When two of Maine’s premier high school wrestling squads, who measure annual success with league, regional and state championships, lock up on the mat it often turns into a clash of the titans.

That again was the case Wednesday night when host Camden Hills and Belfast battled down to the wire in a dramatic midseason and midweek dual-meet.

After standing and battling toe-to-toe for nearly two hours with the defending state Class B champion Windjammers, the visiting Lions pulled out a stunning one-point victory over their rivals, who attend school a few towns and about 25 miles away in neighboring Knox County.

In a tremendous, highly-competitive match that had fans of both teams standing and cheering at different junctures, Belfast sealed the victory with an unexpected pin in the next to final match of the night.

After it initially appeared he was being controlled by Camden Hills’ Brandon Graffam at 189 pounds, Lion Peter Kelley earned a pin to give Belfast just enough cushion to eventually pull out a 34-33 win.

The Windjammers had to forfeit two matches and the Lions one, which essentially meant Belfast had six points in the bank before the festivities began. When it was over, those points proved essential in the visitors coming in and securing an exciting win in the Windjammers’ gymnasium.

The dual-meet was loaded with competitive, back-and-forth matches that proved pivotal in setting up the late-meet drama.

Belfast led 22-21 after one of the night’s best matches between Camden Hills’ Brandon Rich and Belfast’s Ethan Fitjurls at 152 pounds went the Windjammers’ way in overtime. Then Jacob Powers, as he so often does, dominated his 160-pound match en route to a pin to give the hosts a 27-22 advantage.

It seemed at that point the momentum had swung to the hosts, but the Lions had other plans.

Kornealius Wood got those six points back with a pin at 171 pounds to give Belfast a 28-27 edge. Then, at 189 pounds, it appeared Graffam was controlling Kelley after an early stalemate and then Kelley turned the tide of the match and the meet by pinning his opponent to give the visitors an insurmountable 34-27 lead.

Even though Belfast forfeited at 215 pounds, which gave Camden Hills six points in the final match of the night, the dye had been cast as the Lions held on for the 34-33 win.

The match started at 285 pounds with a quick pin by Jake Halberg to give Camden Hills the early lead, however, Belfast slowly built an advantage before things got close near the end of the match.

The Lions and Windjammers rarely meet in regular-season dual-meets as they did Wednesday. This season, the two wrestling stalwarts have competed in several large, talent-laden meets together, with Belfast coming out ahead in each tourney by a few points.

It is likely the two squads, when they gain more experience and get all their eligible wrestlers back from injuries, will battle one another, and a few other opponents, for postseason mat success.

How good have the two Midcoast wrestling programs been in recent decades? Camden Hills/Camden-Rockport has pinned down 12 state Class B titles and finished state runners-up seven times. Belfast has won six state crowns and been second in the state four times.

The individual match results from Wednesday night’s meet were:

103 pounds — Evan Drinkwater, Bel, won by forfeit over Camden Hills.

112 pounds — Walker Roberts, Bel, beat Connor Winchenbach, CH, 9-6. This was a competitive match with both young grapplers having moments of controlling the action.

119 pounds — Tremmil Groene, Bel, won by forfeit over Camden Hills.

125 pounds — Jordan Young, Bel, beat Calan Bragg, CH, 10-2. Young controlled the match but Bragg battled to the end.

130 pounds — Brent Waterman, Bel, beat Tom Cassidy, CH, 6-0. While Waterman methodically worked to the win, Cassidy held his own in a tough match.

135 pounds — Isaac Young, CH, pinned Chapin Lamont, Bel, at 2:20.

140 pounds — Max Bragg, CH, beat Daniel Weiss, Bel, 8-4. This proved another competitive, nail-biting match.

145 pounds — Neal Harrison, CH, edged Justin Philbrook, Bel, 12-11. In one of the finest, most thrilling matches of the night, Harrison battled back to pull out the one-point win, while Philbrook nearly tied the match at the end.

152 pounds — Rich, CH, beat Fitzjurls, Bel, 7-5 in overtime. In perhaps the match of the night, which could have gone either way, Rich suffered a cut early in the match and, after a tape job, went back to work. Fitzjurls also injured his knee during the match, but battled back from a 4-2 deficit to take a 5-4 lead late in the match before Rich earned a late point in regulation to force OT. Rich earned two points with 19 seconds left in the extra period to seal the victory.

160 pounds — Powers, CH, pinned Kaleb Cook, Bel, at 0:54.

171 pounds — Wood, Bel, pinned Mike Haskell, CH, at 0:32.

189 pounds — Kelley, Bel, pinned Graffam, CH, at 3:41. In the match that decided the meet, Graffam controlled the early action before Kelley surprised him with a late pin.

215 pounds — Rhett Chase, CH, won by forfeit over Belfast.

285 pounds — Halberg. CH, pinned Tyson Marr, Bel, at 0:23.

In exhibition matches, Anthony Batty, CH, pinned Forrest Boynton, Bel, at 2:33; and Dylan Bernosky, Bel, pinned Jack Hauprich.

Village NetMedia Regional Editor/Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at kwaltz@villagesoup.com.