When a team wins by just one point, a coach can spend a lot time rattling his brain trying to figure out where in the lineup it could have been missed.

Was it that 8-1 decision early in the match where we could have gotten the major?  What if my middle weight could have fought off his back for three more seconds?  It can drive someone insane.

Those questions won’t be encompassing the mind of Arundel coach Jim Rubush, who watched his Wildcats wrestle back from a 35-21 deficit and stick a pin in the final bout for the 36-35 win over Loyola, Wednesday.

“It was an absolute team effort and wasn’t just the stars on the team,” Rubush said.  “Nick Asbury was big as a sophomore in his first year on varsity, and he had a lot of pressure on him coming in and needing the pin.

“I wasn’t really familiar who he was facing there, but he just went out and did his best, and that’s all we could ask for.”

His best was more than any coach could ask for, entering the match needing to tech fall for the tie, but going to his opponent hard and sticking him for the win.

“I was just thinking I needed to get that pin.  That was the only thing going through my head,” Asbury said about his pre-match thoughts.  “I didn’t know how much time was left, but once I got the bar in I saw both his shoulders on the ground and though I got it.”

A mere 26 seconds into the second period, Asbury earned the fall that gave his team the one point team win, and capped a three-bout winning streak started with a Tyer Goodwin forfeit at 140, and then saw a 6-2 decision by Arundel’s Steve Kidwell over a tough Mike Zito of Loyola.

“Every point counts, and you send your guys out there and that’s all you want is for them to so their best,” Kidwell said of his team’s effort.  “We had some tough matches with our more experienced wrestlers, and they all wrestled great matches, but the difference was in our younger wrestlers stepping up.  Everyone just came together.”

Kidwell rocked a duck under with just two seconds left in his opening round to give him a 2-0 lead put him on course for his decision win.

Of the 14 bouts on the night, Arundel came away with half the wins at seven matches won, so every loss kept under eight points and every cradle that rocked in criteria for just a second longer mattered the world to the Wildcat win.

winArundel held pins at 171, 189 and 119 through the match with Exan Willis, Thomas Jovinelli and Wesley MacQuillan, and saw decision wins from Luke Brownlee at heavyweight.

Loyola, trading wins with Arundel through the early goings, seemed to have a momentum swing when 103 and 112-pounders David Mohler and Walter Johnson stormed out to 25-second and 36-second falls over their opponents, adding to an earlier Joe Moreno tech fall to start the match and Collin Marshall fall at 215.

And Ben Smist did everything he could for the Dons at 125, holding out for a 2-1 decision over Arundel’s Vinny Kindall, earning an escape and locking hands call for a 2-0 lead in the second period, and giving up two stalling calls in the final period to claim the one point win.

It is time for winter break in both school systems, but neither team will be taking much time off for the Holidays, seeing Loyola head to the McDonogh Duals, Dec. 29, and Arundel hosting its annual holiday tournament, Dec. 28.

“They have to stay up because we have our holiday tournament next week,” Rubush explained.  “This is a young team with only three significant returning starting wrestlers, and a lot of these kids are just learning by fire.  We can improve, but it was a tough team and we knew it was gong to be the swing matches that would make or break us.  

“I think, if nothing else, this should give them some good momentum for the tournament.”

No. 16 Arundel 35,  No. 10 Loyola 35

160- Joe Moreno (L) tech fall 17-0 Chris Milhorn (AR) [5-0]
171- Evan Willis (AR) fall 3:20 Alex Hurdle (L) [5-6]
189- Thomas Jovinelli (AR) fall 3:24 Brett Wilson (L) [5-12]
215- Collin Marshall (L) fall 3:12 Darryl Bagley (AR) [11-12]
285- Luke Brownlee (AR) dec 6-1 Jordan Horne (L) [11-15]
103- David Mohler (L) fall :25 Allen Johnson (AR) [17-15]
112- Walter Johnson (L) fall :36 RJ Shuford (AR) [23-15]
119- Welsey MacQuillan (AR) fall 3:23 Brian Singer (L) [23-21]
125- Ben Smist (L) dec 2-1 Logan Reece (AR) [26-21]
130- Ellis Kent (L) fall 1:53 Vinny Kindall (AR) [32-21]
135- Conan Schuster (L) dec 10-8 Justin Goodwin (AR) [35-21]
140- Tyler Goodwin (AR) Forfeit [35-27]
145- Steve Kidwell (AR) dec 6-2 Mike Zito (L) [35-30]
152- Nick Asbury (AR) fall 3:26 Peter Corey (L) [35-36]