Overlea senior John Fields had something to prove and Chad Hipsley, a Pikesville sophomore, showed off his potential, as they led the Baltimore County contingent through the Class 1A-2A North Region wrestling tournament at Pikesville High School yesterday.
Unbeaten freshman Steve Kessler (130) was the only one of its five finalists to win, but defending champion Owings Mills had more than enough to hold off Aberdeen, the perennial Harford County titlist, in the team race, 149.5 to 129.
Hereford was third with 110, followed by Overlea, with three individual champions, 102.5, and Towson, 91.5.
Fields (145, 29-1), who said last week's loss to Towson's Ken Knapp in the Baltimore County final -- "I was sleeping," -- got his attention, was ready this time. The only defending regional titlist in the field, he took the match to Aberdeen junior Kit Doran, a two-time Harford County champion, from the outset of the final, and won, 6-1.
"I had beaten him [Doran] in the John Carroll tournament, but I was concerned about winning coming into this tournament. That loss was an eye-opener," he said.
Hipsley (171, 22-8) thrilled the home-crowd fans with a stunning 7-4 decision over top-seed Pat Macleod of Towson, who had gone in with a 29-1 record. Down 4-2 in the third, Hipsley rallied to tie, then won it with a near fall.
"He's been getting stronger, and it really helped him last week when several of the county teams got together at Dulaney," Pikesville coach Curt Boushell said.
Hipsley said, "Working with the better wrestlers was good, and the coach's son [former state champ Tom Boushell] was here, and he was a big help working with me, too."
Kessler (32-0) had a tough time with Aberdeen junior Frank Johnson (23-5), a two-time Harford County champion, giving up a third-period point that created a 1-1 tie. Kessler preserved his clean record with a takedown in the overtime period.
Hereford's Roy Collins made it 33 straight with a 3-0 decision over Chris Allen of Aberdeen at 189.
Of the 13 finals, 10 of them matched the 1-2 seeds, with the top seeds winning six. In addition to Kessler, Fields and Collins, the others were Anthony Radecki of Hereford at 125; Aaron Lovinger of Catonsville at 140; and Ray Clark of Overlea at 160.