DeMatha edges Mount St. Joseph for title Gaels have five finalists but only one champion


Mount St. Joseph placed nine wrestlers in the top four and had five finalists in last night's private schools state tournament at Bullis Prep in Montgomery County.

However, only one finalist, repeat champ Tyran Dungee (160 pounds, 28-2), was victorious, as DeMatha of Prince George's County dethroned the Gaels, 229.5-225.

Dungee planted St. Paul's Mike Kernan in 40 seconds of their title bout and earlier scored a technical fall, a 12-3 decision and a third-period pin.

Three of his teammates lost title bouts by a combined five points, and another, Ben Dyer, by injury default. Dyer would have faced McDonogh's No. 1 J.R. Plienis (18-0), the nation's No. 2-ranked heavyweight, who has 13 first-period falls and an earlier 11-4 win over Dyer.

The Gaels' No. 3 Jake Lissau (135, 27-3) pinned three opponents to reach the final but fell, 6-4, to Bullis' Joe Paoletti (25-2), whom he had beaten, 2-1, earlier.

No. 4 Dan Mattson (140) lost, 3-2, to DeMatha's No. 1 Billy Phillips (34-3), who won for the second straight year. Phillips is 2-0 this year against Mattson.

Curley's Mike Boettcher (130, 24-4) won twice by fall, once by 4-3 over No. 1 seed Bob Bunting (Bullis), and 6-4 in an overtime title bout win against the Gaels' two-time runner-up Erik Shafer, who came off a 4-3 upset of No. 6 Drew Robertson (DeMatha).

"I thought Jake Lissau and Erik Shafer had great chances to win, and I expected them to, but Jake took a bad shot early, and Erik wasn't finishing on his," said Gaels coach Paul Triplett. "But I thought Dan Mattson wrestled well in a physical match."

Boys' Latin's two champs were Jason Leaneau (152, 14-0) and Erik Fitez (171, 21-2).

Leneau held off a cradle over the last minute for a 4-2 victory over Landon's Doug Blank (13-2), and Fitez avenged an earlier overtime loss, 7-4, over Gilman's Kirk Caldroney (17-3).

Gilman's No. 1 Greg Plitt (189, 18-0) won a battle of unbeatens, 7-1, over John Carroll's No. 4 Mike Babiak (19-1, 16 pins), increasing his series lead to 3-0 over Babiak.

In a rematch of an earlier 8-4 loss and a battle of co-No. 2-ranked wrestlers, McDonogh's Will Filbert (103, 19-3) blanked Calvert Hall's Chris Hanlon (27-4) by 4-0.

"It's a friendly rivalry, but I've been waiting a long time for this one," said Filbert, a sophomore who scored a takedown four seconds into the match.

Curley's No. 5 Sal Aquia (145, 24-2) and DeMatha's No. 1 Robert Alexander had a common opponent in St. Mark's (Del.) Kyle Talley -- whom they both beat by close decisions -- but Alexander had the upper hand last night, winning easily, 13-6.

DeMatha's Todd Beckerman (37-0, 20 pins), a Crofton resident, raised his school-record mark to 189-1, with 111 career pins and 34 technical falls.

He has a 171-bout winning streak that is six shy of the national record (177) established by Indiana's Lance Ellis.

The nation's top-ranked 125-pounder, Beckerman has won all 40 tournaments he has entered -- a national record -- and can become the first four-time National Prep champ.

Spalding's runner-up Jimmy Foster (119, 29-3) continued his streak as the most successful wrestler in his school's history, and Bowling Brook (67.5) of Keymar in Carroll County defended its B title for the second straight year, with its highest-place winner being Sir Valter Johnson (125, 22-3, third).

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