DAMASCUS -- For the Broadneck wrestling team, a slow start led to an uncharacteristic off-key performance in yesterday's Class 4A-3A state dual meet semifinals against La Plata.
At the same time for North Carroll, it was a tough-luck ending that had the Panthers going home early against host Damascus in the other semifinal.
Broadneck (20-2) dropped five of its first six bouts and then had the tight matches go the other way as La Plata came away with a 35-26 win. Damascus got a sudden third-period pin from Steve Richards (189 pounds) over Jason Thomen in the second-to-last bout of the semifinal to clinch a 36-34 win. La Plata went on to defeat Damascus, 44-18, in the final.
Thomen had dominated the match, owning a 9-0 lead and having Richards on his back in the second and third periods before Richards turned the potential major-decision loss into the deciding pin, causing an uproar from the home crowd.
North Carroll coach David Dodson - who got pins from Josh Trainor (112), Tom Goretsas (125), Tyler Macleod (140) and Zach Forbes (145) - was disappointed with the outcome but satisfied with his team's gritty effort.
"We gave Damascus a good run. ... We got a lot of pins, it just didn't work out," he said. "We're here, and we got to wrestle in it. Yeah, it hurts, but a lot of schools weren't here today. Our kids can hang their heads high."
Broadneck coach Marc Procaccini didn't have the same thoughts after his Bruins' disappointing showing against a strong La Plata team that didn't hold anything back.
Trailing 26-4, the Bruins pulled within 29-17 with a major decision from Mike Vakas (135) and a pin from Xavier Rathlev (152) sparking the rally, but it wasn't enough.
"We were just content on being here instead of wanting to win this thing. We just didn't want it enough - it's very disappointing," said Procaccini, who called attention to a strong showing from Houston Zemanski.
The Bruins' 112-pounder came away with a 13-0 major decision over Jake Shilling.