02/08/06 — Falcons survive first postseason test

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Falcons survive first postseason test

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 8, 2006 2:24 PM

PIKEVILLE -- First-year wrestlers aren't supposed to understand the importance and intensity surrounding dual-team playoff matches. Don't tell that to Jordan Pearson.

The sophomore 112-pounder wrestled like a veteran and collected two key victories for Charles B. Aycock on Tuesday evening. Pearson's nail-biting 10-8 decision against Casey Starling helped the Golden Falcons turn back longtime nemesis West Carteret 33-29 in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A dual-team playoffs.

Pearson's 17-2 conquest of Artavius Bobbitt sealed an eventual 48-22 victory against Southern Nash. It was the first playoff meeting between the two schools since 2000 when both teams competed in the old Big Eight 3-A Conference.

C.B. Aycock (28-0) earned its fourth consecutive trip -- and fifth overall since 2000 -- to the eastern semifinals. The Golden Falcons oppose Havelock, while perennial power Eden Morehead (37-3) faces Rockingham County. The matches are scheduled for Thursday, but the site has not been determined.

"It's like I told the kids, every state dual match is like this," said Aycock coach Kevin Smith, referring to the gut-wrenching, roller-coaster win over West Carteret. "You're not going to win state dual matches by 40 or 50 points. I guarantee that when we go back and look at the film, we did some pretty good stuff."

The Golden Falcons eliminated the Patriots (15-8) from postseason play for the second consecutive year and evened their playoff series at 2-2 since 2003. West Carteret leads the overall series 5-3 since 2002.

And this match was no different than previous classic battles.

West Carteret weathered the storm through the middleweights and silenced a partisan Golden Falcon crowd with three consecutive victories, beginning at 189 pounds. Roger Lundquist pinned Aycock's Zach Wright with half a minute remaining in their match. Fellow Patriot Billy O'Neal avoided second-period trouble and stopped Jarrett Covar, 10-4.

Despite giving up 60 pounds to Aycock senior Shane Lozier, the Patriots' Jose Rivas wrestled the "best match of the night," according to veteran West Carteret coach Dan Varner. Rivas prevented Lozier from getting any type of leverage and squeezed out a 2-1 victory.

"West Carteret is just a tough draw for the first round," said Smith, whose all-time playoff record is 14-6-1. "They're a good team and well coached. All in all, we got done what we needed to get done in order to win the match."

Drake Gurley stopped the Patriots' momentum with an 8-5 decision against James Wilson, a second-year wrestler, at 103 pounds. Pearson, who yielded three takedowns in the final period against Starling, pulled the Golden Falcons within 23-21.

"Jordan has filled a spot for us that we didn't think we were going to be able to fill," said Smith. "He gets better every week and I cannot say enough good things about Jordan. He's smart, doesn't make mistakes on the mat and is wrestling as good as he can wrestle with the amount of experience he has right now."

The Patriots forfeited to Ngu Tran at 119 and senior 125-pounder Derek Lancaster secured the first-round win with a second-period fall against Derek Hollman.

Each team won seven individual bouts. C.B. Aycock's Ronald Lynn (140 pounds), Tim Harrison (160) and Jason Steed (171) each prevailed in their respective matches.

"We stayed off our backs when we needed to and we got falls when we needed to," said Smith. "You can call it a 'scare,' but it's not really a scare. That's just the way every match is in the playoffs."

Southern Nash triumphed in three of the first four individual matches against C.B. Aycock. Paul Horner (145), Zack Shearin (152) and Eric Wischhusen (160) helped the Firebirds claim a 10-6 lead.

Wischhusen edged Harrison 13-12 in the fifth meeting between the two wrestlers this season.

"Before the match, I was honestly thinking about bumping Eric to 71 because they are going to see each other again next weekend (in the regionals)," said Southern Nash coach Eddie Coble. "Every single time they have wrestled, it's been a war. Each knows what the other is going to do, so they have to work on something new.

"There is some strategy getting played there and both guys have done a good job with that."

The short-handed Firebirds forfeited two of the next three matches, and Wright scored an 8-6 decision against Matt Watson. The trio of wins boosted Aycock to a 21-10 advantage and the match-clinching run continued with Lozier.

Lozier rebounded from the disappointing loss to Rivas with a second-period fall against Quinton Pulley. Gurley pinned his opponent and Pearson dominated Bobbitt, which put the overall match out of reach at 39-10.

Tran and Lancaster each grabbed a win, giving Aycock its third consecutive postseason win at home.

2006 N.C. High School

Athletic Association Class 3-A

Dual-Team Playoffs

(at C.B. Aycock HS, Pikeville)

First round

C.B. Aycock 33

West Carteret 29

135 -- Kyle White (WC) maj. dec. Josh Overton, 15-3; 140 -- Ronald Lynn (CBA) wbf Thomas Terrell, 1:44; 145 -- Victor Hojilla (WC) dec. Bryant Lancaster, 5-2; 152 -- Frankie Dennis (WC) maj. dec. Steve Bentley, 12-4; 160 -- Tim Harrison (CBA) wbf Justin Dorries, 0:38; 171 -- Jason Steed (CBA) dec. Aaron Parson, 4-2; 189 -- Roger Lindquist (WC) wbf Zach Wright, 5:30; 215 -- Billy O'Neal (WC) dec. Jarrett Covar, 10-4; Hwt -- Jose Rivas (WC) dec. Shane Lozier, 3-1; 103 -- Drake Gurley (CBA) dec. James Wilson 8-5; 112 -- Jordan Pearson (CBA) dec. Casey Starling, 10-8; 119 -- Ngu Tran (CBA) by forfeit; 125 -- Derek Lancaster (CBA) wbf Derek Hollman, 3:05; 130 -- Alex Williams (WC) by forfeit.

Records: C.B. Aycock 27-0, West Carteret 15-8.

Second round

C.B. Aycock 48

Southern Nash 22

140 -- Ronald Lynn (CBA) wbf Robert Bone, 1:06; 145 -- Paul Horner (SN) maj. dec. Bryant Lancaster, 10-2; 152 -- Zack Shearin (SN) dec. Steve Bentley, 5-1; 160 -- Eric Wischhusen (SN) dec. Tim Harrison, 13-12; 171 -- Jason Steed (CBA) by forfeit; 189 -- Zach Wright (CBA) dec. Matt Watson, 8-6; 215 -- Jarrett Covar (CBA) by forfeit; Hwt -- Shane Lozier (CBA) wbf Quinton Pulley, 4:13; 103 -- Drake Gurley (CBA) wbf Erik Lara, 2:23; 112 -- Jordan Pearson (CBA) tech fall Artavius Bobbitt, 17-2; 119 -- Ngu Tran (CBA) by forfeit; 125 -- Derek Lancaster (CBA) dec. Dustin Roberson, 10-3; 130 -- Justin Sanders (SN) by forfeit; 135 -- Brett Samonia (SN) by forfeit.

Records: C.B. Aycock 28-0, Southern Nash 23-6.