South Carroll High crowned eight regional champions, placed nine wrestlers within the top three, and positioned 13 in the top four of their weight classes in Saturday’s Class 2A-1A North Region Tournament at Milford Mill.
Returning senior two-time Class 2A-1A state titlists Gage Owen (138 pounds), Mike Pizzuto (145) and A.J. Rodrigues (160) and senior state runner-up Rylan Moose (182) all won their third straight regional crowns a week after each earned his their fourth consecutive Carroll County title to win that tournament championship.
In a repeat of their county performances, Cavaliers sophomore Evan Owen (113) won his second straight crown, while the trio of sophomore Manny Rodrigues (195) and freshmen Grayson Barnhill (106) and Joseph Gigliotti (120) earned initial regional crowns.
Gigliotti, Gage Owen, AJ Rodrigues and Moose are ranked No. 1 overall in Billy B’s Maryland State Wrestling Association ratings, Pizzuto is No. 2, Evan Owen is No. 4, and Manny Rodrigues, No. 6.
Moose (44-2) and Manny Rodrigues (39-3) required overtime to secure their victories: Moose by 4-3 decision over senior Baltimore County champion Damon Nelson (48-2) of Sparrows Point, and Rodrigues on a takedown and nearfall points for a 10-6 triumph over junior Baltimore County champion Maleek Ayonrinde (32-4) of New Town.
“I used a slide-by to get the takedown,” said Manny Rodrigues of his takedown. “I can’t really get under these big guys, so I have to be slick.”
Moose trailed 3-0 entering the third period, where an escape and a takedown tied and sent the match into overtime.
Nelson was initially awarded a 5-3 decision after appearing to have countered a shot by Moose, but a review by officials determined that Nelson had illegally scissored Moose’s head. The ruling meant Moose received a penalty point and the victory.
“I was down, 3-1, and I got two for a takedown, tied it up, and I held him down for the final period,” Moose said. “In overtime, I had a good shot but a bad finish. He had a good scramble and I feel like he won that scramble. It’s not my fault that he did the illegal hold, but that’s not the way I want to win.”
Rated No. 2 overall behind Moose, Nelson was gracious in defeat, even as he looks forward to a possible rematch in next weekend’s state finals.
“At the end of the day, it’s not Rylan’s decision. It’s the referees,” Nelson said. “I feel like next week, we’ll see who the real winner is at states.”
Barnhill finished senior Baltimore County champion Clayton Dicus (31-2) in 1:46, this after having decked his semifinal opponent in seven seconds. Barnhill pinned a pair of opponents in 12 seconds each to win his county title.
“I had two matches at counties that took 24 seconds total,” Barnhill said. “The way our room is, the way we practice, everybody’s on another level than everyone else who is here.”
Evan Owen (41-4) led by as much as 7-1 for an eventual, 8-3 decision over sophomore Baltimore County champ, Christian Manley (42-7).
“I was working pretty hard to dominate,” said Owen, who was fourth at states last year. “I kept wrestling hard at every position to the point where he couldn’t compete.”
Gigiliotti (44-2) pinned three opponents, including Milford Mill junior Caramri Gilliam at 1:44 of their title bout.
“He came at me hard, and I didn’t really expect him to be like that,” said Gigiliotti, a former four-time junior league state champ. “I got a quick takedown, locked up the cradle and did what I do best. Grayson and Evan got the ball rolling and I just kept it going.”
Gage Owen (44-0) reached the finals on a pair of first period pins before scoring an 18-2 technical fall over Baltimore County runner-up Sean Lippman, a sophomore from Lansdowne.
“When you see one teammate win, the momentum builds,” Gage Owen said. “Today, it was Barnhill getting a pin, Evan beating a ranked opponent, and Jo Jo getting another pin.”
Pizzuto (42-3) followed with a 12-2 major decision over Baltimore County runner-up Russell Fary of Sparrows Point.
“Most of us have been in the finals of every tournament,” Pizzuto said. “We get the ball rolling, continue to score points and be the best team in the gym every time.”
AJ Rodrigues (43-2) pinned Sparrows Point senior Matt Laubach in 78 seconds, following up falls in 31 and 15 seconds of his quarterfinal and semifinal bouts.
“This is my last time being in the regionals with this team,” Rodrigues said. “As the year goes on, we rise to the competition because we battle in the room every day.”
Hereford senior Owen Bell (126) demonstrated why he’s a three-time Baltimore County and regional champion, finishing his rivals in 76, 27 and 74 seconds.
Bell’s title bout win was against junior Rashawn Byrd of Owings Mills, improving his record on the year to 38-0 as he looks to improve on last year’s fourth place finish at Class 2A-1A states.
“I came in focused,” said Bell, who is ranked No. 1 in the Class 2A-1A and No. 3 overall. “Pretty much all year long, I’m wrestling. I don’t think I’ve had more than a month off and I lift weights all the time, in the offseason also.”
Sparrows Point crowned two champions in senior Class 2A-1A state champion Dom Ambrosino (132) and senior two-time Baltimore County champion Hunter Petrovia (285). Ambrosino is ranked No. 2 in Class 2A-1A, and No. 3 overall.
Ambrosino trailed, 2-1, with 10 seconds left when reversed and pinned fourth-place state finishing sophomore Dylan Ohler (132) of Liberty, a two-time Carroll County champion who slipped to 34-5.
“I knew I had him when he tried to throw in legs, because I’m comfortable when people throw in legs,” said Ambrosino, who scored the fall with three seconds left to improve to 47-2. “I felt him hanging his head, grabbed it, pulled it under and got his legs out. Once he was on his back, I knew he was done for.”
Petrovia (47-3) scored a second-period pin against Overlea senior Luis Funes-Hernandez (29-5) to add his second straight regional crown.
Owings Mills senior Amondre Wooden (152) rose to 37-1 with his 9-2 decision over county runner-up Tanner Cooper of Sparrows Point. Wooden earned his second Baltimore County title last weekend and his second regional crown on Saturday.
“I’m very blessed to get another opportunity to win counties and regionals,” said Wooden, a third place finisher in the Class 2A-1A state tournament as a freshman. “I’m strong, I’ve got technique and I’m ready to win states.”
Randallstown senior Kasim Bahar (170) scored a takedown with nine seconds left for a 3-1 decision over senior Jason Worthington of Sparrows Point, and New Town sophomore John Davis (220) decked junior Jacob Dell of Francis Scott Key in 1:54 after nearly being pinned himself.
CLASS 2A-1A WEST (at Manchester Valley)
Northeast freshman Beau Schmidt scored a takedown with 20 seconds remaining in his 132-pound bout to secure a 3-2 regional championship victory over sophomore Caleb Brenneman of Northern-Garrett County a week after winning the Anne Arundel County Tournament title.
“This was a tough tournament. I really had to concentrate on maintaining my focus,” said Schmidt, who improved to 26-0 while Brenneman dropped to 34-4.
“I kept my head in the game, scored my points and kept grinding. I’m going to keep working hard in practice because this feels amazing.”
The score was tied at 1 when Schmidt scored the takedown off a “headlock to a throw-by” for a 3-1 lead. Schmidt then released Brenneman five seconds later for a one-point escape and held him off for the win.
“I escaped to go up 1-0 in the second period and he made it 1-1 in the third period. I knew I had to score. I was able to get that front headlock on him, snap it down and spin behind him,” Schmidt said.
“I saw there was about 15 seconds on the clock so I’m thinking, ‘I don’t have any stall calls on me and I don’t wanna risk him giving up a reversal.’ So I let him go and circled around after that until there was no time left.”
As the region’s fourth seed, Schmidt earned a first-round, 6-0 decision over Camden Yowell of Manchester Valley before winning his semifinal, 5-2, over sixth-place state finishing junior Stephen Stottlemeyer (45-5) of Middletown of Frederick County.
Brenneman reached the finals with an 8-3 semifinal victory over third seeded senior Howard County champion Mason Cowell of Oakland Mills. Cowell lost his next bout to Yowell, who finished fourth after losing, 2-1, to Stottlemeyer.
Manchester Valley crowned three champions all of whom were Carroll County title winners the previous weekend.
Manchester Valley’s senior Class 2A-1A state champion Jake (170) rose to 46-2 on a 78-second pin, a 14-1 major decision and a 10-3 victory over senior title bout rival James Brashears of Smithsburg, who slipped to 36-4. Boog is ranked No. 1 in Class 2A-1A.
Boog’s senior teammate Travis Green (152) out-scored his three opponents by a combined 29-4 to improve to 48-0. A returning third place finisher at Class 2A-1A states, Green won his championship bout, 5-2, over previously unbeaten sixth-place state finishing junior Morgon Corwine (38-1) of Brunswick.
Maverick senior Derek Martin (285) improved to 36-3 with his 8-0 championship decision over Williamsport senior Mason Wolfensberger, who slipped to 39-4
Oakland Mills junior Joe Clark (160) earned an overtime, 6-5 title match victory over Glenelg’s senior Class 2A-1A state runner-up Ethan Sotka, this coming a week after having dethroned Sotka, 4-2, for the Howard County title.
Clark is ranked No. 2 in Class 2A-1A and rose to 36-3 on the year, while Sotka is ranked No. 3 and slipped to 35-5.
A week after winning the Howard County title, Hammond senior Jinan Khan (182) pinned all three opponents for his regional crown, including senior Nathan Kovalcik of Catoctin High. Khan improved to 38-4.
CLASS 2A-1A EAST (at Queen Anne’s)
Rising Sun crowned four champions in junior defending Class 2A-1A title winner Tyler Garvin (113), freshman Zach Garvin (138), junior Mason Testerman (182 ) and sophomore Elijah Farr (195).
Tyler Garvin, Testerman and Farr earned their second straight Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference titles last week, and Zach Garvin, his first. Testerman was third at states and Farr was fifth.
Rated No. 1 overall by the MSWA, Tyler Garvin scored a 90-second pin over North Harford sophomore Tommy Blankenship to improve to 45-0 after having finished at 43-0 last year.
Testerman rose to 39-2 following fall in 4:40 over Giuseppe Mellinger of Kent Island, and Farr is 43-3 after pinning Stephen Decatur’s Kole Kohut in 3:39 of their title match.
Queen Anne’s crowned repeat regional champion and third-place state finishing senior Zach Curry (160) and junior Tremaine Jackson (120). Curry scored a 15-3 major decision over Parkside’s Canaan Mapp, and Jackson, a 5-1 decision over Kent Island senior Jack Hooks.
The Class 2A-1A state dual meet champion Stephen Decatur Seahawks of Berlin crowned five champions in juniors Reid Caimi (126), Gavin Solito (152) and Parker Intrieri (170), freshman Elijah Collick (106) and senior Logan Intrieri (132).
Logan improved to 43-1 with his 9-5 victory over North Harford senior Cruz Cespedes (34-5). Intrieri also owns an 11-5 victory over defending Class 2A-1A state champion Dom Ambrosino of Sparrows Point.
A two-time UCBACs champion, Cespedes was coming off last week’s come-from-behind, 5-4, victory over previously unbeaten sixth-place Class 4A-3A state finisher Chris Nice of Bel Air, who entered their bout at 39-0.
Other champions were North Caroline’s seniors Gus Clark (145) and Jaeden Warner (220) and senior Austin Alexander (285) of Colonel Richardson, who improved to 37-1 with his third-period pin over North Harford junior Clay Lawrence (40-2).
CLASS 2A-1A SOUTH (at Patuxent)
Pikeville senior Kiah Noble (138) improved to 17-1 with his 8-5 decision over Huntingtown senior Ty Montgomery, adding his regional crown to the Baltimore County Tournament title he earned a week earlier.
Western junior Clarence Torreville (126) earned a 9-7 victory over Loch Raven junior Chris Beegan for his regional crown a week after neither wrestler finished within the top six at the Baltimore County tournament.