Quince Orchard heavyweight Rafi Mnatzakanian did not realize his double-overtime victory today secured the Hub Cup championship until the senior was swept off his feet by Coach Joe Hawkins and swarmed by his teammates.
Mnatzakanian earned an escape six seconds into sudden-death overtime, handing him a 4-3 victory over Middletown's Andrew Presnell and earning the Cougars a 211-209 victory over Walkersville.
"I didn't really know my match was that important," said Mnatzakanian, who improved to 12-0. "I had an idea, though, when the crowd went wild."
Paint Branch finished third with 155 points, followed by Williamsport (149.5), Northwest (130.5) and Damascus (122).
"All I told Rafi is, 'We're not out of it,' " Hawkins said. "I've never been in a tournament as a wrestler or a coach that was this exciting."
Quince Orchard took a big step toward the top spot in Montgomery County for the first time in nearly 10 years by winning the Hub Cup at North Hagerstown.
The Cougars placed four wrestlers in the finals and held off two-time reigning Montgomery County champion Paint Branch and county power Damascus. The Cougars are attempting to claim their first county championship since 1993.
"This is a huge step for us," Hawkins said. "The competition here is so tough. The mix of kids here from around the state is incredible. And to hold off Walkersville, which is tough as nails, puts the icing on top of the cake."
Senior Frankie Baughan is a big reason for Quince Orchard's emergence. The 112-pounder won his 49th consecutive match, dating from last season, by knocking off Williamsport's Mike McGill, 14-7, in a championship final.
After missing the Maryland 4A/3A West Region and state tournament in 2001 due to a disqualification, Baughan, the top-ranked 112-pounder, went 37-0 last year en route to the 103-pound state title.
Other area champions included Paint Branch senior Billy Smith (160) pounds, who defeated Quince Orchard's Aaron Gorman, 9-0. Damascus senior Greg Cohen earned the 171-pound title by defeating Paint Branch's Kyle Richards, 3-1. Paint Branch senior Bummi Omatode won the 215-pound title with a 6-5 victory over South Hagerstown's Clayton Swisher.