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River Hill escapes with North crown; Defending champ S. Carroll is second, 3 points back; 4A-3A wrestling


Ryan Green overcame a seven-point deficit on two near-fall points with five seconds remaining in an 11-9 victory over Franklin's Matt Schuster at 119 pounds, helping River Hill dethrone Class 4A-3A North regional tournament champ South Carroll, 154.5-to -151.5, yesterday at Dundalk.

Green (29-3), who had scored a 4-0 win over defending state champ Schuster earlier this season, was joined on the victory podium by teammates Brandon Lauer (125), a two-time state champ, and Mike Romano (135), with Derek Dauberman (130), Jason Fawcett (171) and Scott Cannon (heavyweight) finishing second.

Danny Allen (112) and Jesse Fawcett (189) pinned their way to third place as the Howard County champion Hawks qualified eight wrestlers for next weekend's Class 4A-3A state tournament at Western Maryland College.

Lauer improved to 34-0 (107-0 for his career) with an 8-5 win over Franklin's Stan Wagner (30-3). Lauer nearly pinned Wagner with a first-period headlock, but was taken down to his back in the closing seconds of their bout. Lauer had defeated Wagner, 13-5, earlier this season.

Lauer's championship plaque was presented by Olympic silver medalist Zeke Jones, the assistant coach at West Virginia, which has signed Lauer to a scholarship.

"Brandon made a mistake, and it cost him five points," said coach Earl Lauer, whose son has 23 pins. "It's only the second time he's been on his back."

Down, 7-0, after being bearhugged to his back early on, Green made it 7-all entering the third period off a two-point, bar-arm tilt in the final 17 seconds of the second.

"I knew, from our first match, the tilts were there. No one ever said it, but I knew people thought my beating him was a fluke," said Green, a sophomore, who won the match with a "ball-and-chain to a half-nelson."

Romano (31-4) won, 2-1, over Dulaney's Mike Winters (30-4), who was fourth at states last season. Jason Fawcett (32-2) lost, 2-1, to Bel Air's Jon Wainwright (32-1), who escaped in the final seven seconds.

"We both put forth a lot of effort, and he's incredibly tough to score on," said Wainwright, whose only loss was by 5-2 to Old Mill's Antoine Cooksey, whom Fawcett beat by the same score.

South Carroll's Dan Patterson (130) improved to 27-2 with three pins en route to his title, and teammate Bryan Hamper (140) built an 8-2 lead before sticking state runner-up Jason Laubach (30-1) in 3: 46. Patterson (90 career wins) and Hamper (88) rank third and fourth, respectively, on their school's all-time win list.

"I've been looking forward to this all year because I knew we'd meet, and I know a lot of people didn't think I could do it," said Hamper (30-1), who now has 20 pins.

Franklin (120 points, third), last year's 2A-1A state tournament champ, crowned Evan Zipper (112) and Mays twins Luke (152) and state champ Sam (160) , who both pinned all three of their opponents. Zipper edged C. Milton Wright's Ray Class, 5-4, and Sam Mays scored his third victory of the season over Perry Hall's Chris Pike (27-5), this time with a fall in 5: 25.

For Eastern Tech, Baltimore county champ Trent Dixon (103) and Dave Wooden (189) won titles. Dixon won his grudge match, 11-5, over Perry Hall's Nick Ramsel (26-3), with whom Dixon (28-2)had split overtime bouts earlier this season.

Parkville's champ, Tony Parks (145), won his 11th straight bout, 14-4, over Bel Air's Harford County champ, Erik Purpora, improving to (29-4). Carter Hugo (heavyweight) pinned Cannon to move to 28-3.

Buddy Olson (119), Kellen Weber (125), Josh Wampler (135), Kevin Clark ( 145) and Travis Mohlhenrich (152) all were third for South Carroll, and Chris Currence (171) was fourth after being pinned by Dundalk's Dave King.

East Region

For a second straight year, Old Mill was the class of the region, winning by a 177-127 margin over second-place Chesapeake.

Seniors Dave Hicks (145) and Antoine Cooksey (171) and junior Adam DeCosmo (130) won region titles for the Patriots.

Chesapeake started out the season with a Fab Four -- Matt and Jeff Eveleth, John Mosca and Melvin Guthrie -- and has since added a star in freshman Steve Yaruta, who started a familiar trend yesterday by winning the 103-pound class.

Just as in last weekend's county championship, the Cougars swept the first three weight classes, with Matt Eveleth (112) and older brother Jeff (119) following Yaruta's lead. Mosca (160) and Guthrie (189) gave them five region titles yesterday.

Staff writer Glenn P. Graham contributed to this article.

Pub Date: 2/27/00

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