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Owings Mills takes 5 of 7 finals in North


The members of No. 5 Owings Mills' wrestling team use blond highlights in their hair to show team unity.

Last night, the unified wrestlers provided most of the highlights on the mat, bringing home five individual championships and a team title in the Class 2A-1A North Regional tournament at Harford Tech.

The Golden Eagles beat second-place Harford Tech, 190-127.5.

"I'm real proud," said Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzer. "We had to drive an hour to get here after a long day at school yesterday. We put seven in the finals and, to have five of them win, that's a darn good day."

Owings Mills' Eric Fishel (160 pounds) pulled off the upset of the evening, coming back from an early five-point deficit against former state runner-up Mike Reider to earn a 9-8 victory.

"I wrestled as hard as I could and he wrestled a great match," said Fishel, a senior. "I just think I had better endurance than him. I think that's what won it for me."

Fishel, who had lost all four of his previous matches against Reider, came on strong in the second period, making up all five points and twice nearly pinning him.

"Fishel last week had a real slow pace and that kid really tore him up," Pritzer said. "Fishel had the match at such a high pace that it was just hard to keep up. People get sloppy when you're wrestling crazy. He's in unbelievable shape -- he never gets tired."

Lansdowne senior and top seed Shawn Sims was able to take revenge against Eastern Tech's former state champion, Trent Dixon, beating him, 9-5, for the 112-pound title.

Dixon, who won this year's Baltimore County championship, had pinned Sims the last time they met, more than two years ago.

"I wanted to win because he beat me two years ago in the county finals and I just wanted to get redemption," Sims said. "We wrestled against each other in junior leagues a lot and this is the first time I've beaten him."

Sims took control of the match with a reversal in the third period and held down Dixon the rest of the way.

While Sims was able to exorcise his demons, Harford Tech sophomore Mike Taylor (119) wasn't so fortunate, losing his third straight match to Owings Mills senior Mike Cooper, 7-6.

Cooper's victory started a four-match winning streak for the Eagles. Lansdowne's Ryan Brown took freshman Michael Kessler to overtime, only to have Kessler win the 125-pound title on a questionable takedown.

Eagles sophomore Sasha Binder (130) also claimed a regional title, defeating Sparrows Point former state champion Mike Weber for the third time this season. Binder was awarded three crucial back points with 23 seconds left and held on for a 10-7 victory.

"I know he's got two styles; one's real calm and the first two matches he wrestled like that," Binder said. "I knew he was going after me hard, so I had to wait for him to put the pressure on me so I could shoot."

The Eagles' Clayton Arnold took the 135-pound championship, cruising to a 7-0 win over Hereford's Dan Fouts and extending his perfect record to 36-0.

One upset that didn't go Owings Mills' way was Justin Brown of Aberdeen's pin of Paul Day.

Day, who had defeated Eastern Tech's John Delair for the first time this season to make it to the final, found himself on his back early in the second period before Brown sealed the result at the 3:08 mark.

Towson's Andy Posil (171) also recorded a pin, extended his perfect record to 38-0 with a victory over Lansdowne's Tavon Watson. Posil viewed the win as another step toward his goal of winning the first state wrestling title in school history.

"To finally have a Towson state champ and then also to reach the personal goal of mine would be sweet," he said.

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