Prince George's County's Riverdale Baptist is an excellent team, as evidenced by its No. 2 ranking by the Maryland State Wrestling Association.
It took just two days, however, for the visiting Crusaders to discover that Anne Arundel County has at least two teams that are better.
The Crusaders won just four matches in Friday night's 40-19 dual meet loss to top-ranked, three-time defending Class 4A/3A state champion Old Mill (8-0 in dual meets). And in Saturday's ninth annual Bruin Invitational, host and No. 7-ranked Broadneck (6-1) edged the Crusaders, 163.5-160, to captured its seventh team title over a nine-team field.
Severna Park (6-3) was third with 126 points, followed by fourth-place Northeast (118.5, 3-4) and fifth-place Southern (77, 2-5).
"Riverdale Baptist had five champions, so it was our wrestle-backs that won it for us," said Broadneck coach John Mayberry, who got titles from top-ranked Shawn Miller (119, an 18-0 record), fifth-ranked Seth Lopatkiewicz (160, 17-1), and a surprise title from 152-pound Chris McTamany.
For the Bruins, Josh Marder (125), Mike Hollenbach(130) and Chris Gauthier (140) were third, and Nick Pantazes (103) and heavyweight Alex Waddell were fourth.
McTamany edged Northeast's Al Grunder, 5-3, after having lost to Grunder in an earlier dual meet.
But the Northeast Eagles also scored a reversal, when 112-pound Mike Kusick (17-1) notched a 2-0 victory over the Bruins' defendingstate champion Charlie Bennett (16-2), who had beaten Kusick 6-0 earlier.
"I was pretty motivated for that match, but now we're even and I want to beat him again in the counties to be ahead, 2-1," said Kusick, who scored a first-round pin over Southern's Sherrard Neal, third in last year's 2A-1A state tournament.
Kusick then hammered Riverdale Baptist's sixth-ranked Benny Ferro, 15-0, in the semifinals.
"That was one of my best matches this year," said Kusick, whose third-ranked twin brother, Marty (103, 17-0-1), scored a 4-2 decision over Severna Park's Jamie Kuch (14-7, eight pins) to join him in the winner's circle.
Northeast's Steve Smiddy (119, 16-2) was beaten byMiller for the second time this year, losing, 4-1, after having earlier lost, 6-2.
Severna Park's champions were Paul Ehemann (135, 17-3) and Scott Woodland (140, 17-3), while the Falcons' fourth-ranked Aaron Cree (189, 18-2) suffered an upset loss, 4-3, to Riverdale Baptist's Blaine Gasch.
Ehemann picked up his 10th pin of the season in three minutes and 42 seconds of his championship victory over SouthCarroll's Jeremy Russin.
Southern's fifth-ranked heavyweight Robert Burley (15-2, 13 pins) decisioned Severna Park's 245-pound Jason Evans, 10-2, after having pinned him in a dual meet the night before.
"He knew what was coming so he kept backing away," said Burley. "He didn't really wrestle me."
Southern's Tom Graves (171) was a runner-up, while Neal and Fred D'Argenio (189) were fourth.
In another match Friday, Chesapeake (6-1), ranked No. 5 in the Baltimore Sun'sTop 10 poll, downed 10th-ranked South River (6-2), 36-16.
Ron Alexander's 125-pound, 2-1 decision over South River's Greg Nida keyed the win. Nida was coming off last weekend's Southern tournament victory, in which he handed Chopticon's fourth-ranked Jeff Daigle his firstloss in 18 matches.
"It was a classic match-up of similar styles," said Chesapeake coach Tom Slichter. "It's a terrific boost for Ron's confidence."
Among South River's winners was fourth-ranked 125-pound Bill Whitcher (19-0, nine pins), who moved up to 135 pounds, where he scored a 9-5 decision.