The proverbial "losing the battle, but winning the war" became apparent to the South Carroll wrestling team.
The No. 6 Cavaliers placed 12 wrestlers in the top four in 12 of 13 weight classes to win the team portion of the Meade Invitational last night.
But the victory was slightly diluted by Arundel 145-pound senior Mike Money's 7-3 upset win against reigning state champ Bryan Hamper.
"It's bittersweet," South Carroll coach Pete Olson said of the team title. "My state champ goes down, and we win the tournament."
The Cavaliers earned championship performances from 125-pound senior Kellen Weber, 135-pound senior Dan Patterson, 152-pound junior Travis Mohlhenrich, and junior heavyweight Jake Creech.
Furthermore, 103-pound freshman Andrew Gold and 189-pound senior Eric Waugh finished second in their respective divisions.
But the shocker was at 145 pounds where Money, an Anne Arundel County and regional champ, tagged Hamper, the defending state champ at 140 pounds, with his first loss in nearly a year.
Money used three leg takedowns to drag Hamper to the mat and earn his points.
Money said part of his strategy was not to fall to the mat.
"I was just trying to stay on my feet the whole time," he said. "I knew I would be able to take him down, and luckily, I was able to get his leg."
Hamper was critical of his outing, saying that he took himself out of his game plan.
"I wasn't wrestling the way I should've," he said. "I was wrestling more defensively than offensively. If you don't wrestle offensively, you're either going to win close or get beat like I did."
Still, South Carroll cruised past runner-up Notre Dame of Pennsylvania, 191-161. Arundel finished third with 149 points.
Besides Money, the Wildcats had tournament champs in 112-pound sophomore Mike Handelman, 130-pound senior Dave Bowser, and 171-pound Jordan Norsworthy.
Severna Park came in fourth, courtesy of second-place finishes by 125-pound sophomore Steve Smith, 130-pound senior Socrates Mamalis, and 160-pound Trent Stevens.
Meade drew the fifth position with 47 points, thanks to runner-up performances from 119-pound junior Matt Harvey and senior heavyweight Alec Eaton.
Sophomore 103-pounder David Thornton's 5-3 decision over Gold of South Carroll paced Southern of Anne Arundel to sixth with 43 points.