What better way for the 33-0 Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers to wrap-up the 2010-2011 MIAA campaign than winning their seventh tournament title with a victory at the MIAA Conference Tournament, Saturday, at Mount St. Joseph High School.
Entering the finals with seven wrestlers and a demanding 45.5-point lead, the were not reachable by any means, especially after crowing champions in Cole Gallagher (112), Charlie Lynch (145) and KK Smith (189), and placing all but one wrestler in the tournament.
“In the room, not a single guy in there wants to get second place,” Lynch said of his teammates. “Not a single one of them thinks, ‘I just want to keep this match close or not get pinned.’ Everybody goes out there with the intent to win and be a state champ, so we aim high.”
In his win, Lynch marked his second victory over Gael wrestler Brady Massaro with a second period reversal, which would end up to be the ruling factor in a 2-0 win.
“There are certain times in the season where you will have guys who aren’t very competitive with you. But, with Massaro, it’s not like that,” Lynch said. “Every time he comes out and battles, so you have to learn every time and gain confidence.”
Smith took the fans at Mount St. Joe for a ride in his 189-pound final, working to an 8-5 lead in the second period but allowing McDonogh’s Kevin Marvel to earn two consecutive takedowns in the third. The takedowns would bring Marvel within two points (11-9) with ten seconds left before the Cavalier scored a takedown to seal the 13-9 win.
St. Paul’s, placing third behind McDonogh, crowned four champions before the end of the afternoon, winning more weightclasses than any other team.
Jack Mutchnik started the winning early for the Crusaders, scoring a 2-1 double overtime victory against Loyola’s David Mohler at 103, and was later joined by Eric Friedman (119), Peter Galli (140) and Brad Mutchnik (152).
Benefitting from two stalling calls in the second period, Jack was awarded another staling point in the second overtime period, allowing him to take the title at 103.
The McDonogh Eagles notched two tournament winners in Jack Clark and Roman Braglio, as Clark major decisioned John Carroll’s George Weber at 130, 13-3, and Braglio beat St. Vincent Pallotti’s Derek Pittman, 4-0.
Archbishop Curley had three tournament finalists in Brett Przywara, Chuckie Blankenship and Brett Brigman, but it was Przywara’s path through the 135-pound weightclass that would make him the team’s only champion.
Seeded fifth in his class, Przywara had to avenge an earlier loss to John Carroll’s fourth seeded Dan Froehlich and beat number one seed Kevin Johnson of Mount St. Joe before entering the tournament finals, where he evened the score with Spalding’s Brady Gaynor.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect any of this,” Przywara said. “Earlier in the season, I lost to two of the kids I beat here, and they were both one point matches. But I knew that I just had to keep working and look forward to the end of the season.
“I was kind on nervous about wrestling Johnson because we never met head-to-head and I never pictured wrestling him, so I just had to go out there and go with the flow. I trained and trained and trained to beat Gaynor, and was really looking to stay away from his tie-ups and keep him off my legs.”
Other champions included Gaels Tyler Rill (160) and Tyler Tippett (215), Pallotti’s John Chenault (125) and John Carroll’s Mathew Miller (171).
Miller was the only pinner in the finals, decking DJ Smith in just under four minutes.
Next stop for the private school wrestlers is next weekend’s Maryland independent Schools State Tournament at McDonogh, where Spalding will be looking to add a state title to an aggressively growing list of accomplishments.
“We are excited,” Spalding coach Mike Laidley said. “We won and we won pretty handily placing 13 kids out of 14. From my perspective it feels pretty good.
“I sit back, let the assistant coaches do their job because they have the technique and the kids listen to them. We have to be gear up for states and then take it to National Preps.”
Team Scores (Top 10)
1 Spalding 266.5
2 McDonogh 237
3 St. Pauls 174
4 Curley 155.5
5 John Carroll 149
6 Pallotti 138.5
7 Mt St Joe 138
8 Loyola 85
9 AACS 60.5
10 Boys Latin 57
103- Jack Mutchnick (SP) dec 2-1 2OT David Mohler (LOY)
112- Cole Gallagher (AS) dec 10-3 Chris Halkos (SVP)
119- Eric Friedman (SP) dec 10-3 Scott Strappelli (JC)
125- John Chenault (SVP) dec 8-4 Logan Breitenbach (AS)
130- Jack Clark (McD) maj dec 13-3 George Weber (JC)
135- Brett Przywara (AC) dec 6-0 Brady Gaynor (AS)
140- Pete Galli (SP) dec 4-1 Will Switzer (AS)
145- Charlie Lynch (AS) dec 2-0 Brady Massaro (MSJ)
152- Brad Mutchnik (SP) dec 9-4 Chuckie Blankenship (AC)
160- Tyler Rill (MSJ) dec 5-2 Brett Brigman (AC)
171- Mathew Miller (JC) fall 3:50 DJ Smith (AS)
189- KK Smith (AS) dec 13-9 Kevin Marvel (McD)
215- Tyler Tippett (MSJ) dec 5-4 Matt Green (SP)
285- Roman Braglio (McD) dec 4-0 Derek Pittman (SVP)