The Class 4A-3A semifinals were replete with upsets and bouts that set up some potential rematches in Saturday’s finals of the 21-team affair that is being wrestled at Howard County’s Wilde Lake High.
Paced by state runner-up, Josh Hamilton (285), defending regional and Class 4A-3A state tournament champion Reservoir of Howard County leads the way, followed by Anne Arundel County power and 10-time state champion, Old Mill, whose stud is two-time state champion, Ron Vaughters (145), and county rival South River, winner of last weekend’s county tournament.
Below is an account of each weight class semifinal:
A junior varsity Anne Arundel County runner-up last year, South River’s Dale Keith (103) won last weekend’s county tournament, leading his Seahawks to the overall title.
But after winning his quarterfinal bout, 13-3, over Wilde Lake’s Ethan Eckley, Keith (29-7) had a much more difficult time with semifinal rival, Taariq Mohammed of River Hill.
Mohammed had won his quarterfinal match, 9-8, over Old Mill’s Tanner Chaplain on a buzzer-beating escape in the second overtime, this, after having built a 5-0 lead on a bout-opening split-cradle.
Against Keith, Mohammed, yet again, demonstrated his toughness, overcaming an early 2-0 deficit for a 5-2 lead.
“He was just being aggressive and I wasn’t wrestling smart and he got behind me,” said Keith, a senior. “But I wasn’t worried about it. I made a mistake early on, but I just wanted to continue working.”
Keith did just that, turned Mohammed for a second-period, five-point move for a 7-5 lead entering the third. Ahead, 9-6, after a takedown, Keith allowed an escape and held off Mohammed for the win.
“I was a little confused that they didn’t give me the initial points on the spladle but I just kept on scooting and I was able to get a regular cradle on him. Eventually, I got the back points after working something in,” said Keith. “I had the momentum from there and just felt like I could make him come to me. I knew he would attack and felt like I could take advantage. After being county champ, I want to be region champ.”
Keith will meet freshman Howard County champion, Mason Kilcarr (27-5) of Reservoir, who downed Anne Arundel County runner-up, Connor Morrow, 10-4.
“I’m very proud to be in the finals as a freshman. I feel like I’ve been working very hard. It’s great to have been in the county finals, and now, it’s great to be in the regional finals,” said Kilcarr.
“I just want to continue to wrestle well and to be the first freshman from Reservoir to ever place at states,” said Kilcarr. “But Mohammed and Keith are great wrestlers, and I think that Keith will be a tough match. So I think that will be a great match in the finals. I’m just going to try not to make any mistakes.”
The 112 pound weight class featured one of the tournament’s biggest upsets.
That’s where South River sophomore Austin Alley (31-6) scored an overtime takedown for a 6-4 victory that dethroned Wilde Lake junior Alex Polonsky (25-5) and relegated the defending state champion to the consolation rounds.
Among the previous losses for Polonsky was one by 9-8 to Arundel’s Anne Arundel County champion Logan Reese, who defeated Alley a week earlier, forcing Alley to wrestle back to third place in the county tournament.
Reese (30-6), however, was defeated in his semifinal, 5-3, by Aberdeen’s Shayduan Velez (35-1), who improved his series lead against Reece to 2-1 and avenged a 3-1 loss of a year ago when Velez placed fourth at regions and fifth at states.
The 119-pound final will feature Broadneck’s Anne Arundel County titlist Colin Harrell (33-5) against Mount Hebron’s Howard County runner-up runner-up Alex Stewart (32-7).
Harrell, a runner-up at regions last year, overcame a 5-2 deficit for a 9-8 victory over Chesapeake’s Cody Morrow (33-6), and Stewart edged Anne Arundel runner-up Josh Perren of South River, 3-1.
Centennial junior Nathan Kraisser (125) rose to 36-0 with his 57th consecutive win and his 111th career victory in 3:39 against Chesapeake’s Kyle Gittins, against whom Kraisser led, 15-1, at the time.
A three-time Howard County titlist, Kraisser is after his third straight regional and Class 4A-3A state titles and finished off Old Mill’s Detric McCoy in 2 minutes, 25 seconds of Friday’s quarterfinal.
Kraisser (111-3 career) is looking to do win his third straight regional and Class 4A-3A state tournament crowns, this, during his quest to join Aberdeen of Harford County’s Matt Slutzky, Owings Mills of Baltimore Countys Steve Kessler,
Hereford of Baltimore County’s Josh Asper and Southern of Garrett County’s Bubba Scheffel as Maryland’s only four-time state titlists.
Kraisser’s regional title bout will be against Stephen Decatur’s Seth Goggin (38-2), who led, 4-3, when he decked North County’s Anne Arundel County champ, Larry Brent (31-4) with a tilt at 4:09 of their semifinal.
At 130 pounds, junior state runner-up Tyler Goodwin (34-0, 23 pins, nine technical falls) of Arundel scored a 19-3 technical fall over Old Mill’s Damien Sheldon (27-6), continuing his quest to win his second straight regional crown after having been a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament champion as a Mount St. Joseph freshman.
A two-time Arundel County titlist, Goodwin had beaten Sheldon in previous weekend’s county finals. Goodwin scored a 17-second regional quarterfinal fall over Howard High’s John Holthaus, and will face Reservoir’s Howard County champ, Seth Rowell (30-5) in the regional finals.
Rowell repeated the result of last weekend’s county final, scoring a 2-1 win over River Hill’s two-time state runner-up, Cameron Kirby (36-4) to improve his lead in their series to 2-1.
Chesapeake’s 135-pound county champ Alex Rice (34-2) scored a quarterfinal second-period fall, and blanked semifinal opponent, Marcus Coffield, Wilde Lake’s county runner-up, by 10-0. Rice faces Reservoir’s James Mullens (27-4), who edged county runner-up Steve Kidwell (26-3) by the score of 5-4.
County champion Salaman Riddell (140) of Old Mill is looking to improve on last year’s regional runner-up and state runner-up efforts, this, scoring wins by, 12-4, and, 5-2, in his respective quarterfinal and semifinal bouts against Mount Hebron’s Drew Staideli and North County’s Collin Alexander.
A junior, Riddell (33-1) will meet Chesapeake’s Stephen Spinnenenweber (36-3) in a rematch of last weekend’s county final win by Riddell, 3-2. Spinnenweber major decisioned Andrew Borradaile, 9-1, to reach the finals.
Riddell’s lone loss of the year was against Archbishop Spalding’s private schools state champion, Will Switzer in triple overtime.
A year ago, Riddell allowed his aggression to get the best of him in two of his biggest matches of the year, respectively, in losses to South River’s Curtis Taylor and Tuscarora’s Tanner Wrublik in the regional and state finals.
Riddell led Taylor, 7-2, and appeared to be in complete control in the final 30 seconds from the top referee’s position before allowing Taylor to get to his feet, maneuver into a pinning combination, and force Riddell to his back for the fall as time elapsed.
At states, after eliminating the returning champion, Peter Tatanish of Urbana by decision, Riddell, yet again, failed to take advantage.
This time, Wrublik, who was vanquished by Tatanish in their Class 4A-3A North Region title bout, stuck Riddell off a counter with two seconds left in the first period to become his program’s first-ever state champion.
“I was really disappointed at regionals last year because I didn’t win the county tournament. At the last second, I got turned and caught on my back and he pinned me,” said Riddell, who was third at last year’s county tournament.
“Then at the states, after
beating the state champion, the same thing happened. I think that in each of those situations, I went in there with too much intensity,” said Riddell. “I’m a little bit more of a different wrestler now. I’m a little better at keeping my calm. I want to show what I’m really about.”
Old Mill senior Ron Vaughters (145) pinned his quarterfinal and semifinal opponents to improve to 24-2, maintaining his quest to add a fourth straight regional crown followed by a shot at his third consecutive state title.
Vaughters missed weight for last weekend’s county tournament, eliminating his opportunity to win that championship for a fourth time. Instead, Vaughters, who was fifth at states at 112 pounds, had to watch senior Kevin Pastrana of Annapolis defeat sophomore Sam Ziff of Severna Park, 6-2, for the 145-pound county title.
Ziff (26-5) reversed that result to win Saturday’s semifinal over Pastrana, dictating the pace on the way to a 4-2 upset for the right to face Vaughters in the title bout.
“The difference was that I focused on taking away his shot. Luckily I was able to get the takedown early and take a 3-2 lead into the second period. Then I was able to ride him out the whole second period and that put some pressure on him,” said Ziff.
“I didn’t get a takedown once the last time. So that was a big difference, the takedowns,” said Ziff. “I got an escape in the third period and I knew at that point I had a huge boost in my momentum and I just felt myself getting stronger.”
North County’s county champion Cordell Blair (152) ran his record to 32-1 with a major decision and a decision, respectively, over River Hill’s Jack Noonan and Glen Burnie’s Kyle Howard.
Blair’s title-bout rival will be Stephen Decatur’s Johnny Soghomonian (36-5), who advanced thanks to a 15-0 technical fall and a 7-3 semifinal decision over Old Mill’s county runner-up Caleb Marshall.
Old Mill’s Sahad Yazdanyar (160) is having a good run after having placed fourth in last weekend’s county tournament.
Yazdanyar downed Anne Arundel County runner-up, Evan Willis of Arundel, 4-2 and then handled No. 1 seed Brandon Terlizzi of Stephen Decatur, 4-3, to earn a berth opposite county champion, Patrick Owens of South River.
A junior varsity runner-up and a District V champion at 152 last year, Owens reached the finals on a pin and a semifinal, 9-6 decision over River Hill’s Ryan Noonan.
“Last year, I had a very good partner and a guy who made me better,” said Owens. “Now that I’ve had that year of someone pushing me to make me better, I know what to do.”
In Yazdanyar, Owens is facing a wreslter against whom he has a 2-1 series lead, having last defeated him in the county semfinals, 5-2.
The 171-pound rematch between Wilde Lake’s Alvin Harris (29-1) and Reservoir’s defending Class 4A-3A state champ, Mark Colabucci (33-1) is set.
In last Saturday’s Howard County final and a clash of senior defending county champs, Harris overcame a 5-0 deficit to defeat Colabucci, 7-5, ending the Gators’ streak of 75 straight wins that had included his 44-0 mark that capped last year’s 145-pound state title run.
On Saturday, Harris required decisions by identical scores of 3-2, respectively, over River Hill’s Logan Kirby and Stephen Decatur’s Mike Meekins, while Colabucci pinned Broadneck’s county champ Dan Hawkins in 1:27 and scored a 21-6 techincal fall over Aberdeen’s George Hogan.
The 189-pound match is yet another rematch from last weekend’s Howard County final, where Wilde Lake’s Zathy Ndiang ground out a 10-4 decision over Mount Hebron’s Jon Iwaskiw for his second consecutive title.
On Saturday, Ndiang nailed down his 15th and 16th pins in 33, and, 55 seconds, raising his mark to 25-3 on the year.
Iwaskiw, meanwhile, major decisioned South River’s Travis Clow and Old Mill’s Seth Holbrook, who were, respectively, the Anne Arundel County runner-up and champion.
The 215-pound final features Anne Arundel County champ, Pat Hyde (32-3) of North County against Howard County runner-up Jacob Benedict (34-7) of River Hill. Hyded pinned South River’s Anthony Rossi, and Benedict downed Meade’s Tae Foughty, 5-1.
State runner-up Josh Hamilton (285) of Reservoir rose to 34-0 with 29 pins, even though he had to chase Meade’s Anne Arundel County champ, Stephen Lloyd (27-10) throughout an eventual 13-8, semifinal decision.
In victory, Hamilton earned a berth against Mount Hebron’s A.J. Wade (35-5), who earned a 13-2, semifinal major decision over Aberdeen’s Marcus Webster (33-5) after having vanquished Anne Arundel county runner-up, Lorenzo Maddox, 5-4, in their quarterfinal.
Class 4A-3A East Region semifinal results
Team Scores: 1 Old Mill 99.5, 2. Old Mill 80, 3. South River 75, 4. Chesapeake 62, 5. Stephen Decatur 60.5, 6. Wilde Lake 57, 7. Mount Hebron 55.5, 8. River Hill 51, 9. North County 49, 10 Aberdeen 40, 11. Broadneck 36, 12. Arundel 31.5, 13. Centennial 25, 14. Severna Park 22, 15. Meade 20, 16. Glen Burnie 11, 17. Annapolis 7, 18. James M. Bennett and North Harford 5, 20. Howard 4, C. Milton Wright 0.
103- Dale Keith (SR) d. Taariq Muhammad (RH), 9-6; Mason Kilcarr (RS) d. Connor Morrow (CH), 10-4.
112- Austin Alley (SR) d. Alex Polonsky (WL), 6-4, OT; Shayduan Velez (AB) d. Logan Reece (AR), 5-3.
119- Colin Harrell (BN) d. Cody Morrow (CH), 9-8; Alex Steward (MTH) d. Josh Perren (SR), 3-1.
125- Nathan Kraisser (CTN) p. Kyle Gittins (CH), 3:39; Seth Goggin (STD) p. Larry Brent (NC), 4:09.
130- Tyler Goodwin (AR) tf. Damien Sheldon (OM), 19-3; Seth Rowell (RS) d. Cameron Kirby (RV), 2-1.
135- Alex Rice (CH) vs. Marcus Coffield (WL); James Mullens (RS) d. Steve Kidwell (AR), 5-4.
140- Salaman Riddell (OM) d. Collin Alexander (NC), 5-2; Tommy Carman (NH) vs. Stephen Spinnenweber (CH).
145- Ron Vaughters (OM) p. Cory Daniel (RH), 5:33; Sam Ziff (SVP) d. Kevin Pastrana (ANN), 4-2.
152- Cordell Blair (NC) d. Kyle Howard (GL), 10-6; Johnny Soghommonia (STD) d. Caleb Marshall (OM), 7-3.
160- Sahand Yazdanyar (OM) d. Brandon Terlizzi (STD), 4-3; Patrick Owens (SR) d. Ryan Noonan (RH), 9-6.
171- Alvin Harris (WL) d. Mike Meekins (STD), 3-2; Mark Colabucci (RS) tf. George Hogan (AB), 21-6.
189- Zathy Ndiang (WL) p. Omar Messallam (RV), 0:55; Jon Iwaskiw (MH) d. Seth Holbrook (OM), 6-4, OT.
215- Pat Hyde (NC) p. Anthony Rossi (SR), 1:40; Jacob Benedict (RV) d. Tae Foughty (MD), 5-1.
285- Josh Hamilton (RS) d. Stephen Lloyd (MD), 13-8; AJ Wade (MH) mj. Marcus Webster (AB), 13-2.