No. 8 Hammond led No. 10 South River by 15 1/2 points heading into the championship round of Saturday's 15-team invitational wrestling tournament at Anne Arundel County's Southern High.
But the Seahawks, who surpassed second-place Chopticon (159.5) of St. Mary's County, rallied for a 170-170 tie and won the meet because they had a 4-1 advantage on Hammond in individual titlists.
The Seahawks (6-1 in dual meets) had five finalists to three for the Bears (6-1) and won the crown for the third time in the fifth annual tournament. South River had been dethroned by Chopticon last year. Chopticon had four finalists, but its only champion was Phil Gainey (103, 14-4), who pinned South River freshman Travis Murdock (103, 16-5).
Hammond (170) had gone ahead of Chopticon (159.5) and South River (158). The Bears' Chris Williams (135) had overcome a 2-0 deficit to pin Chopticon's Jun Davis in 2 minutes, 28 seconds, and Laurel's No. 3-ranked Chris Kluckhuhn (14-0) had overcome a 2-0 deficit for his 10th pin, over Hammond's Mac Goudy.
But with no Hammond wrestlers left in the finals and two more losing from Chopticon, the Seahawks got the tie with a first-period pin from Andy McMahon (160, 15-4) and another from Jaron Hairston (171, 17-3) with 12 seconds left.
"Those last two, McMahon and Hairston, had a lot of pressure on them. And they responded incredibly," said South River coach Chilly Orme, whose Seahawks placed six wrestlers in the top three, with junior Matt King taking third.
"They knew we needed pins -- and that's a lot to ask. But they did it."
The Seahawks got 9.5 of their 20.5 points in the round from Greg Nida (119, 17-3), who scored a technical fall, and No. 4-ranked Bill Whitcher (125, 18-0), who built a 7-2 lead over Hammond's Chris Mercurio (17-4) and held on for an 8-6 victory.
Nida reached the final by pulling the upset of the tournament, 5-2, over Chopticon's fourth-ranked Jeff Daigle (17-1). Nida trailed, 2-0, early in the bout but scored three back points in the final 10 seconds to pull out the victory.
The heavyweight bout featured fifth-ranked Robert Burley (11-2) of eighth-place Southern (90 points) against Great Mills' Lee Davis, a 275-pound wrestler who entered the match with a 10-0 record (all pins). After a scoreless first period, Burley scored a reversal and finished Davis 27 seconds into the second.
In the Overlea tournament on Saturday, Overlea's Steve Moss was voted the outstanding wrestler, edging Parkville's Paul Kretchmer (103).
Other champions included Overlea's Wade King (135), Boys' Latin's Michael Harrison (119) and Shane Marques (130), Poly's Kinte Thompson (160) and Kenwood defending county champion Brian Persinger (152).
In another weekend meet, No. 3 Broadneck (7-1) split its tri-meet at Prince George's County's Frederick Douglass, beating the hosts, 64-2, before falling, 36-30, to Charles County's Lackey, ranked No. 8 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association.
Broadneck, ranked No. 7 by the MSWA, got double victories from fourth-ranked defending state champion Charlie Bennett (112, 14-1), top-ranked county and regional champion Shawn Miller (119, 15-0) and fifth-ranked Seth Lopatkiewicz (160, 15-0).