Paint Branch easily captured, the Montgomery County wrestling tournament at Walt Whitman yesterday, finishing 32 1/2 points better than its nearest rival.

The Panthers, who logged a 10-2-1 dual meet record, easily outdistanced West Division champion Peary and Northwood, with which it shared the East title.

"We're happy." Panther Coach Dave Simon said. "It's what we've been pointing for all year. I told the kids the first week it would be nice to take the dual meet title, but what we really wanted was the tournament."

All 12 Point Branch wrestlers won in the first round, nine advanced into the semifinals, five into the finals and two (98-pounder Kevin Lethbridge and 155-pounder Alan Pries) took championships.

Paint Branch finished the three-day tournament with 148 1/2 points, to 116 for Peary and Northwood's 107. Churchill placed fourth with 106 1/2 and defending champion Seneca Valley finished fifth with 76 points.

Only two of four returning champions successfully defended their crowns.

Northwood's Rusty Fiste (98-pound champion last year) easily handled Don Gross of Paint Branch, 9-1, to win the 105-pound title. Gross, third at 105 last year, was consistently outmuscled and outmaneuvered.

Pries, the other repeater, was the afternoon's quickest winner when opponent Mike O'Donnell of Blair reinjured his left shoulder 50 seconds into the match.

Joe Saylor of Peary, 112-pounder champ last year, was upset by Dave Newcomer of Northwood, 2-1, at 119 pounds.

The first period was scoreless despite several near-takedowns by Saylor. Newcomer earned a one-point escape with seven seconds to go in the second period and was awarded a penalty point when Saylor was penalized for an illegal finger hold. Saylor finally scored with 40 seconds remaining in the match on an escape.

Newcomer, one of three individual champions for Northwood, celebrated his upset with clenched fists and a full-throated scream. He was a county junior varsity champion last year.

The other nonrepeater was Monte Schrock of Paint Branch, who lost a 21 decision to Joe White of Seneca Valley on a takedown with 18 seconds remaining in their 132-pound match. Schrock was the returning 126-pound titleholder. White was runner-up at 112 a year ago.

The only pins of the final round were in the last two matches.

At 185 Leroy a Brton pinned Dave Miler of Peary with 42 seconds remaining. Heavyweight Dan McGlasson of Churchill flattened Ben Quinn of Whitman in 1:48, McGlasson pinned 11 of 12 dual meet opponets.