Western Tech plays host to state qualifier; Owings Mills crowns five champs, Dunbar three, Sparrows Point two

by Billy Loverocket

For the second year in a row team scores were not kept at any of the regional tournaments. The MPSSAA’s move to four dual meet state champions eliminated team races from the individual region and state tournaments.

With no team drama to focus on Saturday evening at Western Tech High School, all eyes were squarely on the wrestlers. In the 2A/1A division, the West gets all the hype (and for good reason) as the best region in the state. The North, for many years, was considered the weakest.

While the West may still be the top region, the North is now right on its heels. There were seven grapplers who are No.1 at their weights in the latest 2A/1A rankings by BillyB’s Wrestling World in the field this weekend. Six of the finals matches pitted two state-ranked opponents against each other.

Owings Mills took the finals spotlight walking out the door with five champions. No. 4 Damen Tiller (106) and No.3 Diondre Space (182) locked down their first regional crowns. The Eagles’ trio of number ones – Alex Dufour (113), Phil Smith (138), and Roell Ngounou (160) – put their third titles in the record books.

Dufour and Smith, both juniors, are defending state champions. Ngounou, a senior, is primed for his first climb to the top of the state mountain.

Space found himself down early to a fired-up Brian Berry (Edmondson/Westside, No. 24 overall). After Berry’s initial flurry, Space battled back but could not pull away, a close battle ensued with Space eking out a 10-9 victory.

“(I said) I can’t lose this,” Space added. “I have to win this for my team, for myself. I got behind and I had to dig down deep and find a pair. Because I’m going against my old coach (Edmondson’s David Hollingsworth) and he had a kid he thought could beat me. I couldn’t let that happen. I had to prove him wrong. It’s amazing (the first region title). To be down the way I was down and then come back and win it, it’s a good feeling.”

No. 3 Camerin Deville (120) became Dunbar’s first titlist when he edged Loch Raven’s No. 4 Marquis Kemp in a battle of returning state placers, 1-0. Deville was fourth at 113, Kemp was fourth at 120 last year. It was the second region title in two tries for the sophomore.

“(I was thinking) just win basically,” said Deville. “When I went bottom, I knew I had to get up. It felt like I couldn’t get up, but I just pushed through. His breaking point was when I rode him out for the last period, so I just had to keep that intensity up. I coulda taken more shots but I was playing it safe. But a one – zero win, is a win.”

No. 4 De’airus Carr and No. 5 Machiavelli Amaya (Owings Mills) put on one heck of a show for the fans on hand. Carr got off to a quick start with a slick throw that put him out to a 4-0 lead. Amaya refused to go away quietly and turned up the intensity.

The result may not have been to Amaya’s liking, but his effort pleased the crowd as the fans cheered enthusiastically for both. Carr’s first region title gave the Poets their second champ of the night.

“It was real competitive,” Carr said. “It was more strength over technique in that match. When I see him next week at states it’s probably gonna be more technique because it was a push and pull match.

“Right at that moment (after the first period throw), I thought I was gonna get the pin. It gave me a little strength, a little push. At the end I got a little winded. I stayed strong though.”

All-World heavyweight Jorden Pryor, ranked No.20 in the nation by FloWrestling, became Dunbar’s third champ when he collected his third region crown. The two-time state champion planted No. 24 Josh Goodwin (Hereford) 22 seconds into their encounter.

Sparrows Point’s Danny Davis (No. 22 overall) has come out on the winning side more times than not in his ongoing rivalry with Owings Mills’ Dre’yon Eure. The two have engaged in four battles over the last two years with Davis winning three of those.

The most recent win was during Davis’ run to his first county championship last weekend, with the Pointer picking up a fall (4:46) in the semis. Prior to that, Eure won their first meeting this season in a dual meet, 18-14, so winning a first region crown was not a lock for Davis. The senior came through with a 7-2 win to reach the top rung of the podium.

“It’s amazing (winning county and region titles),” Davis continued. “These past couple days, my knee has been messed up and I’ve just been working through it. It paid off. I’m just going to stick with it and hopefully I place in the state.

“Well, I wasn’t in my head that day (when he lost to Eure). I was thinking about my mom and stuff like that. I wasn’t there. But now that I got my head screwed back on, I’m ready to go. I saw him switching up his game plan today and getting on his knees so I couldn’t take him down, so I had to work around that. (I) still ended up on top. I’m gonna stick with and I’m going to do me.”

The Point’s second champ was No. 7 Lexx Carr who received a forfeit at 195 from Hereford’s Nick Moore. Moore had been battling the flu and did what was needed to qualify for next week’s state tournament before bowing out of the competition.

Eastern Tech’s No.1 Ryan Wagener picked up a fall over the Point’s Richard Davis (No.7) with just four seconds left in the first period, 1:56, for his third region title.

In what had to be the craziest bout of the night, and certainly the match with the wildest ending, No.1 Jimmy Kells came out ahead of No.4 Nyck Simpson (Dunbar), 11-9, in sudden death in the 170lb final.

Simpson jumped out to a lead and sat in the drivers’ seat for most of the match. Kells got on track, started putting points on the board, and held the lead late in the match.

There was a run of action near the end of the third period that unfolded so quickly, the score was not posted correctly. Kells was shown to have a three-point lead (10-7), but the score should have been 9-7.

Shortly before the final buzzer, Simpson reversed Kells, making the score on the board 10-9. Before Kells was declared the winner, the officials huddled to clarify the score. After a review, it was discovered Kells had indeed been awarded an extra point on the scoreboard but not in reality.

The Hereford senior regrouped from the rush of emotions and mounted a quick attack for the winning takedown in the first overtime period.

“Honestly, I was just thinking how can I get back (from the early deficit)?” Kells remarked. “I was trying to rush moves, make things happen, but I wasn’t setting anything up and I wasn’t thinking before I did anything.

“I thought the match was over. I had my headgear off. My strap off. I was ready to get my hand raised. I was ready for the match to be over. Then they say it could go into overtime. I thought, what the hell, you know, I’ll do it. It was relief (getting the takedown). It was really relief because I have been sick this whole week and getting that last takedown was a sigh of relief that I could just not worry about it anymore.”

No.1 Ike Kalu put the third region title of his career on his resume on his home turf in his final regional dance when he pinned No.6 Dion Crews-Harris (Dunbar) in the first period, :53. The Wolverine was a state runner-up last year.

The two-time state placer defeated Georgetown Prep’s Kyonte Hamilton (No.4) at the PIT Tournament in January. Hamilton was a runner-up at this year’s Beast of the East tournament and just placed fourth at the National Prep tournament. A win like that gives Kalu extra confidence as he looks for his first state title.

Overlea’s Jarius Cannon (No. 4), a returning state placer, pinned New Town’s Kyree Gregory in the 152lb final.

The top four wrestlers at each weight qualified for the MPSSAA 2A/1A State Tournament next weekend at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.

Pictured above: Owings Mills’ Diondre Space works a headlock against Brian Berry of Edmondson in the 182 final. Space pulled out an exciting 10-9 victory.

Top 6 at each weight: (5th and 6th are alternates for the state tournament)

1st Place Match
Damen Tiller (Owings Mills) 32-1, Jr. over Aaron Scott (Dunbar) 30-8, Fr. (Fall 3:34)
3rd Place Match
Matt Haines (Eastern Technical) 34-8, Jr. over Noah Traband (Hereford) 30-12, Sr. (Dec 6-5)
5th Place Match
Mike Lewis (Sparrows Point) 18-15, So. over Ian Grimsley (Randallstown) 16-11, Sr. (Fall 2:45)

1st Place Match
Alex DuFour (Owings Mills) 37-4, Jr. over Jack Amos (Hereford) 30-11, Sr. (TF-1.5 4:37 (15-0))
3rd Place Match
Londen Brown (New Town) 31-9, Sr. over Corey Anderson (Dunbar) 28-11, Fr. (Dec 7-3)
5th Place Match
Krishna Jith (Eastern Technical) 19-12, Sr. over Micah Johnson (Crossland) 13-9, Fr. (Fall 2:04)

1st Place Match
Camerin Deville (Dunbar) 28-2, So. over Marquis Kemp (Loch Raven) 40-2, Sr. (Dec 1-0)
3rd Place Match
Matt Fouts (Sparrows Point) 15-2, Jr. over Abdulaziz Burkhanov (Owings Mills) 24-15, Jr. (Fall 1:22)
5th Place Match
Henry Friskey (Overlea) 26-8, So. over Aaron Green (Central) 14-9, Sr. (Fall 0:41)

1st Place Match
Ryan Wagener (Eastern Technical) 36-1, Sr. over Richard Davis (Sparrows Point) 42-5, So. (Fall 1:56)
3rd Place Match
Jerome Vonziah (Overlea) 28-5, Jr. over Will Scott (Western STES) 18-19, So. (Dec 9-2)
5th Place Match
Cardel Sample (Randallstown) 11-10, Sr. over Dmonte Johnson (Reginald F. Lewis) 8-4, Sr. (Fall 2:07)

1st Place Match
Danny Davis (Sparrows Point) 30-5, Sr. over Dre`yon Eure (Owings Mills) 31-8, Sr. (Dec 7-2)
3rd Place Match
Dawon Felton (Douglass) 27-3, Jr. over Darrian Carr (Dunbar) 28-5, Fr. (MD 12-3)
5th Place Match
Christian Logan (Pikesville) 20-10, So. over Jack Wickiser (Hereford) 20-21, Jr. (Fall 3:42)

1st Place Match
Phil Smith (Owings Mills) 33-0, Jr. over Deon Jackson (Douglass) 22-8, So. (Fall 2:26)
3rd Place Match
Osman Sheriff (Western STES) 23-12, Sr. over Drew Bowen (Hereford) 18-19, So. (Dec 9-2)
5th Place Match
Gavin Corridon (Eastern Technical) 14-15, Jr. over Dominic Bullock (Dunbar) 20-14, Fr. (Fall 2:47)

1st Place Match
De`airus Carr (Dunbar) 36-2, Jr. over Machiavelli Amaya (Owings Mills) 37-6, Sr. (Dec 8-4)
3rd Place Match
MIke Fouts (Sparrows Point) 39-4, Sr. over Octavius Jones (Crossland) 19-4, Sr. (Fall 2:27)
5th Place Match
Ahmadjon Olim (Pikesville) 15-6, Jr. over Kevin Minh (Eastern Technical) 10-11, Jr. (Fall 0:58)

1st Place Match
Jarius Cannon (Overlea) 25-2, Jr. over Kyree Gregory (New Town) 21-9, Jr. (Fall 4:44)
3rd Place Match
Ethan Lazarek (Eastern Technical) 7-2, Sr. over Sabastian Gomez (Owings Mills) 15-17, Jr. (Fall 3:43)
5th Place Match
Mike Brower (Sparrows Point) 22-18, Fr. over Zach Harris (Carver A&T) 5-21, Sr. (Fall 1:39)

1st Place Match
Roell Ngounou (Owings Mills) 33-2, Sr. over Javon Savage (Douglass) 13-5, Sr. (Fall 1:53)
3rd Place Match
Jake Lure (Sparrows Point) 30-15, Jr. over Vincent Caldwell (Loch Raven) 35-9, Sr. (Fall 0:25)
5th Place Match
Jake Doyle (Hereford) 16-16, Sr. over Peter Jauquet (Western STES) 20-18, Jr. (Fall 3:26)

1st Place Match
Jimmy Kells (Hereford) 35-1, Sr. over Nyck Simpson (Dunbar) 36-6, Jr. (Dec 11-9)
3rd Place Match
Demonte Wright (Edmondson/Westside) 20-3, Sr. over Azeez Onigbanjo (Owings Mills) 22-15, So. (MD 12-1)
5th Place Match
Josh Lumpkin (Pikesville) 22-9, Sr. over Kristopher Allen (Gwynn Park) 21-11, Sr. (TF-1.5 3:17 (15-0))

1st Place Match
Diondre Space (Owings Mills) 37-4, Sr. over Brian Berry (Edmondson/Westside) 11-1, So. (Dec 10-9)
3rd Place Match
Taemar Rollins (Carver A&T) 31-10, Jr. over Pat Ford (Dunbar) 24-11, Jr. (Fall 4:41)
5th Place Match
Alfred Murdock (Western STES) 32-11, So. over Steven Proctor (Gwynn Park) 22-7, Sr. (Dec 7-1)

1st Place Match
Lexx Carr (Sparrows Point) 17-1, Jr. over Nick Moore (Hereford) 17-8, Sr. (For.)
3rd Place Match
Perryn Publico (Eastern Technical) 27-15, Jr. over Jaleel Jones (New Town) 27-10, Jr. (Dec 5-4)
5th Place Match
Michael Okwesli (Western STES) 23-10, Sr. over Xavier Christian (Gwynn Park) 14-12, So. (MD 13-5)

1st Place Match
Ike Kalu (Western STES) 31-1, Sr. over Dion Crews-Harris (Dunbar) 18-3, Jr. (Fall 0:53)
3rd Place Match
Daniel Olorundare (Owings Mills) 25-13, Jr. over Ryan Blockston (Eastern Technical) 26-14, Sr. (Dec 7-2)
5th Place Match
Levis Contreras (Hereford) 20-15, Sr. over Tyrese Springer (Carver A&T) 19-13, Sr. (Dec 8-1)

1st Place Match
Jorden Pryor (Dunbar) 31-0, Sr. over Josh Goodwin (Hereford) 31-8, Sr. (Fall 0:22)
3rd Place Match
Andrew Musa (Gwynn Park) 30-4, Sr. over James Lawson (Randallstown) 26-12, Sr. (Dec 8-4)
5th Place Match
AJ McCall (Crossland) 12-6, Sr. over Jordan Key (Pikesville) 3-5, Jr. (Fall 2:31)


Video of all finals (195 was a forfeit)
106-Tiller vs Scott

113-Dufour vs Amos

120-Deville vs Kemp

126-Wagener vs Richard Davis

132-Danny Davis vs Eure

138-Phil Smith vs Deon Jackson

145-De’airus Carr vs Amaya

152-Cannon vs Gregory

160-Ngounou vs Savage

170-Kells vs Simpson

182-Space vs Berry

220-Kalu vs Crews-Harris

285-Pryor vs Goodwin