Cool, calm and colleted, No. 9 River Hill wrestler Lee Carter had no added anxiety about his match-deciding bout, Tuesday, against No. 14 Hammond; no worries that his performance would ultimately decide his team’s fate.
And having a prior win over his opponent, why should he be worried, but ever wrester knows it takes just one move to get caught on your back and start counting the lights on the gym ceiling.
“I felt relatively calm,” Carter said. “I knew I could beat him because I beat him earlier in the season, and I knew all I had to do was work to myself and it would come.”
Just a few moments after taking to the mat, Carter was well on his way to a victory, putting his opponent on his back and decking him for the team win, 34-29.
The Hawks were fighting back to catch the Golden Bears nearly the entire match, falling to their biggest deficit, 22-13, following a two-match run by Ngang and Kelly at 152 and 160, but would tie the meet at 22-22 after a Logan Kirby fall at 171 and Omar Messallam decision at 189.
Hammond had four bonus-point matches, including two falls on the night, but the added bonus-point power of River Hill, seeing extra points in five matches with four six-point wins, would ultimately decide the battle.
“It came down to bonus points and we knew it was going to be close bout,” mRiver Hill coach Brandon Lauer said. “They are a tough team, always wrestle us tough and it has been a rivalry since the school opened.
“We knew it was going to be close no matter what, and the lineups were out there because it is always a dog fight.”
Tarriq Mohammed received a forfeit at 103 prior to Carter’s pin at 112, allowing the Hawks to finish on a 12-point run to Hammond’s seven.
The Golden Bears came out strong with two pins from Neuman and Shata at 119 and 130, and an added majors by Ngang at 152 and Asala at 285 would help build up the team’s lead throughout the meet, but all the point-wins and falls by River Hill would cancel them in the end.
Other winners for the Hawks included Ryan Blum (125), Cameron Kirby (135) and Corey Daniel (145), with Kirby adding a fall and Blum taking on a major decision.
“We know we still have work to do,” Lauer said, who will lead the Hawks to a busy schedule over the next week. “We have two matches Thursday and the Regional Duals next Wednesday, so we are just going to continue to work hard and improve, and hopefully we will have success.”
No. 9 River Hill 34, No. 14 Hammond 29
119-Neuman (H) pinned Patrick Linden (RH) 5:29 (0-6)
125- Ryan Blum (RH) maj. dec Beck (H) 11-0 (4-6)
130-Shata (H) pinned Casey Guthier (RH) 1:36(4-12)
135-Cameron Kirby (RH) pinned Roher (H) 3:23 (10-12)
140-Coleman-Brooks (H) dec Baxter (RH) 8-2 (10-15)
145-Corey Daniel (RH) dec. Overton 3-0 (13-15)
152-Ngang (H) maj. Dec Noonan, J 15-6 (13-19)
160-Kelly (H) dec Ryan Noonan (RH) 3-2 (13-22)
171-Logan Kirby (RH) pinned Harrington (H) 3:42 (19-22)
189-Omar Messallam (RH) dec Anew (H) 8-3 (22-22)
215-Rose (H) dec Jacob Benedict (RH) 10-5 (22-25)
285-Asala (H) maj dec Jason Johnson (RH) 13-3 (22-29)
103-Tarriq Mohammed (RH) fft. (28-29)
112-Lee Carter (RH) pinned Nuss (H) 4:10 (34-29)