No. 6 Chesapeake was sky-high, emotionally, entering last night's Anne Arundel County league wrestling match against No. 3 Broadneck.
Unbeaten in three matches and having captured back-to-back titles in the recent Arundel and Aberdeen tournaments, the Cougars seemed ready to devour the injury-hampered Bruins for only the second time in the history of the two schools.
But after Broadneck's Clif McClain (189, a 6-5 record) put the match away with his 9-4 decision over Chuck McConnell (13-4), he had a message for the visitors:
"They came in here a little bit cocky, maybe thinking they would beat us, but we showed them," said McClain, whose decision negated a pin by Chesapeake heavyweight Kevin Sellers for the 29-23 final margin.
Chesapeake led only 17-11 after the first seven matches, and Broadneck took the next four and a 26-17 lead it would not lose.
The Bruins' unheralded Mike Gruentzel (145) won, 14-4, over senior captain Steve Kopp (13-3), teammates Chris McTamany (152) and fifth-ranked Seth Lopatkiewicz (160, 11-1) each notched major decisions, and Dave Macauley (171, 10-3) handed the Cougars' Shawn Somers (13-4) a 10-4 loss.
"They knocked on the door up top and nobody was home," said Chesapeake coach Tom Slichter, whose Cougars (4-1) are ranked No. 9 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, jTC behind No. 7 Broadneck (5-0).
'I don't know what happened to our conditioning, but it seemed to go south on us. Our upper weights just didn't respond."
Chesapeake had an edge in the early bouts.