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Key successfully defends its region duals championship


The Francis Scott Key Eagles were all gathered together accepting their second straight Class 1A-2A West regional dual match championship plaque after their 44-18 win over Northern-Garrett last night in Uniontown.

All season long, coach Bill Hyson talked about how well this group worked together as a team. It was never more apparent than last night.

There was senior Brian Sanders stepping up at 119 pounds with a big pin to get the No. 6 Eagles (13-0) even at six early on.

After senior co-captain Ryan Etzler -- the Eagles' glue this season who has come up big so many other nights -- got caught and pinned by Northern-Garrett's Matt Wolf at 135, the Eagles responded.

"It was almost like, 'OK, this didn't happen so let's find something else to work on," Hyson said. "It was neat to see. The whole team concept is a big part of this group."

Tim Beale (140) and Jordan Chiaruttini (145) came up with major decisions right after, getting the Eagles back on top at 20-15.

"I felt bad for Ryan. I was just talking to him yesterday about how anything can happen in wrestling and that was why we liked it so much," Chiaruttini said. "It was a team victory. When the top dog goes down, you just got to pick it up some."

The Eagles did just that.

At 152, Tony Cahoon -- who lost a decision in Key's win over Linganore in the semis -- came up with a clutch first-period pin over John Durst.

"I didn't want to lose two tonight," Cahoon said. "I got him on his back and wasn't going to let him up. It wasn't really a move, I just threw him down and he got underneath me so I just squeezed."

Ryan Roach then clinched the region at 171 when he scored his second pin of the night, decking Dewayne Holliday early in the third period of a tight match.

Roach went into the third with a slim 2-0 lead, but was able to catch Holliday midway through to come away with six points.

"I had a half on him and came down to the cradle with it," Roach said.

The Eagles advance to the state dual match championships set for Saturday at Howard High School.

The semifinals will take place at 2 p.m. with the finals scheduled for 6 p.m.

Bobby Bollinger (189) and heavyweight Mark Plank put on the final touches with pins. Both earned two wins on the night.

The Eagles rolled to the finals with a convincing 54-6 win over fourth-seeded Linganore, coming away with seven pins in the rout.

Key had the match clinched at 145 when Chiaruttini came away with a second-period pin over Shawn Calhoun, pushing the lead to 36-3.

Northern-Garrett, seeded second, had a much tougher time reaching the finals against third-seeded Smithsburg.

The match ended in a 33-33 tie, but the Huskies advanced on criteria by winning seven of the 13 matches.

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