When North Carroll wrestling coach Dick Bauerlein found out Hanover (Pa.) had entered the Ray Oliver Wrestling Tournament at McDonogh, he knew what to expect.
"I knew they'd be tough," said Bauerlein. "They're solid, they're good."
Bauerlein's Panthers wrestled well, winning three titles, but Hanover walked away with five individual championships to win the team title yesterday and break No. 3 North Carroll's string of nine consecutive championships at McDonogh.
Hanover, which put nine wrestlers in the finals, finished with 234.5 points, and North Carroll trailed with 190. No. 6 Gilman finished third with 145.5 points, McDonogh took fourth with 106, and Randallstown finished fifth with 77.
Gary Harris (125 pounds) of Randallstown, a 5-0 victor over Joe Henson of Hanover, won the award for Outstanding Wrestler.
North Carroll had an outside chance heading into the finals, as it had seven matches against Hanover in the final round. Hanover won four matches, and the Hawks clinched the team title with its first victory in the championship round against North Carroll.
The Panthers, which had eight wrestlers in the finals, were not thrilled about losing to Hanover, but wrestling against the Hawks helped them.
"This is one of the best tournaments we could have gone to," said Doug Dell, who won the 119-pound division for North Carroll. "It's tougher this year with Hanover."
Said Bauerlein: "I was pleased. I thought the kids wrestled real well today."
The championship-clinching match came when Jeremy Reck (112) of Hanover edged Eddie Davis of North Carroll, 12-10, in overtime.
Davis led, 7-0, at one point, but Reck rallied and scored a takedown 18 seconds into overtime for the victory. Reck nearly won the match in regulation, but Davis escaped with 12 seconds left to tie the score at 10 and force the extra time.
Dell came back in the next match to beat Nate Becker, 5-2. Hanover's Josh Conover (130) then topped Corey Rill of North Carroll, 14-5.
North Carroll's Tom Kiler (135) then pinned Brad Ziegler of
Hanover at the 3:42 mark. Tyke Conover gave Hanover its third win against North Carroll with a 3-0 victory over Saidrick Lewis (152).
In the next match between the two teams, North Carroll's Chris Boog (171) defeated Eric Trimmer, 4-1. Hanover heavyweight Matt Gass ended the day in style by pinning Bill Beltz of North Carroll in 30 seconds.
Gilman and McDonogh each won two championships. Maakan Taghizadeh (103) won for Gilman, defeating Mickey Moore of McDonogh, 11-4. Greg Plitt (145) also won for the Greyhounds, topping Eric Hott of North Carroll, 4-2.
Martius Harding (160) won for McDonogh, beating Mike Kim of Gilman, 3-1, on a takedown with 10 seconds left. The Eagles' J. R. Pleinis topped Jamie Biddison of Gilman, 4-2, in the 189-pound match.