Damascus moves one step closer to goal -- Gazette.Net


The Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School wrestling team had more individual winners than Damascus during Saturday’s Montgomery County Wrestling Tournament at Montgomery Blair.

The Barons collected four gold medals and the Swarmin’ Hornets won three, but Damascus’ depth allowed it to record 212.5 points to earn the team championship. B-CC earned 182 points to finish second and Northwest placed third with 158.

“We had an unbelievable [tournament] this weekend. We’re so proud of them,” said Damascus coach John Furgeson after Saturday’s award ceremonies. “I appreciate all of the hard work these kids have done for us and it’s just exciting to be a part of it. They’ve done all the work that we’ve asked them to do and they’ve bought into what we are trying to accomplish.”

Damascus won the Class 4A/3A state dual meet championship last week.

Sophomore 106-pounder Mikey Macklin, classmate Michael Wilkinson (120) and senior Caleb Baisden (170) were all gold medal finishers for Damascus. The Swarmin’ Hornets also racked up plenty of points with four second-place finishers — sophomores Cory Obendorfer (126), Owen Brooks (138) and Johnny Fischer (152) and senior Michael Scafate (195).

B-CC seniors Sean Cohen (126) and Charlie Banaszak (138), junior Justin Elwell (145) and senior Jesse McNeill reached the winners’ platform. Northwest senior 220-pounder Luis Beteta and Thomas S. Wootton senior Ralph Bernardo (195) maintained their respective perfect records — 33-0 and 35-0 — with title round victories.

Bernardo blanked Scafate, 9-0, in a match where Bernardo controlled it from the start.

“I wrestled [Scafate] before in the Damascus Holiday Tournament and I pinned him in the second period, but he’s a hard guy to beat; ask anybody who [has] wrestled him,” said Bernardo. “Today, I had my strength, my speed, I got an early takedown, and just took it from there. [Coming in undefeated], I was a little nervous earlier in the week, but then I started cooling off and concentrating.”

Northwest 132-pound senior Ainsley Garvey recorded the lone pin of the championship round over Blair senior upstart Chuck Onwuzuruike in 1 minute, 30 seconds. Fellow Jaguar Nick Davis earned the title at 113 with a 4-1 win over Wootton’s Austin Tritto.

Paint Branch showed its strength in the middleweights, as K.C. Hill (152) and Malik Kelly (160) won individual titles.

It took four overtime periods for Walter Johnson’s Innocent Okocha to edge Wootton’s Josh Strauss in the 285-pound final.

The Swarmin’ Hornets can now turn their focus to the final two postseason tournaments.

“We’re still very young, and we’ve had a couple of injuries along the way, and hopefully we can keep that in mind as we get ready for the next weekend,” Furgeson said. “We can’t take anything for granted.”

Notable team standings

1. Damascus, 212.50

2. Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 182

3. Northwest, 158

4. Thomas S. Wootton, 141

5. Springbrook, 107

6. Paint Branch, 103.50

7. Walter Johnson, 97

8. Montgomery Blair, 78

9. Poolesville, 73

10. Sherwood, 72

Championship bouts

106: Mikey Macklin (DAM) d. Kevin Cristobal (SPR), 5-4

113: Nick Davis (NW) d. Austin Tritto (TSW), 4-1

120: Michael Wilkerson (DAM) d. Kyle Bollinger (QO), 3-2

126: Sean Cohen (BCC) t.f. Cory Obendorfer (DAM),

132: Ainsley Garver (NW) f. Chuck Onwuzuruike, 1:30

138: Charlie Banazak (BCC) d. Owen Brooks (DAM), 5-0

145: Justin Elwell (BCC) d. Cody Dorsey (PV), 9-5

152: K.C. Hill (PB) d. Johnny Fischer (DAM) 6-4

160: Malik Kelly (PB) d. Kellen Staton (SV) 7-4

170: Caleb Baisden (DAM) d. Stephen Potemken (TSW) 4-3

182: Jesse McNeill (BCC) m.d. Chen Han (TSW), 10-3

195: Ralph Bernardo (TSW) m.d. Michael Scafate (DAM), 9-0

220: Luis Beteta (NW) d. Connor Tilton (QO), 6-0

285: Innocent Okocha (WJ) d. Josh Strauss (TSW), 3-2 (4OT)