- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Since an early December loss at archrival La Plata in just their second match of the season, the North Point Eagles have been sporting the caliber of mastery on the mat that enabled them to finish as the Class 4A-3A state duals semifinalist team last year.
Saturday continued the Eagles’ ascent over their competition as they disposed of a pair of visiting Anne Arundel County teams in a double-dual meet atmosphere for North Point.
After falling behind through the opening eight bouts to Old Mill by six points, North Point breezed to a 48-24 victory with six straight pins to impressively finish out the match.
Then North Point completed the sweep on the day with a near-identical triumphant outcome against Broadneck, running away with a 48-21 romp. Unlike its clash with Old Mill, North Point was never tested by Broadneck, jumping out to a 30-4 command through the first six bouts.
County rivals Old Mill and Broadneck did not square off at North Point given they had already wrestled against each other earlier this season. Broadneck won that match, 30-27.
Sweeping the Anne Arundel County outfits boosted North Point to a 19-3 mark, its SMAC tab remaining unmoved at 3-1. Among North Point’s victories over the last few weeks include a revenge performance against La Plata in the Warriors duals tournament the weekend before Christmas. North Point won the rematch 35-30 and was also victorious over reigning state runner-up River Hill, 33-30, at the La Plata duals tournament.
“It was a big tuneup for Tuesday with Northern, which is going to be a big one,” North Point head coach Rich Pauole said after Saturday’s wins. The Northern match finished too late for inclusion into this edition. “We’re just kind of getting into the swing of the dual-meet season. That’s why I went into Anne Arundel County [on our schedule]. I knew Broadneck and Old Mill were going to bring some pretty good individuals and decent teams, and a large JV team [for us to wrestle] doesn’t hurt. We wanted to get into Anne Arundel County and there are some good teams up there.”
The North Point frontman noted this was the first year his club has faced Broadneck and Old Mill in a double-duals format. Next season, he said his Eagles will most likely travel to Anne Arundel County to take on each team.
“I think maybe a little bit above the middle of the pack, contenders maybe,” Pauole added about where Broadneck and Old Mill would stack up in the SMAC. “There are a lot of good teams in Anne Arundel. We were expecting good competition, which is what we got.”
North Point’s Dominick Summers (113), Kyle Gascon (120), Malachi Edmond (126), Tyler Morgan (132), Andrew Lohr (152 pounds) and Justin Onuwuebu-Guy (195) were all double winners Saturday.
”We’re down a weight class [with our starters in our lineup] from [145 pounds] down,” Pauole revealed. “I’m surprised we’re so successful. The guys have come down a couple pounds. They’re feeling good.”
La Plata, H-town finish in top three at Iron Horse Duals
The SMAC was well represented this past weekend at the prestigious 13th annual Iron Horse Duals hosted by C. Milton Wright High School in Harford County.
For the second straight year at the tournament, La Plata settled for runner-up after advancing to the finals of the gathering with wins in its first six matches. But again, it was John Carroll from Harford County that got the best of La Plata to claim the tournament title. Carroll overwhelmed the Warriors, 54-13.
“We wrestled well in reaching the finals where we fell to John Carroll again this year,” La Plata second-year head coach John Pankhurst said. “They were clearly the class of the field again this year, but we left some opportunities out there against them that could have made things more interesting. It was a good learning and growing experience for the guys. We were able to get the guys some good matches and start to get them on form heading into the stretch run.
“We still have a tremendous amount of work to do, but it was a good start to the new year.”
Huntingtown finished third at the tournament as second-year head coach Kevin Gilligan beat his former team in Stephen Decatur of Worcester County in the consolation final, 42-28.
Gilligan built Decatur into a state contender over 12 seasons before coming back home to Southern Maryland to coach at Huntingtown.
“Big wins over Decatur and North Carroll,” Gilligan said of what highlighted Huntingtown’s seven matches, including a 4-1 run in its pool, losing only to eventual champion John Carroll by a 59-10 margin. “We wrestled overall very well. We are continuing to learn from these experiences. There were times in matches where we had a chance to really put teams away, and we backed off a little. That is something we need to improve on.”
He added about the tournament, “A very good experience indeed as we begin the heart of our dual-meet season. It was a great opportunity to wrestle John Carroll, who is a very quality opponent. I was proud that we went and were competitive with them, regardless of the final score.”
Huntingtown and La Plata were in separate pools and did not wrestle each other.
La Plata was led by Marty Margolis (120), John Papanicolas (126) and Dakota Wilhelm (182), who were each perfect in their seven bouts at the tournament.
Anthony Cable (160) also had a solid showing with a 6-1 record at the gathering, while teammates Cameron Butler (106), Miles Lee (113) and Nick Higgs (132) were each 5-2 for La Plata.
Huntingtown was spearheaded by heavyweight Dalonte Holland’s unbeaten 7-0 tournament mark.
Ryan Lumsden (120), Dominic Sita (138) and Colton Rowe (160/170) were each 6-1 at the tournament to support Huntingtown’s cause.
Rowe became Huntingtown’s all-time career wins leader with 113 thanks to his tournament performance.
La Plata beat Towson (61-6), Parkville (68-9), Decatur (39-37), Liberty (35-31), Patterson Mill (50-18) and Bel Air (37-30) before stumbling to John Carroll.
Huntingtown knocked off North Carroll (40-29), C.M. Wright (55-20), Eastern Tech (58-18), Towson (63-10) and Harford Tech (76-6) in addition to Decatur, falling only to John Carroll.