Eastern Wayne sticks Hunt
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 4, 2008 3:35 PM
Mind over matter.
Or, in Cody Britt's case, technique over strength.
Facing a shorter and more-muscular opponent Thursday evening, the Eastern Wayne grappler knew he had to wrestle a mistake-free match. He couldn't let Wilson Hunt's Johnnie Coleman gain the upper hand and certainly couldn't afford to get taken down.
Britt did his job. Despite missing several days of practice, Britt pulled off a 17-5 major decision and preserved Eastern Wayne's worksheet against Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference opposition.
"That was a big match ... crucial," said Eastern Wayne head coach Mike Brown. "There were a lot of variables (tonight). It was a must win for us to make the (dual-team) playoffs.
"The boys wrestled well."
Eastern Wayne (6-3 overall, 2-0 ECC) competed without 103-pounder Tyson Jones, who was involved in a car accident earlier in the day. He was transported to the hospital, but reportedly suffered no significant injuries.
Hunt (5-3, 0-2) didn't suit up two starters and surrendered a forfeit at 114 pounds.
"Having those two guys would have helped our cause and in my mind made a difference tonight," said Hunt head coach Dan Miner. "But you have to give Eastern Wayne credit. They're a strong team."
Brown's Warriors claimed a 12-3 lead after four matches had been recorded in the books. Tyler Wicks picked up an injury default at 217 pounds and sophomore Drew Tesar received six critical forfeit points at 114.
Hunt didn't go away, however.
Miner's Warriors emerged victorious in four of the next seven bouts. David High (121) earned a disqualification, while teammates Jackson Parker (137) and Cody Parris (142) each recorded a pin. Ryan Lippert's first-period fall over Logan Wicks trimmed the overall match score to 29-27.
"We were right there," said Miner.
Britt and Coleman trotted to the mat after Lippert's win. After they secured their ankle bands and shook hands, Britt posted the initial takedown in the six-minute, 162-pound affair. He led 3-2 after one period.
Britt chose the down position to start the second period and escaped Coleman's grasp. The junior took Coleman down and collected three nearfall points, which created some breathing room at 9-2.
"I knew I had to keep low and wrestle smart," said Britt. "I was out of condition ... bad. But he started to get tired (in the second period), so I just took my time."
Coleman opted for the neutral (standing) position to start the third period and Britt immediately recorded his third takedown of the match. He put Coleman on his back again, but the Hunt grappler reversed the hold and nearly pinned Britt.
"I got a little nervous then," grinned Britt.
Britt escaped and took down Coleman again for the 17-5 final.
"It was a hard match," said Britt. "He's the strongest guy I've ever wrestled ... had to be."
Brandon Darby's 40-second fall against Hunt's Brandon Phillips secured the outcome for Eastern Wayne, which claimed its fourth league victory in its last five outings. Jonathan Lagrone finished off the visiting Warriors with a second-period fall over Kenny Hertling in the 191-pound match.
Notes: Senior 125-pounder Chris Tesar picked up his 176th career win. ... Brown's Warriors had 17 takedowns and 14 nearfalls in 12 contested matches. ... Hunt and Wilson Beddingfield are a collective 0-5 overall against Eastern Wayne since joining the league in 2005.
Eastern Wayne 45
Wilson Hunt 27
217 -- Tyler Wicks (EW) inj. def. Alex Howard, 4 minutes, 38 seconds; Hwt -- Walker Holt (H) dec. Foy Coley, 7-5; 105 -- double forfeit; 114 -- Drew Tesar (EW) by forfeit; 121 -- David High (H) DQ over Corbin Harris; 127 -- Chris Tesar (EW) wbf Spencer Rhem, 4:41; 132 -- Jordan Harris (EW) tech fall Bradley Williams, 17-2; 137 -- Jackson Parker (H) wbf Zach Hahn, 5:07; 142 -- Cody Parris (H) wbf Byron Washington, 4:53; 147 -- A.J. Washington (EW) wbf Spencer Miller, 4:47; 154 -- Ryan Lippert (H) wbf Logan Wicks, 1:23; 162 -- Cody Britt (EW) maj. dec. Johnnie Coleman, 17-5; 173 -- Brandon Darby (EW) wbf Brandon Phillips, 0:40; 191 -- Jonathan Lagrone (EW) wbf Kenny Hertling, 3:55.
Records: Eastern Wayne 6-3, 2-0 Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference; Wilson Hunt 5-3, 0-2 ECC.
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