Seahawks crown three champs, Western Tech’s Kalu surprises Georgetown Prep’s Hamilton

by Billy Loverocket
South River cruised to the team championship at the Panther Invitational Tournament at Paint Branch High School on Saturday. The Seahawks won by a very comfortable 65 points over Anne Arundel County rival Old Mill, 230-165. Mountain Ridge was right on Old Mill’s heels with 161.5 points, good for third place.
South River saw three grapplers climb to the top rung of the podium (the most of all teams). At 120lbs, Isaac Barber (No. 12 in the latest Maryland state rankings) won a close battle with Old Mill’s Ryheam Tull (No. 17 at 132), 4-2. No. 6 Trenton Puccinelli (160) also used a two-point decision for his crown, 6-4, over No. 22 Antonio Bradford (South Carroll).
Defending 4A/3A state champion Ka’Ron Lewis (No. 4) claimed the Seahawks’ final gold with a 13-3 major-decision in the heavyweight final over No. 13 Wafeu Fuondjing (Paint Branch). Nolan Lunsford fell short in his finals match at 113, but in the semifinals, the freshman pinned No. 22 Tristan Elrod (Thomas Stone), 5:20.
Rounding out South River’s placers were Riley Corkran (3rd at 152), Joab Patino (132) and Sam Hicks (182) were fourth. No. 13 Mason Smith (106), James Purnell (170), and No. 19 Alex Peterson (220) placed fifth while Justin Richards (145) and Niko Nolte (195) were sixth.
Old Mill did not secure any titles, but Mountain Ridge did have two wrestlers take gold back to the mountains of Western Maryland. No. 24 Jay Miller pinned No. 16 Levi Garren (Old Mill) with 19 seconds remaining in the 170lb title match, 5:41. At 182, No. 22 Dustin MacDonald authored an upset of his own over No. 12 Kyle Isolato (Paint Branch), 6-0.
In one of the biggest and most anticipated matchups of the finals, Western Tech’s 2A/1A state runner-up, Ike Kalu (No. 3) faced off with No. 2 Kyonte Hamilton (Georgetown Prep). In December, Hamilton reached the finals of the prestigious Beast of the East tournament, so Kalu would certainly be tested. What unfolded was a surprise to most as the Wolverine rolled to a 7-4 victory over his private school adversary.
North County put two champs on the stand as No. 19 Seth Davis captured the 126lb crown and Kaleb Woolford grabbed the top honors at 132lbs. Davis downed South Carroll’s Jake Rippeon, 7-5. To reach the finals, Rippeon pinned No. 20 Allan Vasquez (Albert Einstein), 3:45.
South Carroll managed one champion in Steven Dahl (No. 18) at 152. Dahl booked a minor upset of No. 13 Kobe Borda (Georgetown Prep), 6-0.
Wootton’s Liau brothers kicked things off by sweeping the first two weight classes with Eric at 106 and Jason at 113. Eric (No. 7) won a close bout with No. 3 Jesse Fresh (Mountain Ridge), 4-2. Jason (No. 14) had a much easier go of it, registering the fall over South River’s Lunsford 23 seconds into the second frame, 2:23.
In the 106lb consolation final, No. 17 Ryan Athey (South Carroll) defeated No. 11 Brian McCaw (Montgomery Blair), 4-1.
No. 6 Austin Smith (195) kept one wall chart in house by planting Georgetown Prep’s Grant Maynard (No. 22) in the second period, 3:43.
Woodrow Wilson’s Adam Friedman was the 138lb champion with a 6-5 win over Ryan Kirby (Mountain Ridge). Kirby picked off No. 11 Cam Werner (South Carroll), 7-5, in the semis. Earl Shepherd 3rd (Frederick Douglas) won by default over Evan Cawthorne (Blake) at 145.
Team Scores (Top 10)
1 230.00- South River HS
2 165.00-Old Mill HS
3 161.50-Mountain Ridge HS
4 145.50-South Carroll HS
5 137.00-North County HS
6 120.50-Paint Branch HS
7 102.00-Georgetown Prep. HS
8 93.00-Montgomery Blair HS
9 76.00-Thomas S. Wootton HS
9 76.00-Western School Of Tech. & Envir. Science
– Place Winners –
1st Eric Liau TSW
2nd Jesse Fresh MOR
3rd Ryan Athey SOC
4th Brian McCaw MBL
5th Mason Smith SOR
6th Zach Reck NCO
Place Winners –
1st Jason Liau TSW
2nd Nolan Lunsford SOR
3rd Anthony Bond SOC
4th Carter Tinsley GEP
5th Franklin Cortez ALE
6th Tristen Elrod TST
1st Isaac Barber SOR
2nd Ryheam Tull OLM
3rd Sidiki Keita PBR
4th Will Stephenson FDO
5th Jacob Renotas MOR
6th Khalil Terrell OXH
1st Seth Davis NCO
2nd Jake Rippeon SOC
3rd Damion Mansapit OLM
4th Allan Vasquez ALE
5th Yoseph Yilma WHE
6th Garrett Cashion WWH
1st Kaleb Wellford NCO
2nd Jackson Cohenour OLM
3rd Biruk Tona MBL
4th Joab Patino SOR
5th Chase Thomas MOR
6th Leon Smith FDO
1st Adam Friedman WWH
2nd Ryan Kirby MOR
3rd Cam Werner SOC
4th Caron Tull OLM
5th Rodney Jones NCO
6th Junior Kim MBL
1st Earl Shepherd 3rd FDO
2nd Evan Cawthorne JHB
3rd Toma Kamara WHE
4th Brent Newland OLM
5th Erik Price NCO
6th Justin Richards SOR
1st Steven Dahl SOC
2nd Kobe Borda GEP
3rd Riley Corkran SOR
4th Kimon O’Sullivan OXH
5th Tyler Przygocki PBR
6th Gary Harris FDO
1st Trenton Puccinelli SOR
2nd Antonio Bradford SOC
3rd Henry Woolley TSW
4th Nehemiah Carter OLM
5th Peter Jauquet WTE
6th Earl Shepherd 2nd FDO
1st Jay Miller MOR
2nd Levi Garren OLM
3rd Tim Kirlin GEP
4th Jeremiah Gardner EAS
5th James Purnell SOR
6th Tommy Ferger NCO
1st Dustin MacDonald MOR
2nd Kyle Isolato PBR
3rd Brandon Ntankeu MBL
4th Sam Hicks SOR
5th Alfred Murdock WTE
6th Sunny Bhanot NCO
1st Austin Smith PBR
2nd Grant Maynard GEP
3rd Luke Vinci MOR
4th Quivonte Willis FRD
5th Michael Okwesili WTE
6th Nikko Nolte SOR
1st Ike Kalu WTE
2nd Kyonte Hamilton GEP
3rd DeShawn Madison NCO
4th Nate Fleming OLM
5th Alex Peterson SOR
6th Peyton Porter MOR
1st Ka’Ron Lewis SOR
2nd Wafeu Fuondjing PBR
3rd Pat Quinn SOC
4th Mervin Mancia MBL
5th Nick Harden MOR
6th Eugene Satele WWH