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In a year that has seen the Huntingtown Hurricanes wrestling team earn a slew of new accomplishments for the program, senior Dalonte Holland takes the role he plays very seriously.
“For me, some of the kids are young, we have some freshmen, they look up to me to do big things and show them what steps to take to get to the next level,” Holland said. “It's something that's really big to us.”
The senior provided another good example on Saturday night in the Class 4A-3A South Region tournament, which was hosted by Huntingtown. Holland pinned Northern's Scott Cross in the first period of the 285-pound championship match – the first contested bout of the finals – to do his part to secure Huntingtown's first regional tournament championship.
The Hurricanes, who also received an individual championship performance from Colt Constantino at 152 pounds, put four wrestlers in the finals and accumulated 146.5 points to top runner-up Stephen Decatur of Worcester County by 121 points. Southern Maryland Athletic Conference teams rounded out the rest of the top five, with North Point (117), La Plata (115) and Leonardtown (110) filling the three through five positions, respectively.
Decatur and Northern matched Huntingtown with four finalists. Decatur managed a pair of state champions, with Andy McKahan at 113 and Nick Bennett at 145, while Northern nabbed a tournament-high three championships. Kyle LaMond took the Patriots' first with a 4-2 decision in the 220 final. Jackson Drum won by fall in the third period of the 160 bout, while Breandan Coughlin was awarded an 8-6 overtime decision at 106 over La Plata's Cam Butler in one of the most interesting matches of the night.
In all, 10 of the 14 individual champions hailed from SMAC programs. In addition to Huntingtown and Northern, La Plata and North Point each had two, while Lackey had one.
Lackey's Corrice Davis opened up a big lead and ultimately pinned Parkdale's LK Lyles-El with a second left in regulation to win the 182-pound crown.
North Point's first title of the night came courtesy of Tyler Morgan in the 138 final. Morgan trailed 2-0 with less than 10 seconds to wrestle, but was able to tie the match with a reversal just before time ran out and eventually won a 4-2 overtime decision over Kevin Thomas of Parkdale. Later, Dominick Summers won a less dramatic 6-3 decision over Huntingtown's Jacob Wood in the championship match at 120.
La Plata's most prominent names both delivered in the region tournament, with Anthony Cable, a state runner-up a year ago, earning a 5-0 decision over Huntingtown's Tristan Ramberg at 170. Defending state champion Marty Margolis produced perhaps the most dominating tournament of any wrestler, winning by fall in each of his three matches in the tournament to claim the 126 crown. Margolis pinned Francois Scarboro of C.H. Flowers at the 1 minute 28 second mark of the first period to put the exclamation mark on his tournament.
“My first couple matches I was forcing a couple things that probably weren't there, some throws,” Margolis said. “I was giving up some stupid points and got a little scare – I got dropped on my head a little bit in my first match. I knew that I could dominate if I wrestled like me and stayed smart.
“Coming off [last weekend's SMAC tournament], I pinned my way through and realized that was a pretty doable goal. I knew it would be tough, but I want to dominate to a level where I can pin my way through any tournament. I made the goal that I wanted to pin my way through the postseason. I pinned all three of my kids this weekend at regionals.”
The wrestling season will conclude with the state tournament next Friday and Saturday at Cole Field House at the University of Maryland in College Park. While plenty of wrestlers will be looking to make some new history, Margolis is hoping to repeat it by winning a second state championship.
“I'm just going to go out there and try to dominate,” he said. “I know I put in the work in the offseason, train hard. There should be no reason why I come up short. If there is, then someone trained harder than me and I just have to work harder. There's some tough kids.”
Patuxent best SMAC team in 2A-1A South tournament
Patuxent finished fifth to lead the SMAC contingent at the 2A-1A South Region tournament at Southern High School in Anne Arundel County.
The Panthers, led by Connor Furst's championship at 152 pounds, scored 102 points. Oakland Mills of Howard County won a tight contest for the team title, scoring 185 points to 182 for Kent Island of Queen Anne's County.
Andrew Hall contributed to Patuxent's showing with a runner-up finish at 126, as did Mitch Lake at 138.
Calvert, which boasted a champion in Justin Couto in the 145-pound bracket, finished in eighth with 69 points. Kyle Hicks also reached the finals for the Cavaliers, ultimately finishing as the runner-up at 106.
Rounding out the SMAC participants, McDonough accumulated six points to finish tied for 15th.
Just like the 4A-3A teams, the 2A-1A squads will conclude the season with the state tournament next Friday and Saturday at Cole Field House at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Class 4A-3A South Region tournament results
1. Huntingtown 146.5,3. North Point 117, 4. La Plata 115, 5. Leonardtown 110, 7. Northern 87.5, 8. Lackey 72, 12. Chopticon 26.5, 15. Thomas Stone 14; Great Mills and Westlake did not score.
285 Holland (H) pinned Cross (N), 1:54
220 LaMond (N) def. Eibl (SD), 4-2
195 Wockocha (ER) def. Laury (L), 6-5
182 Davis (L) pinned Lyles-El (P), 5:59
170 Cable (LaP) def. Ramberg (H), 5-0
160 Drum (N) pinned Borradaile (SD), 4:26
152 Constantino (H) def. Vermillion (NP), 3-0
145 Bennett (SD) def. Lee (Lt), 5-0
138 Morgan (NP) def. Thomas (P), 4-2 (OT)
132 Perdormo (P) def. Forsythe (Lt), 6-4
126 Margolis (LaP) pinned Scarboro (CHF), 1:28
120 Summers (NP) def. Wood (H), 6-3
113 McKahan (SD) def. Arnold (C), 4-3
106 Coughlin (N) def. Butler (LaP), 8-6 (OT)
Class 2A-1A South Region tournament results
1. Oakland Mills 185, 5. Patuxent 102, 8. Calvert 69, T-15. McDonough 6
(SMAC-only matches listed)
106 Spano (MR) def. Hicks (C), 14-10
126 Messersmith (KI) def. Hall (P), 20-4 (tech. fall)
138 Robert (KI) def. Lake (P), 5-4
145 Couto (C) def. Z. Smith (KI), 5-0
152 Furst (P) def. C. Smith (KI) 9-6