01/26/06 — Golden Falcons squash Saints

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Golden Falcons squash Saints

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 26, 2006 2:12 PM

DUDLEY -- Throughout last weekend's title run in the Firebird Duals and during practice Monday and Tuesday, head Charles B. Aycock wrestling coach Kevin Smith stressed the importance of intensity and aggressiveness on the mat.

"Be the aggressor," Smith constantly reminded his grapplers.

The Golden Falcons used their aggressiveness and intensity to counter Southern Wayne's strength, and turned in their most-technical effort of the season. Smith's squad emerged victorious in eight of nine contested matches and drew five forfeits in a 66-3 conquest of the Saints Wednesday evening.

Aycock (21-0) claimed sole possession of the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference lead at 3-0 and clinched a share of the regular-season championship -- the program's first since 2002. The Golden Falcons can seize the title outright with a victory next Tuesday in Pikeville against archrival Eastern Wayne.

A Warrior upset, coupled with a Saints win over Wilson Beddingfield, would create a three-way tie for first. The top two finishers in the season-ending conference tournament would secure the league's automatic bids for the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs, which begin Feb. 4.

"We really wanted to make sure that we came in tonight and wrestled with a little bit of intensity," said Smith. "My only real fault from the weekend was we were inconsistent with the amount of intensity we wrestled with. I think they learned their lesson from that.

"Tonight, on the mat, we wrestled technically sound and intense. The kids wrestled smart tonight and against kids who were bigger and stronger, they didn't allow muscle to play into the final (individual) score."

Southern Wayne, which entered the match 2-0 in the ECC, couldn't recover from yielding 30 points in forfeits. Two wrestlers failed to make weight, while a third watched from the sidelines with his left arm in a sling.

The gaps in the Saints' lineup created matchup problems.

"They made us pay for it," said first-year Southern Wayne coach Andy Sullivan. "This was a disappointment tonight. We were coming off a win against Eastern Wayne and on top of cloud nine.

"We were out-wrestled tonight."

Aycock's eight individual winners combined for three falls, a technical fall (15-point win), a major decision and three decisions. Bryant Lancaster (145 pounds), Steve Bentley (152) and Zach Wright (189) each recorded falls in either the second or third period.

The Saints' Ricky Coley put Wright on his back in the first period, but time expired and resulted in just two nearfall points. Coley earned a two-point reverse in the second period, but Wright refused to surrender more nearfall points.

Wright scored a third-period reversal, hooked his arm around Coley's head and pinned him in 4 minutes, 36 seconds. That boosted the Golden Falcons' lead to 46-0 in the overall match score.

"Zach is coming around," Smith grinned. "He's turning the corner for us at the right time. One of the toughest things for young kids to do is get themselves out of trouble, and Zach is in every match as long as he doesn't go to his back.

"That's what we expect out of our younger kids ... stay solid, wrestle smart, don't give up nearfall points and win matches."

Ronald Lynn became the first junior in Aycock history to reach the 100-win plateau with an 11-2 major decision over the Saints' Vic Darden at 140 pounds. Lynn is the fourth county wrestler to accomplish the feat this season.

Aycock senior Derek Lancaster (130) edged Josh Richards 3-1, while Jason Steed turned back the Saints' Ryan Bragg 4-0 at 170 pounds. Heavyweight Shane Lozier benefited from a third-period penalty point to nip Josh Robinson 2-1.

Doogie Niemond captured the Saints' lone individual win -- a 5-1 decision against Jordan Pearson at 112 pounds. The Golden Falcons have won 39 of 42 individual matches against ECC opposition this season.

"Some of the (individual) matches were closer than the final match score says," said Sullivan. "Up until tonight, my guys had been really sound on the mat. I saw a lot of people just try to out-muscle (their opponent) and it doesn't work like that.

"It doesn't matter if you're the strongest or the weakest (wrestler). It's who knows the most moves is going to win."

C.B. Aycock 66

Southern Wayne 3

125 -- Sam Rabhan (CBA) by forfeit; 130 -- Derek Lancaster (CBA) dec. Josh Richards, 3-1; 135 -- Josh Overton (CBA) by forfeit; 140 -- Ronald Lynn (CBA) maj. dec. Vic Darden, 11-2; 145 -- Bryant Lancaster (CBA) wbf John Futrell, 3:30; 152 -- Steve Bentley (CBA) wbf Kwame Smith, 3:27; 160 -- Josh Grimes (CBA) by forfeit; 171 -- Jason Steed (CBA) dec. Ryan Bragg, 4-0; 189 -- Zach Wright (CBA) wbf Ricky Coley, 4:36; 215 -- Jarrett Covar (CBA) by forfeit; Hwt -- Shane Lozier (CBA) dec. Josh Robinson, 2-1; 103 -- Drake Gurley (CBA) tech fall Dustin Richards, 20-5; 112 -- Doogie Niemond (SW) dec. Jordan Pearson, 5-1; 119 -- Ngu Tran (CBA) by forfeit.

Records: C.B. Aycock 21-0, 3-0 Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference; Southern Wayne 7-9, 2-1 ECC.