River Hill makes its efforts pay double


The fourth-ranked River Hill wrestling team clinched the No. 1 seed for next week's Class 4A-3A North regional dual-meet tournament by defeating No. 6 Harford Tech, 40-25, last night.

The Hawks (19-3 overall, 9-0 league) also clinched the Howard County dual-meet title by defeating Howard, 77-6, in an earlier evening match. The dual meet was at River Hill.

"They're heavy riders, good at takedowns and they go for the kill [pins]," said Harford Tech coach Gary Siler about River Hill. "There's no joking in them. They're all business."

The Hawks beat the Cobras (7-2, 5-0), four-time defending Harford County dual-meet champions, with five pins and two major decisions.

"There were no real upsets. Everything went about like it was supposed to go," said coach Earl Lauer, whose Hawks jumped to a 24-0 lead and held on.

The match began at the upper weights, which are River Hill's strength and were Harford's Tech's weakness.

River Hill earned pins at 189 pounds by Mikey Lignelli (61 seconds), at 215 by Jesse Fawcett (48 seconds) and at heavyweight by Daniel Strahovic (47 seconds).

"Our 189 and 215 guys were injured and we had a JV guy at heavyweight, so we were going with three junior varsity wrestlers and knew we'd be down 18-0 to start," Siler said. "We didn't expect to get pinned at 103."

But Vince Cina kept the River Hill pin streak going at 103 by beating Mike Long in 4:51. Long, ranked third by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, was losing 3-1 before the pin.

Harford Tech's Eric King (112) and Mike Taylor (119) each recorded wins before Ben Sills pumped up the Cobras with a pin at 125 to narrow River Hill's lead to 24-12.

But River Hill's Mike Stromberg (130) wrestled strongly to beat Chris Bigdeli, 8-2.

And undefeated Nick Shevland (26-0) delivered an important win at 135 pounds over fifth-ranked Brad Dreyer, 5-1. Shevland had already wrestled six minutes against Howard.

Harford Tech's Josh Taylor, ranked fifth at 140 pounds, pinned Kevin Cannon in 3:50 to narrow the lead to 30-18.

But Ryan Shevland's pin at 145 clinched the victory for River Hill. The 20-second pin was the fastest of the year for River Hill.

River Hill, which won its third county dual-meet title in four years, edged South Carroll for the No. 1 regional seed by virtue of point differential in matches against common opponents.

Westminster and either Dulaney or North Carroll are expected to complete the lineup for the 4A-3A regional next Wednesday.

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