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Powerful middle wins for W'minster Key scores early, late, but Owls prevail, 39-27


Westminster dominated visiting Francis Scott Key through the middle of the program and went on to a 39-27 victory last


Key figured to have an edge in the first three and last two weight classes, but given Westminster's strengths in between, the Eagles needed to win some of those pairings to survive.

As it was, Westminster won eight successive pairings from 125 through 171 to build a commanding lead.

The most competitive matches were from the 145-pound weight class through 171.

Kyle Burger (8-0), a senior and oldest of three brothers who came through with victories for the Owls, decisioned Clint Day, 6-4, at 145, wiping out Day's early 4-0 lead. Burger tied the bout with two reversals, then got a third-period takedown, and controlled his opponent the rest of the way.

Thereafter, Owls senior John Muse was trailing 2-1 when he put down Ronnie Howard (5-3) at 2: 57; Nick Burger, a freshman who cracked the starting lineup this week, was scoreless with Justin Stambaugh into the third period before collecting a near fall and a takedown for a 5-1 victory.

The Owls' Jon Burger pinned Jason Bloom quickly, at 2: 18, in the 160-pound bout, and Eric Westervelt was leading 13-3 when he pinned Key's Dan Holler at 5: 03 of their 171-pound bout.

Key started the match, however, with pins from Nate Yinger, Brian Owings, and Matt Wilson. And the Eagles wrapped up the scoring when Gene Korn decisioned Westminster's Zach Riddle, at 189 pounds and junior Greg Frech pinned the Owls' Pat Zimmerman in 38 seconds, his third straight first-period pin in dual meets.

"We knew this would be interesting," said Westminster coach Henry Mohlhenrich. "We had problems with the first three, but then you get to the good guys with several good matchups. We thought if we could win those -- maybe get a couple of pins in the process -- we'd be OK.

Once Chris Reiter started the steamroller, each Westminster athlete seemed to feed off the one before him. Of the eight wins, five were pins. In addition to decisions by Kyle and Nick Burger, Sam Hughes got the other one, an 8-4 nod at 130.

"We're not displeased," Key coach Bill Hyson said, "because we have some decent lightweights, some strength in the middle, and a tough heavyweight. There is some inexperience, however, which is different from the past when we had the luxury of a consistent lineup.

"I was proud of our young kids, but they have to learn that instead of busting it for four minutes, they have to do it for six."

Pub Date: 12/18/98

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