Stephen Decatur 57 — Kent Island 6
BERLIN — When Kent Island High’s wrestling team scored 24 points against Stephen Decatur during a dual-meet loss Jan. 24, Bucs assistant Billy Boorse recognized the Seahawks did not have their No. 1 lineup intact.
Wednesday night that lineup showed what it can do at full strength.
Top-seeded Decatur routed No. 4 Queen Anne’s, 62-6, in the semifinals, then pieced together a dominating 57-6 victory over No. 2 Kent Island to win the Class 2A East Region Dual-Meet championship and earn a spot in Saturday’s state dual-meet tournament at North Point High.
“You still got to finish,” said Decatur head coach Todd Martinek, who one year after winning the Class 4A-3A state dual-meet title, has called this his best Seahawks team ever. “Great teams lose. It’s just a great team.
“If they just keep working hard, which we had a great week of practice after wrestling really bad on Friday night (during a 50-24 victory over James M. Bennett),” Martinek continued. “It was a great time to wrestle bad on Friday because it really opened our eyes. You know, we can think we’re great but you have to show up every match and we didn’t show every match on Friday.”
The Seahawks showed up in almost every bout Wednesday.
Of the 24 matches wrestled against Queen Anne’s and Kent Island combined — there were four forfeits — Decatur won all but two. Queen Anne’s Sean Blackwell earned a second-period pinfall over Henry Brous at 220 pounds in the semifinals, and Kent Island’s Will Longhurst (220) pinned John Church in the first period for the Bucs’ lone victory in the finals.
“I think tonight we made a pretty good statement that we’re pretty dominant and we’re pretty hard to beat, because you got to pin some kids and our kids don’t give up pins,” Martinek said. “And we get a lot of pins.”
“It’s tough to beat this team,” said Martinek of a squad that has now won 38 consecutive dual meets dating back to last year’s Iron Horse Duals tournament at C. Milton Wright. “It really is. And they’re well rounded from top to bottom and they’re working hard. If we just keep doing that for a couple more days, stay healthy, we’re really going to make a statement I hope on Saturday.”
The Seahawks (16-0) further demonstrated’ that dominance in the finals, scoring the first takedown in 11 of the 14 matches wrestled — two weight classes were forfeited, including a double forfeit at 285.
“First takedown sets the tone,” Martinek said. “You get a first takedown on the kid and already you’re mentally breaking him a little bit. We talk about that a lot, about the mental side of wrestling. And if you can get that first takedown, it breaks the kid a little bit. He’s thinks, oh, he’s got a chance, now he’s already down 2-0. And your team’s down and it puts a lot of pressure on kids that sometimes they’re not used to.”
Decatur’s Jagger Clapsadle opened the finals with a 13-7 decision over Jake Bowman at 126. Nico D’Amico extended that lead to 7-0 with a 9-1 major decision over Jack Mulligan at 132.
“I was proud with the way most of our guys fought,” Kent Island head coach Tommy Sitar said. “Keeping it close with Clapsadle. Keeping it close with D’Amico. Those are efforts those guys should have been proud of.”
The Seahawks steadily stretched their advantage.
Kyle Elliott (138) earned a 13-2 major decision over Douglas Alvarez. Noah Reho (145) grinded out a 3-0 decision over Matt Miller at 145. Alex Kolivkov (152) pinned Tommy Dehney in 49 seconds, and James Panara (160) decisioned Joe Colony, 5-2.
The Seahawks’ lead ballooned to 41-0 as Micah Bourne (170) pinned Randy Main in 51 seconds, D.J. Taylor (182) earned a third-period fall over David Van Wie, and John Hoffman picked up a forfeit win at 195.
Longhurst got the first takedown of the 220-pound bout, and gave the Bucs their only victory when he stuck John Church in 1:22.
But after a double forfeit at 285, the Seahawks got consecutive pinfalls from Austin Miller (106) and Logan Intrier (113) before Shamar Baines crafted a 12-1 major decision over Cody LaTorre at 120, the evening’s final match.
It was the second consecutive year Kent Island reached the region final, falling last year to Parkside in the final match. Sitar said one of his team’s goals at the beginning of the season was winning the regional duals, but recognized who was going to be in the way.
“Some of the matches seemed like we were a little bit overmatched,” Sitar said of the final. “We knew coming in we would need a lot of upsets to make that happen. Didn’t get them.”
Kent Island (14-2) advanced with a 51-21 victory over Parkside (12-3) in the semifinals, as Jack Hooks (106), Bowman, Mulligan, Dehney, Colony, Main and Van Wie each registered pinfalls.
Queen Anne’s finished the dual-meet season 12-3.