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Seahawks edged out in regional dual finals

(Feb. 21, 2014) The Stephen Decatur wrestling team came up short of a title in the 4A/3A South Regional Duals tournament last Saturday, edged out by Huntingtown, 34-33, in the finals.

Decatur was seeded second in the four-team competition, held at Huntingtown High School. The Seahawks battled the No. 3 Leonardtown Raiders in the semifinals, while the top seeded Huntingtown Hurricanes went head-to-head with the No. 4 La Plata Warriors.

Decatur outscored Leonardtown 41-25. The Seahawks won nine of the 14 weight class matches. Seniors Nick Bennett (145 pounds) and Caleb Massey (195) and freshmen Robert Kaminski (106) and Andrew McKahan (113) pinned their opponents.

Jared King (182), a senior, and junior captain TJ Scafone (120), earned 13-4 and 10-2 major-decision victories.

Seniors Ethan Eibl (285) and Andrew Borradaile (170), a team captain, outscored their competition 6-0 and 7-4. Sophomore Brett Kim won his 160-pound match 4-2.

“I think the kids were more focused on the second match. I was pretty confident,” said Decatur Coach Todd Martinek. “I knew we were the better team. We did what we had to do to get to the finals.”

Decatur advanced to the finals, where the team met Huntingtown, who topped La Plata 37-36 in the semis.

Before the regional duals, Martinek said there is a friendly rivalry between him and Huntingtown’s coach, Kevin Gilligan. The two coached together for a number of years and Gilligan led the Seahawks for 11 seasons. Martinek took over as Decatur’s head coach beginning with the 2011-12 season.

Huntingtown won the first finals match, 126 pounds, by pinfall, but Decatur senior Nate Rosenblatt answered, pinning his 132-pound opponent to even the competition at 6-all.

The Hurricanes got another pin at 138 pounds, which was followed by Bennett (145) taking down his opposition to tie the score, 12-12.

Huntingtown pulled ahead 19-12 with a major decision and decision at 152 and 160 pounds. Borradaile logged a 7-5 victory at 170 pounds to cut the home team’s lead to four points.

Huntingtown took the 182-pound match to boost its advantage to 22-15.

Massey (195) and Eibl (220)  scored pins to give Decatur a 27-22 lead.

Huntingtown won by forfeit at 285 pounds then earned decisions at 106 and 113 pounds to jump ahead 34-27.

With the 4A/3A South Regional Duals title already won, Huntingtown forfeited the final match, 120 pounds, to Scafone.

Martinek said the Seahawks did some good things during the finals, but it just wan’t enough to come out on top.

“All day we weren’t aggressive enough. When we’re aggressive, we score points,” Martinek said. “It’s heartbreaking, but we’re moving on.”

Decatur will now compete in the Bayside Conference championship, today and Saturday in Cambridge.

The Seahawks, who are undefeated (14-0) in conference matches this season, are chomping at the bit to finish on top during the two-day Bayside championship.

“It’s going to be close,” Martinek said of the battle for the No. 1 spot between Decatur and Kent Island. He is predicting four or five match-ups in the final round will consists of a Seahawk going head-to-head against a Buccaneer.

“It’s going to be another pressure-packed weekend,” he said.

Martinek said bringing home the title will come down to “getting more champions” than Kent Island and “wrestling to our potential.”

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