Williamsport.
(Damascus defeated the Wildcats 42-33 to add another region crown.)
“I really need to give them props,” WM coach John Lowe about the Hornets. “I thought they wrestled very well tonight. They defended the stuff that we had. They have lungs, like I think they’re in better shape than they were last year. Maybe because they were pinning everybody last year.
“Our guys did as they were coached. … They had an answer for it.”
Winters Mill lost to Damascus in last year’s semifinals 66-12, a pairing that saw the Hornets rack up nine pins along the way.
They had the four pins Wednesday, and their other four victories were grind-it-out decisions that deflated the Falcons (11-4).
Josh Burndley (160 pounds) and Trevor Fawley (170), both seniors, each posted victories for Winters Mill, and Fawley’s win cut Damascus’ lead to 9-6. That’s when the Hornets took over — junior Tim Furgeson (182), senior Jack Hembrough (195), junior Aiden Beall (220), and senior Elijah Baisden (285) decked their opponents in succession.