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Teaming up, Mt. Hebron makes climb to top over North Carroll


Mike Mengel's escape to secure a 2-1 double-overtime victory in the 160-pound final and Grant Gormley's late pin in the 119-pound final led the No. 3 Mount Hebron wrestling team to the Class 4A-3A North Regional championship yesterday at Liberty.

Zach Wendal (125) was second as the Vikings placed 11 wrestlers in the top five of their weight classes to beat 11th-ranked North Carroll, 149.5-122. Austin Laws (112), Shawn Girch (145) and Justin Neal (heavyweight) finished third, and Scott Bissett (171) fourth as the Vikings qualified seven wrestlers for next weekend's state tournament at Western Maryland College.

"We have our state duals title, and now, all we're looking for is everyone to go as far as they can," said Mount Hebron coach Mike Duffy, whose Vikings (18-0) won the 4A-3A duals crown two weeks ago. "We came back well after losing to River Hill at counties."

Second-ranked Mengel, who beat Westminster's Nick Burger, 2-0, earlier this season, edged past him again in the regional final.

Gormley pinned Baltimore County runner-up Nick Pelekakis, edged North Carroll's Seth Knights, 9-8, then pinned Fallston's Chris Baum, the Harford County runner-up, with 42 seconds left.

"I'm definitely wrestling a lot better than in the beginning of the season when I was choking in matches," said Gormley, a junior who edged former state runner-up Jeff Plasse of Oakland Mills for last week's Howard County title.

A reversal with 23 seconds left at 152 gave North Carroll's Fran Jackson a 6-4 win over Kenwood's Richard Wemple (27-3). Jackson (18-3) was among a tournament-high eight North Carroll wrestlers who will got to states, with Knights, Randy Schreck (135), Kyle Smith (140) and Cash McHargue (171) finishing third, and Tyler Graham (130), Rob Pearre (145) and Tom Bowman (160) fourth.

River Hill's Ryan Green (140) yielded only four points in the tournament on his way to going 33-0. Westminster's Travis Mohlhenrich (26-2) recorded his 18th, 19th and 20th pins, the last in 3:55 of the 145-pound final over Howard County champion Mike Dauberman (25-4) of River Hill.

Down 2-1, Wilde Lake's Pat Burns (24-0) dumped Dulaney's Konstantinos Kosmakos (37-1) to his back to win a battle of unbeaten heavyweights, 4-2. Twice a one-point loser to Kosmakos last year, Burns hoisted the Dulaney wrestler to the mat 10 seconds into the third period and held him there.

"I got his leg up and he turned into me. I kicked his standing leg and he went straight to his back," Burns said.

Franklin's Matt Schuster (130) used an overtime takedown to avenge his only loss, picking up a 6-4 win over Dulaney's Andrew Schlaffer (36-2). Schlaffer, who pinned Schuster in 53 seconds of last week's Baltimore County final, pinned Wilde Lake's former state champion, Matt Ennis, in the semifinals.

South Carroll's Andrew Gold overcame a 2-0 deficit to win a rematch of the Carroll County 103-pound final, 6-3, over Westminster's Justin Hughes. Perry Hall had two repeat champions in Jim Van Daniker (112) and Nick Ramsel (125). Van Daniker (29-3), fourth at states last year, held off South Carroll's Tom Wheeler, 5-3; Ramsel (29-0), third at states, blanked Wendal, 5-0.

Sophomore Nathan Bachman (135, 32-2) avenged an earlier loss to Westminster's Jason Brown with a lateral drop for a pin to become Fallston's first regional champion since 1997. Brown reached the final with a 6-0 win over North Carroll's Randy Schreck, and led 2-0 before Bachman's move.

At 189, Bel Air's Tim Kassouf (32-1) edged Mount Hebron's Chris Garrow, 7-6, and blanked Kenwood's third-ranked Jim Hardwick, 7-0, for the title. C. Milton Wright's Andrew Hugo (171) improved to 3-1 against Bel Air's Josh Frankle with a 6-1 win.

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