County team title for Pointer wrestlers
Owls’ Doetsch wins third county crown
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.
Sparrows Point’s Ethan Hoenig upset Camryn Grindle of Perry Hall for the county 138-pound title.
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.