Eastern Tech wrestler Eric Isennock won his battle against Sparrows Point’s Manny Pritt.
But in the end, it was Pritt and Sparrows Point that won the war in an early-season showdown of two of the better wrestling programs in Baltimore County.
Isennock helped host Eastern Tech rally from a 7-point deficit to tie the score at 31, following his 5-1 win over Pritt in their 285-pound match. The match was the last of the evening, but since Sparrows Point won eight of 14 matches, it was awarded an extra point and the 32-31 win.
For the Pointers, the victory was an emotional one. It provided them with a measure of revenge after Eastern Tech defeated Sparrows Point twice in a week last season, including in the Class 1A/2A North semifinals.
“This was a match both programs circled on their calendar,” Sparrows Point coach Mike Whisner said. “Every match was emotional and one where missed opportunities on either side could have meant the difference in who won. There’s such respect on both sides in this rivalry.”
Eastern Tech led 24-15 through seven matches following pins from Sam Caravello (106), Jacob Grier (132), Stephen Beam (138) and Dustin Shackleford (145).
Sparrows Point then rallied to win five of the final seven matches, including several close matches that proved pivotal in the Pointers victory. These included a 4-3 victory at 152 by Shane Hammer over Ilya Usik followed by Teddy Cadd (160), who held off Greg Stephens, 1-0.
But the biggest win in Sparrows Point's run came at 195 where James Krug defeated Mitchell Burns, 7-0. That win provided the Pointers the eventual tiebreaker they needed.
“This win was just so huge,” said Hammer, who couldn’t contain his emotions after the match. “After what happened last year, this was a match we really wanted. It got so tight at the end I couldn’t even watch the last couple matches.”
Eastern Tech coach Kevin Cross said the Mavericks had several missed opportunities, but credited Sparrows Point for the hard-fought win.
“We had our chances, but in the end, Sparrows Point just beat us,” Cross said. “I just have to give credit where it is due.”
SPARROWS POINT 32, EASTERN TECH 30
106 – S. Caravello (ET) p. C. Petrovia (SP)
113 – Sidelinker (SP) p. J. Cox (ET)
120 – Watson (SP) p. T. Rolfes (ET)
126 – Collurafici (SP) d. K. Isennock (ET), 2-0
132 – J. Grier (ET) p. C. Long (SP)
138 – S. Beam (ET) p. Underwood (SP)
145 – D. Shackleford (ET) p. Geho (SP)
152 – S. Hammer (SP) d. I. Usik (ET), 4-3
160 – T. Cadd (SP) d. G. Stephens (ET), 1-0
170 – Borkowicz (SP) d. N. Gale (ET), 7-4
182 – Rehak (SP) md. G. Lingan (ET), 17-8
195 – Krug (SP) d. M. Burns (ET), 7-0
220 – M. Coleman (ET) md. Milan (SP), 10-2
285 – Eric Isennock (ET) d. Pritt (SP), 5-1