It was the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Barons who emerged the victors from the so-called “Battle of Bethesda”, as they defeated both Walter Johnson High School and the Whitman Vikings at the tri-meet held at Whitman on February 6.
Walter Johnson Match
This was the second match, after B-CC had beaten WJ 40-26; it commenced at the 195 pound weight level. Coach Manon bumped up senior Ezra Alexander, sophomore John-Luke Iglesias, and senior Jacob Winch to the 195, 220 and 285 pound categories respectively, and all three delivered pins in the second period of their matches. Senior Chris Habibian lost 9-3 to the 18th ranked wrestler in the State at 106 pounds; when a defeat seemed likely, Chris succeeded with extra effort in avoiding an 8 point major decision. In the 113 pound bout, sophomore Clark Boinis pinned his man in the second period, but then freshman Colby Fong was pinned by a WJ senior in the first period of his 120 pound match, and sophomore James Mackall at 126 pounds lost 11-2 to another WJ senior. Whitman led 24-13.
In the 132 pound match, senior James Bamberger pinned his opponent in the first period. Next, in his first varsity match, freshman Sang Hanna faced off against WJ junior J.D. Fitzpatrick, ranked 14th in the State at 138 pounds, and was pinned in the first round. Whitman forfeited at 145 pounds to WJ senior Logan Wilson, the 10th ranked wrestler in the State at that weight. Whitman’s lead now was just 30-25.
Coach Manon also bumped up seniors Hamoon Shokoohinia and Mitch Fenton to higher weight classes. Hamoon, wrestling at 152 pounds, gained a pin in the third round, and Mitch earned a 13-3 major decision over WJ’s Jacob Kielb, ranked 13th in the State at 160 pounds. Senior Marcos Solloso pinned his 170 pound adversary in the first round, and in the final bout at 182 pounds, junior Chris Greenberg went up against the 9th ranked wrestler at that weight, senior Patrick Okocha, and was pinned in the first round. Final score, Whitman 46, Walter Johnson 31.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Match
The Vikings disappointingly won only five of fourteen matches, and only one of them by a fall. They also were dealt a cruel blow when, early in his 145 pound contest, senior Hamoon Shokoohinia was hit hard under his chin by the top of his opponent’s head, necessitating an injury forfeit.
The match began promisingly at 220 pounds with senior Jacob Winch earning a 5-0 decision. But at 285 pounds, senior Tony Rangel was pinned in the first period; and senior Chris Habibian, taking on B-CC’s 106 pounder Eli Guttentag, 19th ranked in the State, likewise was pinned in the first period. Sophomore Clark Boinis at 113 pounds won a 4-1 decision, but then freshman Colby Fong suffered a 15-0 technical fall and sophomore James Mackall lost a hard fought battle at 126 pounds, 9-8. B-CC led 20-6.
James Bamberger decisioned his 132 pound opponent 4-0, following which, at 138 pounds, freshman Jackson Blanchard was pinned by his B-CC junior counterpart. It was then, with the match already starting to slip away by a score of 26-9, that Hamoon experienced his injury forfeit, growing the Barons’ lead to 32-9. Senior Mitch Fenton responded with a one minute pin of his 152 pound opponent, but 160 pound senior Braedan McKee was pinned in the first round by B-CC’s Alec Cohen, ranked 16th in the State at 170 pounds. With the score 38-15 and only three matches to go, B-CC had effectively won the match.
Wrestling at 170 pounds, senior Marcos Solloso won an 8-2 decision. Finishing up for B-CC were the McAndrew brothers, senior Marcelo at 182, who is 17th ranked in the State, and sophomore Gabriel at 195, 24th ranked in the State. In two hard-fought battles, senior Ezra Alexander lost 10-6 to Marcelo, and sophomore John-Luke Iglesias, tied 2-2 after the first period, was pinned by Gabriel in the second period. Final score, B-CC 47, Whitman 18.
Whitman will compete again in the Dual Meet Wrestling Class 3A/4A Tournament, to be held at Damascus High School starting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10. The four teams participating in the tournament will be Damascus (13-0), Bethesda-Chevy Chase (13-1), Springbrook (11-2), and Whitman (11-2). Because Whitman and Springbrook have identical win-loss records and have not gone head to head this season, seeding for the tournament has been determined on the basis of other specified tie-breaking criteria, and the decisive criterion in this case, which is the point differential between the two teams against common opponents, results in Springbrook being the third seed and Whitman the fourth seed. Whitman therefore will be wrestling the first seed, Damascus, in the semi-finals, starting at 5:30 p.m.
By Craig Bamberger