County team ti­tle for Pointer wrestlers

Owls’ Doetsch wins third county crown

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By BILL GATES bgates@ches­pub.com

Spar­rows Point wrestling fans cel­e­brate af­ter Ethan Hoenig up­set Perry Hall’s Cam­ryn Grindle in the 138-pound fi­nal at the Bal­ti­more County wrestling cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment on Satur­day. Hoenig’s win, one of three in­di­vid­ual ti­tles for the Point­ers, locked up Spar­rows Point’s first county wrestling team ti­tle.

En­ter­ing the Bal­ti­more County Cham­pi­onship Tour­na­ment on Fri­day at Perry Hall, it had been three years since the Spar­rows Point wrestling team last had an in­di­vid­ual county champ and had been, well, for­ever, since the Point­ers won the team cham­pi­onship. Both slumps ended on Satur­day. Three in­di­vid­ual county champs boosted Spar­rows Point to its first county team cham­pi­onship by a 184-171 mar­gin over run­ner-up Owings Mills.

It was the first county team ti­tle for a lo­cal school since Pat­ap­sco in 1983. The only other ti­tle won by a lo­cal school was Dun­dalk in 1963.

Max Ham­mond (132 pounds), Ethan Hoenig (138 pounds) and Ethan Smith (182) won in­di­vid­ual county ti­tles for the Point­ers.

Dun­dalk’s Robert Doetsch won the county 160-pound cham­pi­onship on Satur­day for his third con­sec­u­tive county ti­tle.

De­spite fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the team stand­ings last year, Spar­rows Point did not have an in­di­vid­ual county cham­pion. The last Pointer to win a county wrestling ti­tle was Brody Un­der­wood in 2014.

“I thought we had a chance this year,” Pointer coach Michael Whis­ner said. “Owings Mills and Here­ford have good tour­na­ment teams, and there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong for us.

“If we don’t go 3-0 in the fi­nals, we cer­tainly don’t win.”

Spar­rows Point had a 13-point lead, 170-157, over Owings Mills en­ter­ing the cham­pi­onship fi­nals. The Golden Ea­gles had four wrestlers in the fi­nals to three for the Point­ers.

Owings Mills’ first wrestler in the fi­nals, Alex Du­Four (106 pounds), lost a 15-4 ma­jor de­ci­sion to Franklin’s Phil Smith, but Ty

son McDuffy (126 pounds) edged Perry Hall’s Tyrell Arm­strong 4-3.

Cou­pled with Du­Four’s loss, Ham­mond’s 5-0 de­ci­sion over Cade Hud­son of Here­ford es­sen­tially wrapped up the team ti­tle for the Point­ers.

Hoenig’s 8-7 up­set of Perry Hall’s Cam­ryn Grindle re­moved all doubt.

Trail­ing 5-2 in the sec­ond pe­riod, Hoenig scored a re­ver­sal and two back points to take a 6-5 lead.

Grindle, who was ranked 10th in the state en­ter­ing the tour­na­ment, got a take­down in the third pe­riod for a 7-6 lead. But Hoenig re­versed Grindle in the fi­nal minute, then held on and kept the Ga­tor wrestler from es­cap­ing (which would have tied the match and sent it into over­time).

“He caught me in a splade in the third pe­riod and got up on me,” Hoenig said. “I got out of the splade, was down by a point, looked up at the clock and told my­self, ‘I’ve got to do this.’

“He slammed me down in the first pe­riod and I was see­ing stars for a sec­ond, but I knew I had to keep push­ing through.”

Owings Mills won its last two fi­nals matches, but the Point­ers al­ready had an in­sur­mount­able lead by the time Smith took the mat against Dun­dalk’s Mike Walker in the 182-pound fi­nal. Smith, ranked sixth in the na

tion, pinned Walker 11 sec­onds into the sec­ond pe­riod.

It was a moral vic­tory of sorts for Walker.

“I wanted to keep all my matches [at the tour­na­ment] in the first pe­riod,” Smith said. “I just missed that in the fi­nal.

Af­ter a first-round bye, Smith had a first-pe­riod tech­ni­cal fall over Dion­dre Space of Owings Mills, then pinned Yukon Ryan of Kenwood in 1:20 in the semi­fi­nals.

Smith, a se­nior who trans­ferred to Spar­rows Point this school year from Aberdeen, has not lost since the Penn­syl­va­nia state tour­na­ment his sopho­more year, and has not given up a point this sea­son other than in­ten­tion­ally al­low­ing es­capes.

“I’m just fo­cus­ing on things that help me keep get­ting bet­ter,” said Smith, who had com­mit­ted to Iowa State in the fall but is be­ing re­leased from his com­mit­ment due to the Iowa State coach re­tir­ing.

Help­ing Spar­rows Point win its first county ti­tle “feels pretty good,” Smith said. “We have a good team, a good at­mos­phere. They took me in, made me feel like I’ve been here for years.”

Ham­mond, who en­tered the tour­na­ment ranked fourth over­all in the state and first in Class 1A/2A, reached the fi­nals by pin­ning New Town’s An­gelo Levon in 5:18 and scor­ing a 6-0 de­ci­sion over Josh Kresh­tool of Franklin.

Af­ter a score­less first pe­riod against Hud­son, Ham­mond took a 3-0 lead on an es­cape and a take­down. He added an­other take- down in the third pe­riod.

“I wasn’t that con­cerned about any­one in the bracket,” Ham­mond said. “I was more wor­ried about my moves, what I needed to do bet­ter.

We knew we could win the county ti­tle. We put a lit­tle more pres­sure on our­selves in prac­tice this week. We worked harder and put in a lot of ex­tra time prac­tic­ing.”

Hoenig was seeded sec­ond in the tour­na­ment field and has been un­ranked in the state de­spite de­feat­ing a ranked wrestler in the re­gional duals tour­na­ment.

He pinned Lans­downe’s Tyler Per­due in 45 sec­onds to open the tour­na­ment, then pinned Troy McDuffy of Owings Mills in 4:53 be­fore scor­ing a 4-3 de­ci­sion over Here­ford’s Ryan God­frey in the semi­fi­nals.

Doetsch, ranked sec­ond in the state at 160 pounds, pinned Johnathon An­daluz of owings Mills in 55 sec­onds in the open­ing round and fol­lowed that by pin­ning Ran­dall­stown’s Wise Al­lah in 3:31 and Spar­rows Point’s Quentin Hager in 3:41.

Fac­ing sec­ond-seeded Rasim Aliyev of Pikesville in the fi­nals, Doetsch ground out a me­thod­i­cal 9-2 win.

“I was just try­ing to keep a nice pace, get through the match and pre­pare for re­gion­als,” Doetsch said. “I wasn’t con­cerned about any­one [in the county tour­na­ment].

Doetsch, whose only loss since his sopho­more year was to Smith and is striv­ing for his scond straight state ti­tle, will likely have to face top-ranked Aaron Brooks of North Hager­stown in the re­gional tour­na­ment this week at Mil­ford Mill.

Walker, the sec­ond seed at 182 pounds, reached the fi­nal against Smith by pin­ning Alex O’Ree of Perry Hall in 1:55 and win­ning an 11-7 de­ci­sion over Tow­son’s Ja­cob Mader.

On fac­ing a na­tion­ally-ranked wrestler like Smith, Walker said: “I just wanted to go crazy, go hard, and try my best. I re­spect Smith so much; hisb tech­nique, his quick­ness, he’s just re­ally good.”

In ad­di­tion to the three in­di­vid­ual ti­tles, Spar­rows Point got two third-place fin­ishes, two fourth­place fin­ishes, two fifths and a sixth-place.

Matt Fouts (106 pounds) and his brother Mike Fouts (120 pounds) fin­ished third. Skyler Minutelli (126) and Quentin hager (160) took fourth, while Ron­nie Brown (152) and Givoni Her­ring (170) placed fifth.

Danny Davis placed sixth at 113 pounds.

Dun­dalk had two sixth-place fin­ish­ers in Hamza Lagh­firi (126) and Ye­ab­sira Ti­lahun (285 pounds).

For Pat­ap­sco, Cameron Nel­son fin­ished third at 160 pounds. He lost a 13-5 de­ci­sion to Aliyev in the semi­fi­nals, then scored an 18-2 tech­ni­cal fall over Hager in the con­so­la­tion fi­nals.

Kye Lynch took fifth place at 145 pounds for the Pa­tri­ots.

In the team stand­ings, Here­ford (149.5) was third, fol­lowed by Franklin (97.5), Mil­ford Mill (95), New Town (84), Western Tech (82), East­ern Tech (81), Ca­tonsville (78) and Lans­downe (78).

Dun­dalk fin­ished in 11th place with 70 points, while Pat­ap­sco was in 19th place with 35.5.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

Spar­rows Point’s Ethan Hoenig up­set Cam­ryn Grindle of Perry Hall for the county 138-pound ti­tle.

PHO­TOS BY BILL GATES

Pat­ap­sco’s Cameron Nel­son de­feats Quentin Hager of Spar­rows Point for third place at 160 pounds.

Max Ham­mond of Spar­rows Point bat­tles Here­ford’s Cade Hud­son while win­ning the county 132-pound ti­tle.

Dun­dalk’s Robert Doetsch won his third cnsec­u­tive county ti­tle with a 9-2 win over Pikesville’s Rasim Aliyev.

Ethan Smith of Spar­rows Point pins Dun­dalk’s Mike Walker in the 182-pound fi­nal at the county tour­na­ment.

Pat­ap­sco’s Kye Lynch pins Mike Romero of Dun­dalk in the first round at the county tour­na­ment.

Mike Fouts of Spar­rows Point pinned Jabius Barr of Mil­ford Mill for third place at 120 pounds.

Matt Fouts of Spar­rows Point turns Lans­downe’s Desean Hunter dur­ing the 106-pound con­so­la­tion bracket fi­nal, won by Fouts 3-1.

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