Gaels collect bonus points in seven of eight wins, in position to claim third consecutive MIAA A wrestling dual meet crown (VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS HERE!!)
by Billy Loverocket
Mount St. Joseph wrestling (No.1 in BillyB’s Wrestling World’s latest Maryland rankings) was supposed to square off with No. 3 St. Paul’s School last Wednesday at Boys’ Latin School, but Mother Nature had other plans as snow pushed the meeting to this week at Gilman.
The waiting was the hardest part, but on Thursday night, St. Joe positioned itself to lay claim to their third straight conference championship.
There are a few remaining matches on the docket, but the Gaels have already beaten No. 2 McDonogh School, so there would have to be a monumental upset on the horizon to ruin St. Joe’s party plans.
“It’s always nice to come away with a win when you wrestle a tough opponent,” Gaels coach Harry Barnabae said. “I felt that Zach Phillips set the tone for the night with his third period pin over McDuffie. The Team truly seemed to be energized by that victory and it created a great deal of momentum for our team.”
We knew coming into the match that St Paul’s was more than likely going to juggle their lineup. We were prepared for every move. McHenry moved up to 120 pounds facing Patrick Langeluttig. Pat knew he had to keep the score as low as possible, and he accomplished that task by keeping the match score to just a major.”
Phillips (No. 5 at 152) had a slow start to his bout with No.20 Everette McDuffie but turned it on during the final stanza. The junior picked up the pace and was finally able to get the Crusader on his back to register the fall with 10 seconds left in the match. This was Phillips first match back after aggravating a rib injury at McDonogh on Jan 6.
“I knew I had to win, get as many points as I can, and just keep pushing him because he’s gonna break,” said Phillips. “No (I was not worried about my injury), I feel perfectly fine. I started a little crappy at the beginning, but towards the end of the match I felt like I tightened up a little bit.”
St. Paul’s got into the scoring column at 160 when No. 3 Dylan Blau won a decision over No. 8 Jonathan Short, 8-3.
St. Paul’s has had a hole in their lineup all season at 182 or 195, depending on where Jack Parr wrestled. The Crusaders were hoping to forfeit to Justin Henry at 170, but since they had to present their wrestler first they were not able to see that happen as the Gaels sent out Anthony Zancan to collect the forfeit.
Henry (No. 1 at 170) tried diligently to pin his opponent, Dominic Piazza, at 182 but could not keep him flat. Henry did however, run the score up with his aggressive approach tallying an 18-3 technical-fall. After four bouts, St. Joe was in the driver’s seat holding a 17-3 lead.
“I just wanted to pin whoever was gonna come out,” Henry added. “I couldn’t get the pin, but a tech-fall is still good. It’s just one less point. I felt real off at first. I couldn’t get the pin. I was real close. I had him on his back but I just couldn’t finish him off. But other than that I felt real good.”
Parr (No. 2 at 182) moved up to face the state’s top ranked 195-pounder, Austin Stith. The match was tight with neither wrestler really opening up. In the end, this approach kept the score low, very low. Parr’s second period escape was the only scoring as he picked up a 1-0 victory.
St. Joe was highly favored in the next two clashes and their guys did the job with No.3 Keagan Rill (220) and No.2 Isaac Righter (285) notching first period falls to push the Gaels’ lead to 23, 29-6.
Nasir Wilkinson put St. Paul’s back on the victory train when he decked William Shackey at the 1:30 mark of the first period in their 106lb meeting.
No. 2 Chris Barnabae (113) looked like a man on a mission when he faced Will Guida (No. 1 at 106). Barnabae was very physical from the opening whistle using a series of snap-downs to assert control over Guida. The sophomore would go on to dominate the match, registering a 10-1 major-decision.
“My mindset was I got to get some points for the team to widen the lead,” Barnabae continued. “I just went out there and the thing was he had really freaky shoulders, so it was hard to do anything like an arm bar or one-on-one. I did my best to get some points for the team.”
No. 1 and two-time Cadet World Champion, Kurt McHenry wrestled up at 120 and took on a gamely Patrick Langeluttig. McHenry’s style of wrestling, a takedown artist, doesn’t lend itself to pins. The Crusader picks up a bounty of technical-falls though, and was working towards that end here, but the pesky Langeluttig refused to buckle. McHenry was the aggressor and put on a show, but walked away with just a major-decision, 19-7.
With score at 33-16 going into the 126 match, a win by the Gaels would clinch the victory, as there were only three bouts to come following this one. Nathan Porter (No. 5) put the team on his shoulders and carried them to victory with a major-decision, 11-3, over Gene Qoudala (No. 18 at 120).
“Yea (I knew a win would clinch the dual meet),” Porter said. “I wanted to go out there and score as many points as possible. I wanted to get the pin, tried to work for it, just couldn’t get it. But, I worked for the team. I had to get those points. I thought I did pretty good. I just coulda worked a little bit more to keep him on his back. I had him on his back a couple of times.”
No. 3 Connor Strong added to St. Joe’s point total when he edged No. 15 Nick Dintino, 3-1, at 132.
Over the final two bouts St. Paul’s was able to accomplish something it had yet to do during the dual meet, win two matches in a row.
No.1 Imran Heard picked up a major-decision, 19-11, against No.2 Seth Fillers at 138. In the evening’s closer, Max Hammond (No. 4 at 145) eked out a win by the slimmest of margins, besting No. 8 Chris Roybal, 1-0.
“We came out a little flat,” St. Paul’s coach Rob Eiter continued. “Obviously we moved some guys around just to get the competition in. We probably could have come out a little better, had a better showing. We got a mixed-up lineup right now, just trying to fill some holes and weight classes. It’s always gonna be a good match between the two of us. Our kids fought hard, but some were at different weight classes. We didn’t look as sharp as we have in the past.”
Mount St. Joseph 40, St. Paul’s School 22
at Gilman School
(St. Paul’s was deducted one team point for misconduct by a coach)
(Match started at 152)
152-Zach Phillips (MSJ) pinned Everett McDuffie, 5:50
160-Dylan Blau (St.P) dec Jonathan Short, 8-3
170-Anthony Zancan (MSJ) won by forfeit
182-Justin Henry (MSJ) maj-dec Dominic Piazza, 18-3
195-Jack Parr (St.P) dec Austin Stith, 1-0
220-Keagan Rill (MSJ) pinned Latron Fleet, 1:02
285-Isaac Righter (MSJ) pinned Logan Johnson, :52
106-Nasir Wilkinson (St.P) pinned William Shackey, 1:30
113-Chris Barnabae (MSJ) maj-dec Will Guida, 10-1
120-Kurt McHenry (St.P) maj-dec Patrick Langeluttig, 19-7
126-Nathan Porter (MSJ) maj-dec Gene Qoudala, 11-3
132-Connor Strong (MSJ) dec Nick Dintino, 3-1
138-Imran Heard (St.P) maj-dec Seth Fillers, 19-11
145-Max Hammond (St.P) dec Chris Roybal, 1-0
Video of all matches:
152-Phillips vs McDuffie
160-Blau vs Short
182-Henry vs Piazza
195-Parr vs Stith
220-Rill vs Fleet
285-Righter vs Johnson
106-Wilkinson vs Shackey
113-Barnabae vs Guida
120-McHenry vs Langeluttig
126-Porter vs Qoudala
132-Strong vs Dintino
138-Heard vs Fillers
145-Hammond vs Roybal