01/26/07 — ECC wrestling: C.B. Aycock survives flat effort

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ECC wrestling: C.B. Aycock survives flat effort

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 26, 2007 2:09 PM

PIKEVILLE -- The casual observer, upon viewing the final score, might think Charles B. Aycock easily dismantled county rival Southern Wayne on the wrestling mat Thursday evening.

Think again.

The short-handed Saints had four individual winners and nearly out-pointed the Golden Falcons in nine contested matches. But Aycock benefited from five forfeits and picked up a 50-12 victory to remain unbeaten in three Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference outings.

The Golden Falcons (21-1 overall) travel to county rival Eastern Wayne, also unbeaten in three ECC contests, next Tuesday. Both have qualified for the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs, but the winner seizes the No. 1 seed.

Southern Wayne (7-3 overall, 1-2 ECC), with the loss, is mathematically eliminated from claiming an automatic bid to the postseason. The Saints, however, are eligible for one of two wild-card berths -- based on winning percentage -- available in the 16-team eastern bracket.

"The threat of a letdown after such a great weekend was in the back of my head," said Aycock head coach Kevin Smith. "It's one of those things you don't want to admit can happen, but know it can."

Perennial 4-A power Cary snapped Aycock's 58-match, regular-season win streak in the championship round of the Thomas Cowles Memorial Duals at Southern Nash on Saturday.

Instead of beginning another win streak in dominating fashion, the Golden Falcons looked flat after a three-day layoff.

Six of the nine individual bouts wrestled were decided by one point or less, including two in triple overtime. The Saints triumphed in four of those matches.

Tristan Bass (135 pounds) pulled off a stunning come-from-behind 4-3 win over Ronald Lynn. Eric Futrell (145) picked up three crucial nearfall points in the second period and edged Bryant Lancaster 6-5. Lancaster suffered just his second loss in 41 outings this season.

"Tristan did good tonight and I'm sure that won't be the last time they see each other," said Southern Wayne head coach Brian Smiley. "Usually Lynn gets the best of him, but I think Tristan wanted it more tonight.

"Lancaster usually beats Eric and tonight he got one over him. He just didn't want to lose and has been working hard all year."

Disappointed by the losses, Smith said Lynn and Lancaster allowed their opponent to ride them at some point during the six-minute encounter. Smith called the mistakes "correctable errors," but still fumed that his two seniors didn't wrestle a complete or smart match.

"They kept a couple of key matches close and found ways to win them," said Smith. "That's just good wrestling."

Heavyweight Josh Robinson and senior 112-pounder Doogie Niemond each squeezed out a one-point decision. Robinson turned back the Golden Falcons' Khiry Reid 2-1 in triple overtime. Niemond's second-period escape was enough to survive Drake Gurley 1-0.

Aycock's Nick Bentley yielded the initial takedown to Jacob Richards during their 103-pound bout. Bentley recorded an escape and takedown in each of the first and third periods, and pulled out a 6-2 decision.

"Nick gets a little better every time he competes," said Smith. "He is starting to wrestle smarter on the mat, and that is what we need him to do. I was really happy with the way he wrestled tonight."

Senior Ngu Tran scored a 16-0 technical fall against the Saints' Dustin Richardson at 125 pounds. Josh Overton (140) rallied for a third-period escape and takedown, and doubled up the Saints' Josh Richardson 6-3.

"That was the six-minute match we've been looking for Josh to wrestle all season long," said Smith. "When he puts periods together like that consistently, he is going to give a lot of wrestlers fits. I'm very proud of him."

Aycock's Steve Bentley survived John Futrell 2-1 in triple overtime in the night's final match. Teammates Kyle Harmon (171), Gabriel Huang (189), Jarrett Covar (215), Joseph Conner (119) and Josh Grimes (152) each received a forfeit.

The Golden Falcons collected their 12th consecutive ECC regular-season victory.

"The remainder of the season is about focusing and staying healthy," said Smith. "Our conditioning is solid and all of our technique is in, so we will definitely start to bring the intensity down a notch in the room in preparation for a long postseason."

C.B. Aycock 50

Southern Wayne 12

171 -- Kyle Harmon (CBA) by forfeit; 189 -- Gabriel Huang (CBA) by forfeit; 215 -- Jarrett Covar (CBA) by forfeit; Hwt -- Josh Robinson (SW) dec. Khiry Reid 2-1 (3 OT); 103 -- Nick Bentley (CBA) dec. Jacob Richards, 6-2; 112 -- Doogie Niemond (SW) d. Drake Gurley, 1-0; 119 -- Joseph Conner (CBA) by forfeit; 125 -- Ngu Tran (CBA) tech fall Dustin Richardson, 16-0 (2:18); 130 -- Kevin Carmel (CBA) wbf Jacob Jones, 0:34; 135 -- Tristan Bass (SW) dec. Ronald Lynn, 4-3; 140 -- Josh Overton (CBA) dec. Josh Richardson, 6-3; 145 -- Eric Futrell (SW) dec. Bryant Lancaster, 6-5; 152 -- Josh Grimes (CBA) by forfeit; 160 -- Steve Bentley (CBA) dec. John Futrell, 3-2 (3 OT).

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

Next match: Today, C.B. Aycock home vs. Wilson Fike; Saturday, Southern Wayne in Eastern Carolina Duals at New Bern.