War­riors up­ended in re­gion du­als fi­nal

La Plata beats South­ern, then edged by Oak­land Mills

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

On the night when they hosted the Class 2A-1A South Re­gion du­als as the top seed, the La Plata High School wrestling team was even­tu­ally top­pled by How- ard County’s Oak­land Mills on Wed­nes­day even­ing in a dra­matic clash that was not de­cided un­til the fi­nal match.

La Plata (25-16 over­all) had slipped past fourth-seeded South­ern of Anne Arun­del County, 34-30, in the re­gion semi­fi­nals, while third-seeded Oak­land Mills had made quick work of sec­ond-seeded Kent Is­land of Queen Anne’s County, 48-6.

The War­riors’ vic­tory over the Bull­dogs in the semis was close since La Plata for­feited the last three matches af­ter at­tain­ing a 3412 lead when Matt Em­brey (152 pounds) pinned South­ern’s Ja­son To­liver mid­way through the third pe­riod.

In the cham­pi­onship match against Oak­land Mills, La Plata had no mar­gin for er­ror and the War­riors dug them­selves into an early hole when Oak­land Mills Ab­dul Malik (220) recorded a first-pe­riod pin against La Plata’s Eric Ward in the open­ing match then Su­per Scorp’s Kyle Boothe edged the War­riors’ Colton Scias- cia, 4-3, in four over­times.

“Last year when they met, Colton beat him by a point,” La Plata head coach John Pankhurst said. “We had a lot of re­ally good matches. I thought the ef­fort was there from the guys against Oak­land Mills. We re­ally were not con­sis­tent in the South­ern match, but that’s been the case for much of the sea­son. We’re very young, so we’re go­ing to have matches like that.”

When Oak­land Mills’ John Ryan (152) de­feated Matt Em­brey 22-5, the Scor­pi­ons owned a 30-21 lead with only four matches re­main­ing. La Plata’s David Cook­sey (160) promptly gave the War­riors hope with a first-pe­riod pin over An­thony Mo­rales, then Corbin Bales (170) edged Mol­ban Ka­mara, 5-2, to bring the hosts even at 30 with two matches left.

Oak­land Mills prompt-

ly re­gained the up­per hand when Paul John­son (182) pinned La Plata fresh­man Ja­son Moehler late in the first pe­riod. The War­riors’ Ryan Lat­timer, nurs­ing a mi­nor foot in­jury, needed to pin Oak­land Mills’ Aaron Smith in or­der to tie the fi­nal score and in­voke a se­ries of tie-break­ers to de­ter­mine the over­all win­ner. In a close con­test, Smith even­tu­ally pre­vailed, 8-5, to se­cure the ti­tle for the Scor­pi­ons.

Oak­land Mills (11-3) heads to the state du­als, which will take place at North Point start­ing at noon Satur- day, as the fourth seed and will take on top seed Spar­rows Point of Balti- more County in the semi­fi­nals.

Early in the match, fresh­man Owen But­ler, younger brother of 2016 2A state cham­pion, Cameron But­ler, now a fresh­man at Clar­ion Univer­sity (Pa.), made quick work of Oak­land Mills’ Devin Cor­nelius, 11-0, to nar- row the War­riors’ deficit to 9-4.

“You have to keep work­ing hard all the time,” But­ler said. “I wanted to stay ag­gres­sive right from the start in both of my matches. It was ex­cit- ing at the end. I was hop­ing we could pull it out, but we still have SMAC and I’m hop­ing to earn enough points to get to states.”

Oak­land Mills’ Dai­quan An­der­son (113), a 2A state fi­nal­ist last win­ter, got the bet­ter of Josh Roberts, 113, then La Plata’s David Hayes was awarded a for­feit and Marco Fed­eri- co (126) recorded a first-pe­riod pin over Oak­land Mills’ Malik Gohman to give the War­riors a 16-13 lead.

But Oak­land Mills Kyle Farace (132) then made quick work of Mike Bellerose with a first-pe­riod pin to give the lead back to the vis­i­tors. La Plata’s Jack Chipps (138) fol­lowed with an 18-2 tri­umph over James Pen­der to briefly give the lead back to the War­riors only to see the Scor­pi­ons re­bound to take the win and re­gion du­als ti­tle.

In La Plata’s open­ing match against South­ern, pins by Lat­timer (195) and But­ler (106) en­abled the hosts to gain an early 12-3 lead. The Bull­dogs ral­lied to get within 15-12 be­fore Chipps (138) de­feated Howard An­der­son, 10-1, then Nick Mead­ows (145) edged Ken Lanza, 4-2, and Em­brey recorded a third-pe­riod pin against To­liver.

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

La Plata High School’s Corbin Bales de­feats Oak­land Mills’ Mol­ban Ka­mara, 5-2, in their 170-pound match on Wed­nes­day even­ing in the Class 2A-1A South Re­gion du­als that the War­riors hosted. Oak­land Mills, how­ever, even­tu­ally edged La Plata, 39-30, to reach Satur­day’s state du­als at North Point High School in Wal­dorf.

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