01/31/07 — C.B. Aycock matmen prevail in ECC showdown

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C.B. Aycock matmen prevail in ECC showdown

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 31, 2007 2:14 PM

One individual match didn't decide the overall outcome between county wrestling archrivals Charles B. Aycock and Eastern Wayne on Tuesday evening, but it certainly set the tone.

And quickly deflated the Warriors.

The Golden Falcons' Josh Grimes, a first-year starter, seized a come-from-behind victory over state-ranked Brian Lincoln and his teammates carried the momentum from there. C.B. Aycock turned back Eastern Wayne 39-24 and successfully defended its Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season crown.

With the victory, the Golden Falcons (23-1 overall) claimed the No. 1 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs. The Warriors (16-5) suffered their first loss in four ECC outings this season, and will enter the postseason as the league's No. 2 seed.

Lincoln, still bothered by a nagging injury, surrendered the initial takedown to Grimes in the opening period of their 152-pound bout. One of three seniors, Lincoln answered with a pair of second-period reversals and seemed to have the match in control.

The score remained the same until Grimes hit a reversal with five seconds remaining in the final period. Lincoln escaped just as time expired.

"Josh wrestled exactly the way he needed to wrestle tonight," said Aycock head coach Kevin Smith. "We felt really good about him getting that first takedown. It gave us some momentum going into the second period.

"His win really set the tone for us in the upper weights."

C.B. Aycock took the next three matches.

Steve Bentley (160 pounds) earned a costly forfeit. Teammate Kyle Harmon, who returned to the lineup less than a month ago, battled Brandon Darby to a scoreless deadlock after one period. Harmon almost pinned Darby in the second period and eventually picked up an 11-4 decision.

The next match further crippled the Warriors' upset bid.

Gabriel Huang, a first-year starter, outlasted Tyler Wicks 6-5. That gave the Golden Falcons a 15-0 advantage in the overall match score.

"Brian missed about a month of conditioning and Tyler just returned last week after missing two months," said Warriors head coach Mike Brown. "These were two (wins) that we needed ... very pivotal.

Eastern Wayne posted a 5-4 edge in head-to-head matches after Wicks' defeat. Brothers Drew and Chris Tesar, and A.J. Washington each pinned their opponent. Seniors Brandon Johnson and Detori Mitchell each earned a decision.

Mitchell could never tilt the Golden Falcons' Josh Overton onto his back for either nearfall points, or a possible pin. Overton nearly pinned Mitchell in the third period. Still, his loss clinched the overall victory for Aycock -- its eighth straight against Eastern Wayne and 13th consecutive against ECC opposition.

"I think winning a conference title was on everyone's goal list, so it is fulfilling to chose out another item on the (team) list," said Smith.

Disappointed with the defeat, but proud of his team's performance, Brown heaped praise on his younger wrestlers. The Warriors yielded just one pin and one technical fall to C.B. Aycock in the two-hour, two-minute marathon.

"I thought our younger kids did fantastic not to give up the big points against their stud wrestlers, and I was extremely pleased with that," said Brown.

Senior Ronald Lynn picked up the Golden Falcons' lone pin -- a second-period fall over Zach Hahn at 135 pounds. Senior 125-pounder Ngu Tran scored a technical fall (15-0) over James Knight.

Heavyweight Khiry Reid stopped Foy Coley 13-7 and Drake Gurley easily defeated Jordan Harris 10-2 in their 112-pound tilt.

"It was a rather workmanlike effort for us," said Smith. "We minimized our mistakes in a couple of crucial matches and wrestled tough for six full minutes. From this point on, there just aren't a lot of first-period pins in any dual you wrestle.

"So, from that standpoint, I was glad to see us wrestle tough for six minutes."

Aycock had the initial takedown in seven of 12 contested matches, and just two of those bouts ended in the second period. The Warriors held the Golden Falcons to their second-lowest scoring output of the season, and won the most individual matches of any opponent Aycock has faced in four ECC duals.

Brown expected to put a full team on the mat, but one wrestler left due to a death in the family. The 160-pound slot became vacant, also.

"You take away Parkland and Cary, this is the closest and toughest dual match that Aycock has had all year," said Brown. "It was a fight and it was not over until right there at the end.

"With eight seniors in his (Smith's) lineup, I can't wait until next year."

C.B. Aycock 39

Eastern Wayne 24

152 -- Josh Grimes (CBA) dec. Brian Lincoln, 6-5; 160 -- Steve Bentley (CBA) by forfeit; 171 -- Kyle Harmon (CBA) dec. Brandon Darby, 11-4; 189 -- Gabriel Huang (CBA) dec. Tyler Wicks, 6-5; 215 -- Brandon Johnson (EW) dec. Jarrett Covar, 9-4; Hwt -- Khiry Reid (CBA) dec. Foy Coley, 13-7; 103 -- Drew Tesar (EW) wbf Nick Bentley, 4:25; 112 -- Drake Gurley (CBA) maj. dec. Jordan Harris, 10-2; 119 -- Chris Tesar (CBA) wbf Josh Conner, 3:23; 125 -- Ngu Tran (CBA) tech fall James Knight, 15-0 (4:06); 130 -- A.J. Washington (EW) wbf Kevin Carmel, 5:53; 135 -- Ronald Lynn (CBA) wbf Zack Hahn, 2:54; 140 -- Detori Mitchell (EW) dec. Josh Overton, 6-5; 145 -- Bryant Lancaster (CBA) by forfeit.

Records: C.B. Aycock 23-1, 4-0 Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference; Eastern Wayne 16-5, 3-1 ECC.

Next match: Saturday, ECC tournament at C.B. Aycock, 9 a.m.