When he has the right mind-set, Ryan Nash of Owings Mills has been a threat to some of the best wrestlers. When he's off, Nash can be his own worst enemy.
Nash was a little bit of both yesterday as he came from behind to defeat 130-pound Paul Evans in overtime, sparking the No. 2 Eagles to wins in their first eight matches and a 67-9 dual-meet victory over visiting 10th-ranked Eastern Tech.
Owings Mills, the defending Class 2A-1A state dual-meet and tournament champion, won 12 of 14 bouts, nine of them by pin, to remain undefeated (13-0 overall, 7-0 Baltimore County 2A-1A League). The Eagles prevailed in a dual meet for the 42nd consecutive time.
They built a 43-0 lead after eight matches, securing first-period pins from Wonjin Cha (103 pounds), Adam Farbman (112) and No. 5 Eric Vinores (125, 24-3 record). Eastern Tech fell to 7-2, 6-1.
Nash's match provided some of the only drama.
A wrestler with a grinding style who is tough to score on, Nash uncharacteristically yielded penalty points against an opponent he easily had handled earlier in the season.
He false-started four times from the referees' position and used an illegal hold -- miscues worth three points to Evans.
"My dad asked me how I felt before the match, and I told him I was fine because I didn't want him to worry," said Nash, a junior who counts a victory over county runner-up Corey Lawson of Woodlawn as his biggest of the season. "But I was nervous for some reason."
But Nash (22-5) recovered. Down 8-4, he sent the match into overtime by reversing Evans to his back -- a maneuver worth four points.
"I looked up at the clock, saw 12 seconds left, that's when I hit the switch, tilted him over and got the four-point move," said Nash, who secured the 10-8 win 27 seconds into overtime. "I was thinking to myself, 'There's no way I can lose this match.' "
Owings Mills' run included a pin from No. 2 Mike Kessler (145, 23-2) and a fall by No. 2 Sasha Binder (140, 24-0) over John Mullinix (17-3), who moved up from 135 pounds, where he is ranked sixth.
Former state champion Rob Cooper (119, 20-2), ranked No. 2, scored a major decision; and county runner-up Jon Demchick (18-3) received a forfeit at 135. Also pinning were No. 2 Eric Fishel (171, 23-0), Nikolay Geraskin (189), William Norat (215) and Jon Sparklin (heavyweight). Fishel's 15th fall of the season earned him his 100th career victory.
The Mavericks' only winners were former state runner-up Chris Clark (152) and Justin Shaffer (160, 18-2).