Brian Bennett's 3-2 victory over Allie Tyler in the 160-pound class put the match out of reach last night as top-ranked Mount St. Joseph defeated sixth-ranked Gilman, 35-17.
With the win, visiting Mount St. Joseph (12-3, 8-0) clinched its 16th Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference title in the past 18 years. Gilman is 12-3 and 7-1.
Last year, Bennett was pinned by Gilman's David Gilner in 3:28 of his 152-pound bout amid a rally that led the Greyounds to a 29-28 victory. It was Gilman's first victory against the Gaels in more than a decade and gave the Greyhounds the MSA A dual meet title.
"We fell apart right at Bennett's weight class last year and he really took it hard," said Gaels coach Paul Triplett. "For him, winning was poetic justice."
Said Bennet: "Really, I never even thought about that. All I thought about was my team and how much this win meant to them."
The best bouts of the night came at 119 and 152. At 119 pounds, the Gaels' second-ranked McCarthy defeated No. 3-ranked Brett Wilke, 4-3. At 152, Gilman's No. 4-ranked David Gilner defeated Kevin Neville, 11-6.
In another good bout, Mount St. Joseph's Chad Votta (135) surprised John Kim, the No. 4-ranked 125-pounder, with a second period pin. It was the fourth loss in 20 matches for Kim, who was wrestling up two weight classes.
"We were hoping to get a couple of points from Kim, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out it didn't work," said Gilman coach Chris Legg. "We'll pick up the pieces on Monday. [Wednesday's MSA] tournament is everything."