Smith, Fuondjing help Paint Branch Panthers pin down Rockville Duals crown

Paint Branch High School's Austin Smith, winner of the 195 lb bracket, is surrounded by teammates as he holds the 1st Place Team trophy at the Rockville Rumble Duals Wrestling Tournament.  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH Paint Branch's Austin Smith, winner of the 195 lb bracket, is surrounded by his teammates as he holds the First Place Team trophy at the Rockville Rumble Duals Wrestling Tournament. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  Juniors Austin Smith (195) and Wafeu Fuondjing (285) won all nine bouts Saturday to pace the Paint Branch Panthers past runner-up Northwest, 31-27, for the title of the Rockville Rumble Duals Wrestling Tournament. 

Smith rose to 20-0, and Fuondjing to 19-1. Smith’s biggest win of the year is a 4-3 decision over Good Counsel transfer Drew Brenowitz of Clarksburg, a sixth place private schools finisher last year.

“Brenowitz was a tough match that will help me to get into the right mindset after not having too many tough matches so far,” said Smith, son of Paint Branch wrestling coach Rick Smith. “I missed counties and regions last year with a back injury, so I’m feeling ready to finish strong over the rest of our tough schedule.”

Also wrestling well for the Panthers (15-5) were Brian Trinh (106), Amir Abdur Rahim (138), Dheduce Anumgba (160), Kyle Isolato (170), Tom Bettinger (182) and Wisdom Agbeyome (220). Trinh is 19-1, Bettinger is 17-2, Anumgba is 12-2, Isolato is 15-5, Agbeyome is 6-2, and Rahim, 12-6.

Down 27-15 against Northwest, the Panthers received a major decision from Austin Smith and pins from Agbeyome and Fuondjing to pull out the win.

“I had five pins this weekend and I feel great about the way I’m wrestling,” said Fuondjing, whose lone setback was by fall against Northern-Garrett’s 15th-ranked Logan Bittinger. “He was probably at about 275 pounds. I’m a small heavyweight at 5-foot-11, 233 pounds, so I have to watch for the throws from the bigger guys.”

Northwest crowned five champions with Yonas Harris (106), Siavash Sarvestani (113), Luke Patterson (170) and Yoann Olympio (182) going 9-0, and Kosta Burns (152), at 8-1. Also finishing at 8-1 was Niko Burns (220).

A county runner-up who was fourth at regions last year, Patterson pinned seven opponents to improve to 15-0.

“This was kind of a breakout tournament for me,” said Patterson. “It feels good after not having as much exposure last year.”

Harris improved to 23-0, Sarvestani is 22-1, Olympio is 19-2, and, Burns is 13-7 but 8-0 since dropping from 160. Niko Burns is 17-1.

Going 9-0 for Gaithersburg at Rockville were Dylan McClintock (126) and Jaden Harris (160). Northwood’s fourth place regional finisher David Miller (120) went 8-1.

Defending county tournament champion Damascus (14-0) improved its consecutive dual-meet winning streak to 141 matches with victories over Seneca Valley (84-0), Bethesda-Chevy Chase (71-3) and Poolesville (64-9).

Winners of six straight state wrestling tournaments, five consecutive state dual meet titles and 15 county tournaments, the Swarmin' Hornets received big wins from freshman Michael Emerick (106) and senior state champion Paul Purkey (195) against B-CC.

Emerick won, 15-8, over Christian Simpson, and Purkey pinned in 1:27 against county and regional champion Gabe McAndrew. On the other hand, Poolesville's regional champ and fifth place state finisher Colin Savage (138) edged the Swarmin’ Hornets' county and region title winner Johnny McLaughin, 10-8, to avenge a loss of a year ago.

Another big individual matchup from last week featured Churchill's county and regional champ Andrew Welch (195) winning, 6-0, over Whitman's Yussef Zaki, who was fourth at counties and third at regions.

Sherwood junior Chris Sanchez (138), a DeMatha transfer who was fifth in last year’s private schools state tournament, was joined by junior fifth place regional finisher Yusuf Higazi (170) on the championship podium in the 17-team Patriot Classic at Northern of Calvert County High.

Sanchez pinned two opponents in the first period and another in the second as the Warriors placed 11 wrestlers in the top four of their weight classes for a runner-up finish behind Old Mill of Anne Arundel County at Northern.

Placing second for the Warriors was sophomore fourth place county and regional finisher Adam Pfeiffer (182), with Ethan Onslow (106), Chase Suissa (120), Tristian McNeeley (145) and Rhyth Ghosh (160) taking third, and Brandon Holda (113), Paul Christenson (126), Sam Ewing (132) and Paul Wicks (220), fourth.

Also at Northern was Whitman senior John Luke Iglesias (220), a county and regional champion who had pins in the first, second and third periods for a title-winning performance. Zaki (195) was second, with third-place finishes from senior two-time regional qualifier Clark Boinis (132), Sebastian Turkewitz (170) and Tom Wilmarth (285).

Good Counsel finished fourth at North Hagerstown's Hub Cup Tournament, with third place finishes from Conor Lozupone (113), Cord Richardson (132) and Alwyn Taylor (182), and fourth place efforts from Avery Miller (160) and Brandon Roberts (285).

Leading the Quince Orchard at North Hagerstown were senior Alejandro Lopez (138) and junior Jose Echeona (126), each of whom finished second. Lopez was third at counties, regions and states, and Echeona, fourth at counties and third at regions.

Joining Echeona and Lopez as runners-up were sophomore Marque Cooper (170) and junior Jay Bollinger (195), with junior Carlos Guerrero (106) finishing fourth.

Continuing his winning ways at North Hagerstown was senior county and regional champion C.J. Cramma (120) of Magruder, a third-place state finisher who defeated two opponents by a combined 21-2 and pinned his title bout rival in 2:59. Cramma was second, third and fourth at counties, regions and states as a sophomore. Teammate Sabio Amah (285) was fourth at North Hagerstown.

Christian Simpson (106), Eli Guttentag (126), Temuulen Tsedendorj (132) , Rhys Cohen (182) and Gabe McAndrew (195) all finished at 7-0 for the host Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons (17-6), who finished in a three-way tie with Springbrook and Franklin of Baltimore County only to place third as a team behind Franklin and Springbrook after the tie-breaking formula was implemented.

Guttentag had four pins and a major decision, with his 3-2 victory over Landon’s Lorenzo Lopez avenging a loss from a year ago. Guttentag earned his 100th career win over Bullis’ sophomore IAC champion Isaac Ruderman, raising his record to 22-1 and his career mark to 102-6.

McAndrew earned five pins and a major decision to improve to 21-2, Tsedendorj had four pins and two technical falls in rising to 17-4, and Cohen, three pins and two major decisions and is 20-3. Joe Martinez (138) went 6-1 with a pin and two technical falls.

Landon also participated at B-CC, where private schools state runner-up Brendon Gallagher (152) went 7-0 with six pins in a combined eight minutes, 21 seconds to earn the award for the most falls in the shortest amount of time. Gallagher rose in weight for an overtime pin against Southern-Anne Arundel County's Josh Merkle, who was a regional runner-up and sixth place state finisher at 160 pounds last year.

Also going 7-0 for the Bears (4-3) were Axel Giron (120) and Jelani Machen (170) with six and five pins, respectively. Lorenzo Lopez (126) was 6-1 with four pins; Patrick Kielb (138) was 3-0 with two falls, and Marc Schermer (160), 2-0 with a pin. Going 3-1 were Jonny Gherman (160) and Carter Johnson (195), the latter with two pins.

Bullis was led at B-CC by senior Ethan Sypes (220), who went 6-1 to improve to 18-7 on the year. Ruderman (126) was 5-2 and is 21-9, and sophomore Austin Brown (160) had a team-high three pins going 4-3 to improve to 22-9. Bullis junior Bazin Sineshaw (120) and sophomore Liam Handel (145) also won four matches. 



back to top