12/20/06 — ECC wrestling opener: Warrior matmen take advantage of short-handed Saints

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ECC wrestling opener: Warrior matmen take advantage of short-handed Saints

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 20, 2006 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- On paper, the match looked close ... almost even.

When archrivals Eastern Wayne and Southern Wayne took the mat Tuesday evening, the outcome resembled nothing comparable to what Warrior head coach Mike Brown anticipated -- a tightly-contested affair.

The Warriors benefited from four forfeits and claimed two unexpected falls in their 57-19 thrashing of the Saints. It was the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference opener for both teams.

"I thought we wrestled well and got lucky," said Brown.

Lineup changes due to missed weight and injuries proved fruitful for Eastern Wayne, and led to an early demise for Southern Wayne. The Saints' Tristan Bass sustained an ankle injury last weekend at the WRAL Invitational.

A handful of teammates failed to make weight and caused significant changes from 103 to 125 pounds.

"Some weeks they have full teams and some weeks they don't," said Brown. "The fact Tristan didn't wrestle was probably a 12-point swing. Even if he had been there, I think we would have won, but it would have been closer.

"They've got six good wrestlers."

Eastern Wayne battled without Grant Nix (knee), Keith Broadie (ankle) and Tyler Wicks (knee). Broadie sustained his injury at the WRAL Invitational, while Nix and Wicks have been absent from the lineup since the first week of regular-season competition.

Brown jostled his lineup in an effort to avoid Southern Wayne senior Doogie Niemond. A two-time state qualifier, Niemond wrestled up a weight class and yielded six-plus pounds against 119-pounder Jordan Harris.

Niemond seized control in the second period and eventually prevailed 7-1. His victory was the lone bright spot for the Saints in the lower-weight divisions.

"Jordan wrestled a real good match against Doogie," said Brown. "I told the kids as close as it should have been, giving up three points instead of six could be a real big difference.

"My boys did what we talked about ... not giving up the big points."

Eastern Wayne grabbed a commanding 30-3 advantage on three forfeits and pins from 112-pounder Corbin Harris and veteran Chris Tesar. Tesar, the reigning ECC wrestler of the year, snapped a two-match skid and remained unbeaten against conference opposition.

The night's best match occurred at 140 pounds between the Warriors' Detori Mitchell and the Saints' Josh Richards. Mitchell edged Richards in the Falcon Invitational and Richards returned the favor in the Eagle Invitational.

Their third meeting didn't disappoint the sparse fans in attendance. The two grapplers fought to a scoreless tie after one period. Mitchell claimed the upper hand with a reversal to start the second period, and that put pressure on Richards to score.

Richards escaped Mitchell to begin the third period. Mitchell notched his lone takedown with just under 40 seconds remaining in regulation and won 4-1.

"Both of them are extremely good on their feet," said Brown. "They've got plenty of chances to see each other again."

The teams traded wins over the next three matches. Southern Wayne received falls from Eric Futrell (145) and defending ECC champion John Futrell (160). Eastern Wayne's Brian Lincoln collected a fall at 152 pounds.

The Warriors took three of the final four bouts. Brandon Darby (171) and returning ECC champ Brandon Johnson (215) each notched a fall. Jonathan LaGrone received a forfeit at 189.

The Saints' Josh Robinson closed out the match with a 12-3 major decision over Eastern Wayne's Foy Coley.

"We got six points in a couple of places we didn't expect," said Brown, referring to Corbin Harris and Darby. "Of course, if the match had been closer, it helped that our heavyweight didn't get pinned by Robinson."

Eastern Wayne 57

Southern Wayne 19

103 -- Drew Tesar (EW) by forfeit; 112 -- Corbin Harris (EW) wbf Jacob Richards, 3 minutes, 23 seconds; 119 -- Doogie Niemond (SW) dec. Jordan Harris, 7-1; 125 -- Chris Tesar (EW) wbf Dustin Richards, 1:38; 130 -- James Knight (EW) by forfeit; 135 -- A.J. Washington (EW) by forfeit; 140 -- Detori Mitchell (EW) dec. Josh Richards, 4-1; 145 -- Eric Futrell (SW) wbf T.J. Highsmith, 1:26; 152 -- Brian Lincoln (EW) wbf Raymond Velasquez, 1:52; 160 -- John Futrell (SW) wbf Zach Pinter, 0:28; 171 -- Brandon Darby (EW) wbf Dante Ashford, 2:35; 189 -- Jonathan LaGrone (EW) by forfeit; 215 -- Brandon Johnson (EW) wbf Jake Hunter, 3:27; Hwt -- Josh Robinson (SW) maj. dec. Foy Coley, 12-3.

Records: Eastern Wayne 4-0, 1-0 Eastern Carolina 3-A; Southern Wayne 2-1, 0-1 ECC.

Next match: Friday, Eastern Wayne at New Bern Duals; Today, Southern Wayne vs. E. Duplin at Spring Creek.