Archbishop Curley wrestling coach Gregg Kessler didn't hesitate when he said Mike Micklos at 119 pounds was one of the hardest-working wrestlers he's coached in his seven seasons at the high school level.
Last night at rival Mount St. Joseph, Micklos made sure that extra effort paid off.
Needing points to keep the No. 5 Friars alive, Micklos got a 5-4 decision over Graceson Pastrik, getting an escape with seven seconds left in the third period. It set the stage for Tyler Scarinzi (125) to do his thing, and he did it quickly, pinning Matt Hiltz in the first period to give the Friars a well-earned 36-32 win over the No. 4 Gaels.
Curley improves to 12-1 and remains undefeated in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association with a 7-0 mark.
After the Gaels (12-9, 6-1 MIAA) got a pin from Frankie Goodwin (112) to take a 32-27 lead, Micklos needed a positive result to give Scarinzi a chance to bring home the win for Curley. After Pastrik scored a takedown with 45 seconds left in the third period, Micklos got an escape for the deciding point in the closing seconds to get the Friars within 32-30 with Scarinzi up next.
Said Micklos, who is 3-0 against Pastrik, including two wins in junior varsity action last season: "That third period he was riding me pretty tough. He had it pretty tight with a half and a little leg, so I couldn't break free at first. I had to readjust my hand position to get out. It's a great feeling. I knew it was going to be a tough match, super close, and I was just glad that I got out of it."
Scarinzi provided the difference in the tightly contested match, following teammates Ali Saadoulav (140), Andre Arthur (189), Leo Johnson (215) and Brett Przywara (103) with pins. The Friars' Ross Quillet (145) also came up big with a 4-2 overtime decision against Pat Downey.
"These guys showed 110 percent -- they gave everything they had," Kessler said. "We talked about it in the locker room, I said: 'On paper, we do not look so hot tonight. But this is a night that anything is possible, and if you put your heart into it and believe you can be the victor, you'll be the victor.' And they believed it."
The Gaels got a technical fall from Benny Schaufele (130) and major decisions from Danny Orem (135) and Edwin Jackson (160). Heavyweight Karl Green earned a 3-1 overtime decision against Tony Powell.
Said Mount St. Joseph coach Kirk Salvo: "Curley came after us. We gave up too many pins."