No. 2-ranked Old Mill advanced eight wrestlers into today's Class 3A-4A East region finals and held a 145 1/2-93 lead over Chesapeake-AA after last night's competition at Meade High.
The Patriots' march was highlighted by 140-pound James Fleming's late 3-2 victory over two-time Baltimore champ Victor Ghee, of Northern.
"Fleming was down 2-0 with about 30 seconds left against a kid who is a great wrestler," said first-year coach Vern Hines.
"James showed all heart in the way he escaped and attacked and got the takedown right at the end," Hines said. "I think each kid was focused on his own job to help the whole team."
Old Mill's Adam DeCosmo (119), Chris Combs (125), Josh Liston (130), Eric Hill (135), Dave Hicks (145), Antoine Cooksey (160) and Derrick Dawson (189) also advanced.
DeCosmo, a sophomore, scored a mild upset of Northern's two-time city champ Obin Robinson, winning 14-9 over a wrestler who entered their bout at 26-3.
Combs, who last weekend became the Patriots' first four-time Anne Arundel County champion, tied Chuck Sturm's career victories record with his 115th win -- a 14-3 major decision over an Annapolis wrestler.
A ninth possible Old Mill finalist, heavyweight Dave Kim, lost on double-overtime riding criteria to Northeast's James Taylor.
"I liked what I saw in Kim coming back after not being able to wrestle in the county tournament [due to a disqualification] and after getting beat, 13-2, by Taylor during the regular season," said Hines.
Taylor's teammate, fourth-ranked, two-time Anne Arundel County champ Tom Cain, was upset, 9-4, by Chesapeake-AA's Melvin Guthrie.
Chesapeake also advanced the Eveleth brothers, Matt (103) and Jeff (112), John Mosca (152) and George Maize (171).
For No. 3-ranked Arundel (90 points, third), county champs Pat Ortman (130) and Jeff Blachly (heavyweight), along with county runner-up Greg Klingler (145), advanced.
Class 3A-4A North: The No. 1 seeds, scoring six pins and a technical fall, had no trouble in last night's quarterfinals at Fallston High.
Carroll County teams dominated the team scores.
County champion South Carroll, No. 4 ranked in Baltimore, with eight advancing to the semifinals, led with 49 points, followed by North Carroll (five semifinalists) 34, and Westminster 31 (six) in the 18-team field.
Action resumes at 10 a.m. today, followed by the championship session at 4 p.m.
C. Milton Wright's John Thornton (171) improved to 30-0, and Aberdeen's Matt Kunkel (189) to 25-0.
Catonsville's Won Hill (130) improved to 26-0.
Class 1A-2A North: No. 6 Franklin and No. 7 Overlea were tied for first place with 53.5 points each, followed by Owings Mills, with 43, entering today's semifinal round at Overlea.
Harford Tech, winner of its first Harford County duals and tournament crowns, was in fifth place behind Patapsco.
Baltimore County champs Matt Schuster (103), Drew Outten (119) and Luke Mays (140) all advanced for Franklin, as did county runners-up Stan Wagner (112) and Sam Mays (145).
Kevin Ridgely (135), Joe Landsman (152), Louis Rodriguez (160) and John Schuster (189) also made the semifinals for Franklin, which is looking for its first regional title under coach Scott Delpo.
Baltimore County champs James Laubach (125) and Derrick Oxendine (145) moved forward for Overlea, along with county runners-up James Laubach (135) and Chaudhry Afzal (130).
However, both defending region champ Overlea and Owings Mills, winner of its fifth Baltimore County title last weekend, suffered major upsets by their premiere wrestlers.
Overlea's third-ranked Justin Mitchell (189), last weekend's county champ and last season's region champ, entered his bout at 32-0 but was pinned in three minutes by Hereford's eighth-seed, C. J. Feldheim.
Owings Mills' two-time county and two-time region champ Drew Bowers (135) entered his bout with 134 career wins and 109 pins. But with a 10-1 lead over Patapsco's Brandon Zoch, Bowers at 29-3 a three-time regional finalist, was disqualified for slamming Zoch, who could not continue.
Class 1A-2A South: Defending region and state champ Hammond led Howard County rival River Hill, 39-37, into today's semifinals at River Hill.
No. 10 Hammond (39 points) moved Jason Friert (103), Ryan Mackin (125), Vaymond Dennis (135), Mark Read (145) and Matt Nelson (heavyweight) into today's action.
No. 12 River Hill also advanced five wrestlers, led by defending state champ Brandon Lauer (112), who is 66-0 in high school.
Atholton (32 points) and Lackey (30) also advanced five.
Mackin scored a mild upset, 13-6, over Jason Kiessling, of McDonough in Charles County. Kiessling was a junior-league state champ last winter and, last weekend, was a runner-up in the 11-team Southern Maryland Athletic Conference meet.
Class 1A-2A West: Francis Scott Key, in sixth-place, advanced Nate Yinger (103), Brian Owings (112), Ronnie Howard (145) and Greg Frech (heavyweight) into today's semifinals at North Hagerstown.
But the Eagles' Clint Day (140) suffered a 6-4 upset loss to Urbana's Mike Breslin, formerly of Annapolis High in Anne Arundel County.
Northern-Garrett led the way with 49 points, followed by Williamsport (41), Southern-Garrett (33.5), North Hagerstown (32.5), Urbana (27.5) and Francis Scott Key (24).
Glenn P. Graham, John W. Stewart, Derek Toney, Stan Rappaport, and Lem Satterfield contributed to this article.
Pub Date: 2/27/99