Eastern Alamance shocks CBA
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 6, 2008 1:47 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock senior Ryan Butts tried his best to escape, but Eastern Alamance junior Michael Isabella kept a firm grip.
The two 145-pounders staged a nerve-racking and thrilling contest Tuesday evening which ended in heart-breaking fashion for the Golden Falcons. Isabella pulled off a sudden-death overtime victory as the Eagles prevailed 34-33 in their opening-round, Class 3-A N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoff match.
Eastern Alamance (10-12 overall) claimed its first-ever postseason triumph on the 3-A level, while C.B. Aycock (21-6) suffered an opening-round playoff loss for the first time since 1996.
Kevin Carmel's decision at 140 pounds gave the Golden Falcons a 33-31 advantage. It was the third lead change over a three-match stretch and set the stage for final individual bout of the night.
Butts and Isabella battled to a 1-1 deadlock in regulation. Neither grappler scratched in the one-minute overtime session, which led to a pair of 30-second periods. The wrestlers each earned a point to make it 2-2, and that set up the decisive 30-second, sudden-death period.
Butts chose the "down" position and tried to break from Isabella's grasp on each restart. But Isabella refused to let Butts loose and grabbed the match-clinching point on riding criteria.
"Watching that match, as upset as I was, it's hard not to leave that match and feel good about yourself because that's what the sport is all about," said Aycock coach Mark Bass. "Digging down, giving everything you've got and after that fourth overtime, seeing where you're at.
"We were one escape short, but Butts wrestled a phenomenal match against a strong wrestler."
Injuries and illness depleted the Golden Falcons' lineup. Josh Grimes, a 171-pounder, sat out due to an ear injury suffered during last weekend's conference tournament. Nick Bentley (103) missed the match due to battling a high fever. The absences forced Bass to insert two first-year grapplers into the lineup and the Eagles benefited from their inexperience.
Each team won seven individual matches, but the difference were pins. Eastern Alamance recorded four compared to two for Aycock.
"When you give up pins, it's hard to fight back," said Bass. "There were half a dozen ways to win that match and none of them fell our way tonight."
The Eagles raced to a 22-0 lead, but the Golden Falcons slowly climbed back into the match. Senior Jarrett Covar erased the goose egg with a major decision at 215 pounds and heavyweight Khiry Reid followed with a 66-second fall over the Eagles' Josh Anthony.
After dropping the 103-pound match, Aycock got wins from Justin Farrell (112 pounds), Joseph Conner (119), Drake Gurley (125) and Brandon Bailey (130). Bailey needed just 24 seconds to pin Steven Profitt, which put the Golden Falcons in front 30-28.
The teams traded decisions until Isabella's match-clinching win.
"I think we did surprise a lot of people this year," said Bass. "I'm very proud of the ways the guys wrestled all year."
Eastern Alamance 34
C.B. Aycock 33
152 -- Andrew Burnett (EA) wbf James Jones, 4 minutes, 23 seconds; 160 -- Connor Dawson (EA) maj. dec. Freddie Coley, 14-4; 171 -- Taylor King (EA) wbf Brandon Thomas, 3:31.5; 189 -- Matt Dean (EA) wbf Bryan Diorio, 2:57; 215 -- Jarrett Covar (CBA) maj. dec. Chris Proffit, 12-2; Hwt -- Khiry Reid (CBA) wbf Josh Anthony, 1:06.4; 103 -- Jarnard Hester (EA) wbf J.P. Combs, 3:02; 112 -- Justin Farrell (CBA) wbf Tevin Walker, 3:22.8; 119 -- Joseph Conner (CBA) tech fall Kenneth Tyson, 17-2; 125 -- Drake Gurley (CBA) dec. Michael McKenna, 8-2; 130 -- Brandon Bailey (CBA) wbf Steven Profitt, 0:24; 135 -- Kevin Lynn (EA) dec. Jacob Marple, 8-5; 140 -- Kevin Carmel (CBA) dec. Parker Dudley, 8-2; 145 -- Michael Isabella (EA) dec. Ryan Butts, 3-2 (4 OT).
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