Bel Air's wrestling team remained undefeated in the county Wednesdaynight after beating C. Milton Wright, 39-30.
However, the Bobcats(7-2-1 overall) were to face their toughest test in Friday night's season finale against Aberdeen.
In Wednesday night's match at C. Milton Wright, the score didn't give Bel Air a victory until Tim Gross decisioned the Mustangs' Ryan Arist at 189 pounds. But the Bobcats actually won the match with a couple of upsets early on.
"We expected to get 112 and 119, and we lost both. That was the difference in the match," said C. Milton Wright coach Carl Holston after watching his two 14-match winners go down against a couple of Bel Air juniors.
At 112 pounds, the Bobcats' Steve Constable decisioned Ron Lentz, 2-0, and at 119, Seth Drum decisioned Aric Schwab, 8-6.
"A lot times, the lower weight classes getoverlooked," said Bel Air's Rob Smallwood, defending county champ at145 pounds. "We won some key matches in the middle and upper weight classes, but we really needed those wins in the lower weight classes."
The Bobcats won the first four matches of the meet, which lastedonly 56 minutes. The meet included seven first-period pins, including six in under a minute.
At 103 pounds, Frank Jones pinned Vince Tucciarella in 3:43. At 125, Scott Birth, 14-1 and second in the county last year, pinned Ethan Kushner in 41 seconds. That gave Bel Air an18-0 head start.
With the Mustangs (8-7) giving away six points to a forfeit at 171 pounds, they needed wins in those key lower weightmatches to have a chance at winning the meet.
"You have bad matches. Unfortunately, this was one of them," said Mustangs' assistant coach Ken Bryant. "The Bel Air kids did what they had to do. They wanted it, and they got 'em down."
The Mustangs, who were wrestling their last match before the county championships get under way this Friday night, started to rebound at 130 pounds. They scored pins in four straight weight classes to take a 24-18 lead after eight matches.
At 130, sophomore Gordon Reilly pinned Bel Air's Joe Strazzire in 35 seconds to give the Mustangs their first points. At 135, Craig Lusco,the Mustangs' only senior, pinned Hanna Chong in 46 seconds. At 140,Chris Miller pinned Kier Thompson in 4:36. Chris Murphy pinned SteveThomas in 58 seconds at 145 pounds.
Bel Air started to take the match back with Smallwood (12-2) in the 152-pound class. Wrestling with a sprained shoulder, the junior pinned the Mustangs' Tim Callis in 51 seconds.
Brandon Barrett pinned Chris Hagenbuch in 38 seconds to give Bel Air a 30-24 lead. The Bobcats' Brian Allen won by forfeit at 171, putting the score up to 36-24 and assuring the Bobcats of at least a tie.
Gross, who had also won key matches against North East and Edgewood, took a 6-2 decision over Arist giving the Bobcats an insurmountable lead.
"Tim does really well under pressure," said Bel Air coach Gene Blizzard. "He has been one of our key wrestlers. A lot of his matches could have gone either way, and he pulled them out."