Owings Mills 125-pounder Greg Kessler had been through this before.
Not only was his squad taking a 52-9 pasting from St. Mark's (Del.) in the championship round of yesterday's Gilman Duals -- the same team that won last year's title, 43-12, over the Eagles -- but he also had to come from behind to win his championship bout against Don Rosas, the same guy he beat last year.
Kessler, a sophomore, used a four-point reversal in the closing seconds to beat Rosas, 5-4, and win the gold medal for his weight class.
"I remember last year he was winning 4-0, and I had to turn him on his back to win," said Kessler (17-0). "This time, I saw the opportunity again and was ready for it."
Rosas is 22-3.
The No. 3-ranked Eagles (12-1) were runners-up for the second straight year.
St. Mark's went 171-11 -- including a 57-0 shutout of No. 6-ranked Gilman.
Kessler, ranked No. 5 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, was the only Eagle to finish with three victories in the eighth annual event. One victory came against Blair Academy's John Leonardis (17-4), who placed third in last year's National Prep tournament.
Unranked 103-pounder Gary Harris (15-1) finished with two victories, rebounding from a semifinal loss to No. 6-ranked Mynor Herrera with a second- period pin of St. Mark's Kevin Butswinkas.
Butswinkas had just beaten Gilman's top-ranked Gerard Harrison.
In team competition, Gilman finished third with a 35-32 victory over Blair Academy, Aberdeen was fifth with a 32-25 win over DeMatha, and Virginia's Woodberry Forest was seventh with a 42-25 decision of Westminster.
No. 10-ranked Aberdeen's top-ranked, two-time defending state champion Matt Slutzky (135) won three decisions and the silver medal. His teammate Danny Osorio (140), who took the bronze, is now 18-0 after a pair of decisions and a pin.
Westminster's No. 5-ranked Boomer Warfield (189) used a ti and a pair of pins to win a co-championship with St. Mark's Stacy Bradshaw.
The 103-pound weight class was the tournament's toughest. The day's first bout matched Harrison against Aberdeen's No. 3-ranked Zak Fowl. The pair of quick-moving sophomores had identical styles and 16-0 records.
Fowl handed Harrison his first loss in 17 matches, winning, 3-1. 3-2 loss to DeMatha's No. 6-ranked Mynor Herrera (31-1) cost Fowl the gold medal.
Double-winners for Owings Mills included Kenny Gendason (112) and Grant Johnson (130) -- each ranked fifth with records of 16-1. The Eagles' Aaron Zuckerberg (145), now 15-2, won two matches.
Owings Mills reached the finals after a 39-27 semifinal victory over Blair Academy. The match was tied, 27-27, with two bouts left.
With a forfeit at heavyweight -- a guaranteed six points -- the Eagles needed a victory by No. 5-ranked 189-pounder Eric Rumenap to secure a finals berth. He came up with a second-period pin.