Defending State Champion Damascus won the 3A/4A Dual Tournament on February 10, defeating Whitman 63-18 and Bethesda-Chevy Chase 54-18. Damascus therefore will advance to the State Dual Tournament.
Whitman, already weakened by earlier injuries to some of its wrestlers, came into the match without 145 pound senior wrestler Hamoon Shokoohinia, who was injured in its February 6 match with B-CC. In its match with Damascus, Whitman forfeited at three weight levels and bumped up most of its wrestlers to weight classes above their actual weights; Damascus forfeited at one weight level and several Damascus wrestlers likewise were bumped up to higher weight levels. Whitman won two matches actually wrestled (as distinguished from a forfeit) and in each case did so with a pin, but it lost seven such matches, six of them by pins.
The match began encouragingly, at the 195 pound level. Senior Ezra Alexander, despite falling behind 7-1 through two periods, suddenly pinned his adversary in the third period. But the next match was something of a mirror image, with sophomore John Luke-Iglesias being pinned in the second period while holding a 4-0 lead. Then Damascus’ heavyweight Michael Bradshaw, whom Whitman senior Jacob Winch had defeated in the two teams’ February 3 match, turned the tables, pinning Jacob in the second period. Damascus led 12-6.
Damascus forfeited to senior Chris Habibian at the 106 pound level, and Whitman reciprocated by forfeiting at 113 pounds. Sophomore Clark Boinis, wrestling up to 120 pounds against T.J. Macklin, ranked 19th in the State at 120 pounds, was pinned in the first round, and sophomore James Mackall was pinned in the second period by Damascus’ 126 pound wrestler. At 132 pounds, Whitman forfeited to former State Champion Scott Obendorfer, ranked 3d in the State at 126 pounds. Senior James Bamberger, wrestling at 138 pounds, was pinned in the second period by Damascus’ Ryan Lawrence, ranked 9th in the State at that weight level. Whitman forfeited again at the 145 pound level. The score was Damascus 44, Whitman 12.
Whitman’s 152 pound senior wrestler Mitch Fenton pinned his Damascus opponent in the third period to remain undefeated on the season. Then, at the 160 pound level, Whitman made its third forfeit. Next, senior Braedan McKee, wrestling up at 170 pounds against Damascus’ Colin McLaughlin, 6th ranked in the State at 160 pounds, was pinned in the first round. In the final match senior Marcos Solloso, wrestling at the 182 pound level against Ben Lokos, ranked 9th at 170 pounds, had a close match, losing 7-5. Final score: Damascus 63, Whitman 18.
Whitman will close out its 2015-2016 dual meet wrestling competition on Friday, February 12, when it will go to Clarksburg for a 6:15 p.m. meet that was postponed from January 27 because of snow conditions. After that, the individual wrestler competition will commence, with the Montgomery County junior varsity tournament on February 13 and the Montgomery County varsity tournament on February 19-20, both at Gaithersburg High School.
By Craig Bamberger