HAMPSTEAD -- Old Mill staked its claim to the top spot in state wrestling with a 39-21 victory over North Carroll last night.
The Patriots won six of the last seven matches in the battle of the two teams which shared the top spot in the most recent Marylamd State Wrestling Association rankings.
Ernie Longazel provided the clincher for Old Mill, earning a 5-3 victory over North Carroll's Bill Lubking to seal the win for the Patriots, two-time defending state Class 3A/4A champions.
Old Mill jumped to a 9-0 lead when Steve Lundstrom pinned Jeremy Myers at 103 pounds and Vytas Dulys held off a late rally by Chad Miller for a 7-5 victory. Dulys had to lose more than three pounds to make weight.
North Carroll coach Dick Bauerlein said the failure to win the 112-pound bout and that at 135 hurt his team.
"We had to get a couple of those early ones," Bauerlein said.
North Carroll responded with three consecutive victories -- including pins by Tom Dell and Justin Deibel -- to take a 15-9 lead.
The much-anticipated 140-pound bout between Brent Layman, ranked No. 1 by the MSWA, and sixth-ranked Jason Myers, did not take place. Bauerlein moved Myers up to 145, where he lost to John Bliss in a controversial 5-4 match.
Bliss and Myers exchanged reversals in the final period, and Bauerlein and the North Carroll fans thought Myers should have been credited with a reversal late in the period. The officials thought Bliss remained in control and did not award Myers any points.
"The thing that had me upset is, I wanted [the official] to come to the table and discuss it with me before he declared a winner," said Bauerlein. "I thought we had a shot at two [points] for the reversal, and we should have at least had one point for the lost control."
But Mike Hampe, the Old Mill coach, said he thought Bliss still had control.
"The rule is that when the wrestler's hands are still locked, it's not a reversal," Hampe said.
Layman had an easy time with North Carroll's Ron Miller, building an 11-2 lead before pinning him in 4 minutes, 39 seconds.
Bauerlein said he decided to move Myers up after Old Mill's Todd Haltgren defeated Scott Bruce at 135, and shifting Myers forced Bauerlein to juggle the rest of his upper weights.
In preliminary bouts, North Carroll beat Glen Burnie, 75-0, and Old Mill pounded the Gophers, 66-6.