Mike Muller's 100th career victory was the first of three successive first-period pins that sent visiting South Carroll winging past North Carroll, 44-18, yesterday afternoon.
The triumph pushed No. 5 South Carroll to 13-0, a school record for single-season wins, erasing the previous standard of 12-1. North Carroll, which had lost earlier to Bel Air and Old Mill, dropped to 8-3, ending its three-match winning streak.
The victory also set up Thursday's regular-season finale of South Carroll (3-0) at Westminster (2-1) as the match to decide the county championship, and possible placings in the dual-meet regionals. South Carroll is bidding for the top seed and home advantage in the four-school Class 3A-4A North region. Westminster, with four losses and out of the top four, hopes a win over the Cavs is enough to get it into the playoffs.
Without looking ahead, Muller needed just 45 seconds to put down Matt Bezanson. A senior, Muller is 21-4, with 16 pins for the season, and 100-21, with 69 pins for a four-year career.
The Cavaliers led 20-15 after Sean Douglass decisioned Jason Seabrease, 7-3, with both wrestling at 145 pounds, up from their usual 140. From there, it was Muller, senior Brad Mann, and junior Chris Currence who supplied the 1-2-3 blows.
Mann (21-3, 14 pins) needed only 34 seconds to shoulder Mike Bezanson, and Currence (18-5) got the call against Scott Thompson with one second left in the period.
"We knew we needed pins in the higher weights to be sure of winning," Mann said. "It starts with Mike. He gets me pumped up, and I get Chris pumped up. It just seems to carry over."
Coach Pete Olson said much the same thing. After the usual mental manipulations of figuring where to put his lighter athletes, it got much easier. "You never know, but we were looking for pins at 152, 160, 171."
Of the early going, he explained, "We knew they were stronger at 19 than 12, so I moved Dan Patterson up and had Buddy [Olson] at 112." As it developed, North Carroll forfeited at 112, and Patterson decisioned Bell, 13-6.
"The key was at 135," the coach added. "Tom Bowman is tough for them, so we hoped to get Kevin Clark [15-3] down to 130 and flip-flop him with Bryan Hamper [21-3]. However, Clark couldn't make that weight, so we left them alone." As it was, Hamper got a technical fall, and Clark decisioned Bowman.
The shifts were on at 140-145, too, as North Carroll, going first, sent out regular 145-pounder Wyatt Deiaco (12-4). Olson countered with Jared Praniewicz, a .500 wrestler who did a good job of hanging in to the end, losing a 5-2 decision. Then two regular 140-pounders, Douglass of South Carroll and Seabrease went at it at 145.
Anton Enrique of North Carroll ran his record to 12-5 with his fourth straight win, as he got a takedown to decision Leroy Eyler, 6-4, in overtime.
Enrique, who had had match-clinching wins in his previous three matches, forced overtime when he got a reversal with 20 seconds left to tie Eyler, 4-4.
Aside from the decisions by Deiaco and Enrique, North Carroll's other points came on pins by Kyle Smith at 103 and Fran Jackson at 125.
"The kids wrestled well," North Carroll coach Bryan Wetzel. "We hung with them. Both teams have a lot of tough, young athletes, and we'll be seeing them again."
Pub Date: 1/31/99