01/26/05 — C.B. Aycock wrestlers close regular season strong

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C.B. Aycock wrestlers close regular season strong

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 26, 2005 1:59 PM

PIKEVILLE - Although the final score indicates a dominating performance, several individual bouts ended in thrilling fashion Tuesday evening on the Charles B. Aycock wrestling mat.

The Golden Falcons recorded the initial takedown in 10 of 11 contested matches and cruised past county foe Eastern Wayne 56-12 in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season finale for both teams.

Aycock (13-1, 5-1) secured the league's No. 2 berth for the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs, which begin next Tuesday. The Golden Falcons face Big Eight North champion Wilson Hunt at an undetermined site. Eastern Wayne, which claimed the No. 3 seed, opposes Northeastern Coastal champ Hertford County at the same venue.

"Aycock beat us and they've obviously got a good team," Eastern Wayne coach Mike Brown said. "(But) I was proud of the way the kids wrestled. We improved from last year because we only scored six points against them, and we scored 12 this time."

The Golden Falcons claimed their sixth straight win at home in seven outings after falling against nemesis West Carteret in their ECC opener on Jan. 13. They are a combined 10-0 all-time against Wayne County opposition -- the Warriors and Southern Wayne -- since the conference's inception in 2001-02.

"It was exactly what we needed going into the conference tournament," Aycock coach Kevin Smith said. "We got some very tough wins tonight against some good wrestlers which will definitely help in the (ECC) seeding process for us for this weekend.

"We came in with a definite plan of what we wanted to do and the kids did a really good job with that."

Just like their previous meetings, Brown and Smith played their normal chess game. The two bumped wrestlers in their respective lineups, but Brown had one less piece -- senior David Brown -- to use in his strategy.

Brown, who weighed in before the match, sustained a left-shoulder injury in a tournament Jan. 8 at Hunt and has seen limited time on the mat. He is expected to visit an orthopedist this afternoon and possibly schedule an MRI to view how much damage has occurred. Brown might not return until the eastern regionals Feb. 11-12 at Hunt.

The expected matchup between junior Travis Turner and senior Turner Wood never took place. Turner stayed at 189, while Smith bumped Wood -- thinking he would see David Brown --to 215. Wood collected eight takedowns and eventually pinned Brandon Johnson in 5 minutes, 21.9 seconds.

Wood's victory, No. 113 in his four-year career, started a 38-9 run for the Golden Falcons. Heavyweight Dustin Gurley and 125-pounder David Rose each notched a pin during that stretch, while Ngu Tran scored a dominant tech fall against 119-pounder Josh Stevens.

Bryant Lancaster received a forfeit at 130 to conclude the match-clinching run. That also set the stage for three consecutive individual matches which woke up a bi-partisan crowd which had nearly been lulled to sleep.

The Warriors' Detori Mitchell wrestled a consistent match against 135-pounder Josh Overton, and opened coach Brown's eyes. Mitchell trailed early, but gained momentum with two late takedowns in the first period.

He added a pair of takedowns in the second period and finally took control in the third. Mitchell's takedown and nearfall in the final 40 seconds led to a 17-10 decision.

"That was great," a grinning Brown said. "He fought hard. He told me today he wasn't going to wrestle because his (right) side is hurting him, and that's why it looked like he was gassing real bad.

"He sucked it up and wrestled, even though he was hurt."

Underclassmen Joey Burridge and Ronald Lynn staged an overtime thriller at 140. Each grappler scored a takedown and each escaped the other's grasp en route to a 3-3 tie after two periods.

Burridge escaped to start the third and Lynn regained the lead at 5-4 with a takedown near the center circle. As the final seconds quickly ticked away, Burridge managed to twist in position for an escape as time expired for the 5-5 tie.

Efficiently executing counter moves, Burridge and Lynn appeared headed for a second overtime. But Lynn got hold of Burridge's legs and seized the match-clinching takedown with 14.9 seconds to go.

"I felt like Ronald was in control of the match and he never lost focus," Smith said. "I felt like his conditioning was good enough to win that match, and he definitely was the more active wrestler."

Randy Meisenhelder, one of seven Aycock seniors, picked up his 90th career win against Timmy Brown. Brown owned the lead after one period, but Meisenhelder took control with a second-period nearfall en route to an 11-6 decision.

Notes: Greg Coudriet, the 2004 ECC wrestler of the year, continues to sit on the Aycock sidelines recuperating from a left-knee injury. ... Seven seniors -- Coudriet, Turner Wood, John Robertson, Randy Meisenhelder, Greg Tipton, Charles Covar and Dustin Gurley -- served as team captains for the Golden Falcons. ... Eastern Wayne's team captains were Joey Burridge, David Brown and Travis Turner.