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Gilman keeps rolling, upends Loyola

Gilman kept recent momentum flowing and upended Loyola in a closely watched dual meet this week.

Legacy Wrestling's No. 4 Ranked Loyola hosted newly minted No. 1 Gilman on Tuesday evening in a MIAA A Conference clash of state powers. This was the Greyhounds first time back on the mats after defeating longtime nemesis Mt. St. Joe on January 17th.

The Dons welcomed their rivals and had a plan that could knock Gilman from its recent new heights. The spotlight was literally on, and the match started at 106, so there was little wiggle room to play around with who was presented to kick the action off.

To no one’s surprise, Gilman’s Liam McGettigan, the top-ranked 106 wrestler in the state and No. 13 in the nation, gathered bonus points in his win over No. 5 Phil Key. At Ray Oliver, McGettigan posted a tech-fall of Key, this meeting ended with a third period fall, 4:20, and that extra, precious bonus point.

Only two matches ended with regular decisions. After McGettigan’s match, three of those big wins went Loyola’s way, putting two pins and a major-decision in Paul Henderson’s Scorebook.

“Loyola is really good,” Gilman coach Bryn Holmes said bluntly. “You know they had us nervous for the whole match. They’re a great team, obviously (a) great coach with coach Truitt. Their guys are always prepared.”

No. 1 Jayden Jackson registered the quickest fall on the night with a 30 second flattening of Granville Tilghman at 113. Tyler Truitt (120) surprised the Greyhounds when he threw a 10-2 score on the board against JD Vassar (No. 10 at 113). Cayden Farver (No. 7 at 120) collected six for the Dons with a 58 second fall of Sawyer Enright at 126.

No. 14 Zach Glory temporarily stopped the bleeding for Gilman at 132lbs in his bout with Brandyn Fish (No. 11 at 126). It was badly needed as the vibe in the building was escalating to a frenzy on the Loyola side.

Glory’s two state placings to none for Fish, made him the favorite, but a pin likely wasn’t suspected by either side, low and behold that’s exactly what Glory executed late in the first period, 1:50.

“I'm just thinking I got to get the win, you know, kind of bring the team spirit up,” said Glory. “Because things could just turn that quickly from something like that. I was expecting a closer match, yeah, but when he went for the dump, I kind of caught him and I knew I had to finish it there.”

Including Glory’s, this series of four matches following Farver’s pin, played a large role in determining the winner of the dual, as the Greyhounds got pins in their two wins in this window, while the Dons put three-point decisions in the book.

“Every single kid went out there and competed,” Holmes stated. “We got some pins in some big matches. I think that's the difference, right? When you're wrestling two really good teams together and whoever gets the most bonus points, that's where it ends up falling.”

Loyola’s Josh Hale, who is No. 9 at 132, slid up to 138 to face Buck Franklin. The move was risky given that Franklin was fresh off a win over Mt. St. Joe’s Tyler Stephens (No. 8 at 32) and Stephens had defeated Hale twice at War On The Shore.

Loyola coach Steve Truitt’s gamble paid off as Hale defied what previous results suggested and won a hard fought 5-3 decision over Franklin.

No. 1 Tyson Sherlock decked No. 24 Evan Williams at 144 for Gilman’s second pin in this sequence. Then, a gamely John Jurkovic (No. 6) didn’t allow bonus points in his 150lb meeting with Loyola’s No.1 Josh Aybar, falling 11-4.

“I just wanted to get the momentum back for us,” explained Sherlock, who is in the honorable mention section of SBLive’s National Rankings. “We just lost at 38 right before me, so I knew I had to get six for the team, glad I could do it. I wanted to silence the crowd a bit. They were starting to get loud, but after I got that pin, they went quiet. We got the momentum back and started coming back, and we ended up winning, so it was it was fun.”

When No. 18 Arthur Konshak stepped on the mat for the visitors, they were down by four, 22-18. His opponent, Nevan McKneely, was slightly favored, being ranked 16th, but given their proximity in the rankings, this one could have gone either way.

And it went the underdog’s way to the tune of a 12-4 major that set off a winning streak that would propel Gilman to the victory. Two pins and a tech-fall were the culprits that dashed the home team’s upset hopes.

No. 1 Emmitt Sherlock (165) laid JT Nachtman to rest rather quickly in the first frame, 1:15, to build on Konshak’s momentum changer. Sherlock joins his sibling in the national rankings in the No. 14 position at 165.

“Coach (Holmes) said all week after that Mt. St. Joe win, where we did a big thing there, beat them up; don't let it go to waste,” Sherlock continued. “We have Spalding tomorrow, we had Loyola today. They're both pretty tough teams. All the MIAA teams are pretty close this year, so it's all the little matches, the bonus points, and we did not want to waste what we did.”

The 175lb match was a battle of youth versus experience as Loyola trotted out freshman Riley Miller (No. 12 at 165) to take on senior Nick Haughey (No. 14). This was an exciting display, one it seemed, would go down to the final buzzer, but Haughey caught the youngster in a bad position and turned it into a second period fall, 3:35.

“I think I'm the kind of wrestler, where it's kind of a dog fight in the first (period),” Haughey elaborated. “I think coach Holmes definitely gets us to have really good conditioning, where the second and third period are our periods. So, I think that's kind of how I wrestled there. (The) first period didn't go my way, but you kind of just gotta shake it off, and then going into the second, he was going for that cradle there, I know he's a cradle guy, so I sort of was looking back so I could get that headlock and pin him there. We were both sort of struggling in that position for a while.”

Following those pins, Gilman was holding a 34-22 lead. No. 4 Gabe Smith was up next at 190, needing any type of victory to seal the win. Smith came out raring to go and engaged quickly and aggressively with Noah Brannon (No. 13 at 175), throwing points on the board until action was stopped as the tech-fall was achieved, 16-1, and with it the team glory.

“No, not really,” said Holmes when asked about there being pressure as the No. 1 team in Maryland. “I think our guys are at the point now where we're grinding in the season and they're not even really looking at that for the most part. I've always felt like there's a target on our back, right, who doesn't want to beat their opponent, so I think with that mentality, it doesn't matter where we're ranked. Rankings don't mean anything until the end of the season anyway.”

Loyola’s No. 13 Aiden Bird (215) and No. 1 Luke Randazzo (285) gave the home fans something to cheer about at the end as both picked up second period falls over their foes.

Bird heard the mat slapped by referee Bruce Malinowski nanoseconds before the buzzer sounded in the second period with Sebastian Chaney, 3:59. Randazzo ended Isaiah Tristy’s night 30 seconds into the middle stanza, 2:30.

“Obviously a disappointing outcome,” Truitt said. “Gilman's a great team. They're well coached. We've got a lot of talent but as I told the guys before the match, every point counts, and we can't give up bonus points if you want to win close matches. That was really the difference, a five-point match, and we're giving up falls in matches we're winning, that can't happen.”

Gilman 39, Loyola 34

106-Liam McGettigan (G) pinned Phil Key, 4:20

113-Jayden Jackson (L) pinned Granville Tilghman, :30

120-Tyler Truitt (L) maj-dec JD Vassar, 10-2

126-Cayden Farver (L) pinned Sawyer Enright, :58

132-Zach Glory (G) pinned Brandyn Fish, 1:50

138-Josh Hale (L) dec Buck Franklin, 5-3

144-Tyson Sherlock (G) pinned Evan Williams, 3:00

150-Juday Aybar (L) dec John Jurkovic, 11-4

157-Arthur Konshak (G) maj-dec Nevan McKneely, 12-4

165-Emmitt Sherlock (G) pinned JT Nachtman, 1:15

175-Nick Haughey (G) pinned Riley Miller, 3:35

190-Gabe Smith (G) tech-fall Noah Brannon, 16-1

215-Aiden Bird (L) pinned Sebastian Chaney, 3:59

285-Luke Randazzo (L) pinned Isaiah Trusty, 2:30

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