In an upset no one other than the No. 11 South River Seahawks could have expected, the Anne Arundel County squad found their way into the Cobra Duals finals after topping No. 5 John Carroll, 42-26, and went on to defeat DeMatha, 42-21, for the tournament win.
“You know what? This is kind of what we were hoping for earlier on in the season. It eventually happened,” South River coach John Klessinger said. “This is great, no doubt. I’m not going to say I’m not excited beating John Carroll and DeMatha, these are both huge wins for our program, but ultimately the goal is to peak a couple weeks from now.”
After topping the Patriots by 16 points to enter the finals, the Seahawks battle the DeMatha Mustangs through four ties, finally breaking a 24-24 tie with four consecutive wins, two by fall, to declare tournament victory.
In the final run, the Seahawks saw consecutive wins by Wilson (285 pounds), Orme (106), Perren (113) and Puccianelli (120), totaling 18 with falls by Orme and Puccianelli working falls. DeMatha was penealized two team-points for unsportsmanlike conduct off the mat.
But before the Seahawks had their short at tournament gold, they had to take on the higher ranked Patriots, which, despite the final score, was a battle to finish.
Trailing the Pats, 26-15, after eight weightclasses, the Seahawks mounted a six-bout winning streak, pinning three times to extend their score to the 16-point final, 42-26. In the comeback, South River pinned three times with Clow (195), Orme (106) and Perren (113), sealing the win when Orme overcame a 5-0 deficit with his second period fall.
If anyone in the tournament deserved an Outstanding Wrestler award, it was undoubtedly Orme, who posted two crucial falls against John Carroll and DeMatha to help lead his team to victory.
Against his Patriot opponent, Orme trailed 5-0 in the second period, but locked the opposing wrestler for the meet-sealing fall. One dual-meet later, Orme struck again, this time trailing 11-0 in the second and catching a defensive-fall while rolling through a tilt to set up the tournament-winning decision by Parran.
“Like always, I don’t give up,” Orme said of his fall against John Carroll. “Top is my strong point, so I chose it in the second period, did what I do and got the pin.”
The fall against DeMatha’s Simpson was a little closer to heart for Orme. The two knew each other since junior league wresting.
“We both wrestled junior league together, so I know he was tough, and I definitely didn’t want to lose to him,” Orme started. “I knew he was going to throw legs, I crawled forward trying to avoid it, sat out, grabbed his head and got the pin.”
To his knowledge, the defensive-fall was the first Orme’s career.
South River accumulated a 5-0 record before their final two upset wins, topping No. 12 Rising Sun, Wooton, Queen Anne’s, 44-23, North East and host Harford Tech, 45-29. But the upsets didn’t stop with South River.
After falling to DeMatha in the second to last round, The No. 9 Archbishop Curley Friars got back their 220-pounder, Avery Williams, who had been taking the SATs Saturday morning. With his reunion to the team, the Friars went on to hand John Carroll its second loss of the tournament, 41-32, taking third overall in the team standings.
In a rematch of an earlier MIAA dual-meet, Curley avenged their 35-33 loss with a tight battle, seeing each team take leads of up to nine points until Sigwart’s fall at285, putting Curley up 35-20,. Patriot Skowski answered with fall at 106, bring in John Carroll to within nine points, 35-26, till Huntley fall at 113 sealed win for the Friars, 41-26, with one bout to go.
“I am extremely proud of how these guys wrestled this tournament,” Curley coach Gregg Kessler said of the Friars. “I felt like every round we were wrestling better. I felt like about things didn’t go our way against DeMatha, and that is in our lineup, but they turned it on for the right match.
“[John Carroll] is a match we were looking forward to wrestling, hopefully for first and second, but I’ll tell ya one thing, it feels just as good getting the win for third. They guys did the work, and they knew once they got a guy on their back, they had to pin them. That was the key in tonight’s matchup.”
John Carroll’s Jernigan pinned in the 120-pound final bout, falling short of Curley and ending the night for both teams, 41-32.
In a four-bout streak, the Friars saw Summers (182), Blankenship (195), Williams (220) and Sigwart (285) all in succession for a 24-point swing, sending Curley from an 11-point to 35-point team-score. All the falls were in the first period, with Sigwart’s coming in the second.
Curley’s final win summed-up a 6-1 weekend, placing in front of 5-2 John Carroll, while Hereford and Wooton finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.
“It was a very nice tournament,” John Carroll coach Keith Watson said. “A lot of top competition, we got a lot of guys mat time in close matches and, as far as we are concerned, we have had a good season. We are very fortunate we didn’t get or have any injuries until this week.
“Curley did a good job. They came to wrestle and that’s the way it is.”
The Bulls out ranked Wooton with a 34-21 win in the final round, finishing a 3-4 weekend, as Host Harford Tech finished 3-3, No. 12 Rising Sun ended 2-4,. Calvert Hall held two wins in a seven-meet weekend, with Bohemia Manor managing a win over the 0-7 North East Indians.
You can email CJ Malinowski at email@example.com, and follow him on twitter.
Team results and standing on Page 2