Golden Falcons turn back Warriors
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 31, 2008 3:22 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Ryan Butts warmed up behind the Charles B. Aycock bench and occasionally glanced up at the scoreboard.
When Eastern Wayne's A.J. Washington pinned Stanton Parris late in the opening period, Butts looked up again. The Warriors led 20-6 and had triumphed in all four contested matches.
"I knew we really needed some points," said Butts.
A first-year starter, the senior 152-pounder needed just 56 seconds to pin Eastern Wayne's Hunter Newsome. The quick decision helped the Golden Falcons shake off their early-match blues, and awaken a partisan Aycock crowd.
"I needed to go out there and get a win for the team," said Butts. "(Coach Mark Bass) said it was my night and our night to show them whose house this really is. It was exciting and felt really good."
Energized from Butts' victory, C.B. Aycock caught fire and claimed a come-from-behind, 38-30 triumph over Eastern Wayne. The Golden Falcons (21-5 overall) grabbed their third consecutive Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season, dual-team championship.
Aycock earned the No. 1 seed for next week's N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs. The Warriors (13-10, 3-1 ECC) picked up the No. 2 seed.
Fellow first-year starter Freddie Coley followed Butts' lead. The senior 160-pounder pinned the Warriors' Cody Britt in 1 minute, 38.7 seconds. The Golden Falcons trimmed Eastern Wayne's double-digit advantage to 20-18.
"They work hard in the weight room just like everyone else and had the right mindset they couldn't be beaten," said Aycock senior Drake Gurley of Butts and Coley. "Tonight, they got to show what they can do on the mat and it paid off."
The Warriors' Brandon Darby squeezed out a 5-3 decision over 171-pounder Josh Grimes. However, the Golden Falcons returned the favor when Bryan Diorio -- another first-year starter -- turned back Tyler Wicks by the same score.
"That was the crucial match," said Eastern Wayne head coach Mike Brown. "We thought Tyler might pin the kid."
Senior Foy Coley edged Jarrett Covar 9-8 in double overtime to push Eastern Wayne's overall match lead to 26-21. Back-to-back forfeits put Aycock ahead 33-26 and sophomore Drew Tesar pulled the Warriors within 33-30 with a major decision over 112-pounder Justin Farrell.
Gurley finished off Aycock's ECC championship run with a 17-2 technical fall over Corbin Harris. It was Gurley's 40th victory of the season.
"Of course, there was pressure," said a grinning Gurley. "It's senior night, so I needed the mindset to go out there and wrestle my best match. It was good to go out on the mat and get things done."
The Warriors seemed destined to snap their 14-match losing streak against the Golden Falcons. Jordan Harris' tech fall, Chris Tesar's decision, Zach Hahn's pin and Washington's victory gave them early momentum.
Brown, who describes the rivalry as an "annual chess match," got every individual matchup he wanted throughout the 1-hour, 38-minute affair. But Aycock's wrestlers fought off their backs several times and prevented Eastern Wayne from recording pivotal pin points.
"They did what they had to do to win," said Brown. "I'm tickled to death that my boys won a lot of close matches. I couldn't be more proud of the way my kids wrestled."
Bass echoed Brown's feelings.
"I thought we came out a little timid and got going as the match got going," said Bass. "With seven new starters in the lineup, you've got to build intensity and work your way into it. They were able to take the momentum early.
"But, we weren't out of it."
Butts made sure of it.
C.B. Aycock 38
Eastern Wayne 30
125 -- Jordan Harris (EW) tech fall Joseph Conner, 16-1 (4:20); 130 -- Chris Tesar (EW) dec. Brandon Bailey, 11-4; 135 -- Kevin Carmel (CBA) by forfeit; 140 -- Zach Hahn (EW) wbf Jacob Marple, 5:53.4; 145 -- A.J. Washington (EW) wbf Stanton Parris, 1:28.2; 152 -- Ryan Butts (CBA) wbf Hunter Newsome, 0:56; 160 -- Freddie Coley (CBA) wbf Cody Britt, 1:38.7; 171 -- Brandon Darby (EW) dec. Josh Grimes, 5-3; 189 -- Bryan Diorio (CBA) dec. Tyler Wicks, 5-3; 215 -- Foy Coley (EW) dec. Jarrett Covar, 9-8 (2 OT); Hwt -- Khiry Reid (CBA) by forfeit; 103 -- Nick Bentley (CBA) by forfeit; 112 -- Drew Tesar (EW) maj. dec. Justin Farrell, 15-7; 119 -- Drake Gurley (CBA) tech fall Corbin Harris, 17-2 (3:56.4).
Records: C.B. Aycock 21-5, 4-0 Eastern Carolina 3-A; Eastern Wayne 13-10, 3-1 ECC.
Next match: Saturday, both teams in ECC tournament at C.B. Aycock.
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