Some gyms are tougher to wrestle in than others.
Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzger, whose team is the defending state 2A-1A dual meet and tournament champion, thinks that Hereford's gym is one of the toughest.
And his team's 33-26 narrow escape yesterday against the Bulls proved that his fears were not entirely unfounded.
"I told my team that we don't match up well with Hereford and that their fans give them a big home-field advantage," said Pritzger. "You are in the lion's den and have to climb out."
The Bulls (19-3 overall, 8-1 league), enjoying a turnaround season under first-year coach Ron Causey, trailed by just four points heading into the final bout.
They achieved that position by virtue of what Pritzger called upset wins at 112 pounds, where Zach First defeated Wonjin Cha, 6-3; at 130 pounds, where Steve Keil defeated Nick Lorsenetti, 8-2; and at 145 pounds, where Eric Hemmeter defeated Shane Hornberger, 12-7.
"Wasn't it unbelievable that it all came down to two freshmen at 103 pounds?" said Pritzger. "I had a feeling that it would, and I wanted anything but that, because my 103-pounder has been sick all week."
Cory Rosenstone (15-4), who said he had beaten Keil in a junior league bout two years ago, battled through a sickness to defeat Jeremy Keil, 8-6, but not until Keil took the fight to him early. Keil (20-2) scored a quick takedown and led 4-2 after one period. Rosenstone finally won in a hectic third period.
"I wasn't thinking about winning," said Rosenstone. "I just didn't want to give up too many points. It was about the team, not me. But I knew I'd pull it out in the end."
A big win for Owings Mills was Ben McRee's pin over Ray Willette at 152 pounds. Causey said Willette was injured and sick.
D. J. Scarponi (24-2) scored Hereford's only pin in 27 seconds at 119 pounds.
Will Norat also scored a big win for Owings Mills at 275 pounds by pinning Artie Willette in 2:17 erasing a 26-24 Hereford lead that had come on Anthony Schabdach's tech fall of Nteke Mulenga.
Owings Mills (9-0) stayed unbeaten in Baltimore County 2A-1A dual meet competition.