Eagles' Quillen enjoys MVP outing
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 20, 2012 1:48 PM
MONROE -- Nick Quillen stayed perfect ... barely.
Taylor McGill received a wake-up call.
And the Rosewood High duo, along with teammate Angel Jaramillo, punched their ticket to the season-ending N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A individual wrestling championships Saturday evening.
Quillen emerged the 120-pound champion and earned the Most Valuable Wrestler award during the eastern regional contested at Monroe High School. McGill claimed the silver medal at 195 pounds, while Jaramillo placed fourth at 113 pounds.
"(The MVP award) was awesome. I wasn't expecting that at all," said Quillen, who climbed to 58-0 overall. "The whole weekend was pretty tough."
The top-seeded Quillen needed just 26 seconds to pin Monroe's Isaiah Leaks in opening-round action. He pinned South Robeson's Antonio Baker in the second period, and cruised past North Rowan's Tyler Powers, 10-4, in the semifinal round.
Quillen and Southwest Onslow's Joby Armenta staged a nail-biting championship match. Quillen earned the initial takedown and Armenta tied the score at 2-2 on a reversal. The grapplers traded second-period reversals and headed into the final two minutes knotted at 4-all.
"I didn't want to come home 57-1," said Quillen.
Quillen chose the "top" position to start the third period and worked hard to keep Armenta on the mat. He finally rocked him into a cradle and pinned him at the 4-minute, 33-second mark.
"I knew I had to stick him or get back points," said Quillen. "That was the toughest match I had all year."
McGill, a senior co-captain, began the regional with a second-period fall over East Montgomery's Drew Russell. He bounced Pamlico's Humberto Mendoza 4-0 in the quarterfinals and pinned Ayden-Grifton's Rodney Nelson in the semifinals.
Central Academy's Jason Gulotta, the No. 1 seed, upended the second-seeded McGill 14-4 in the finals.
"I had a good run all the way to the championship match, then I just fell apart," said McGill. "He got the first takedown and whoever does that usually wins the match. He had good top control. I really couldn't get up (off the mat) at all.
"It was frustrating, definitely a real big wake-up call."
Princeton senior Forrest Stewart (51-2 overall) survived a semifinal-round setback and earned a spot in the state tournament. The top-seeded 182-pounder pinned Red Springs' Cheyenne Fullmer in just 10 seconds, and hammered East Montgomery's Abelardo Hernandez, 16-1, in the quarterfinals.
North Moore's Kyle Kidd stopped Stewart's run with a 3-0 victory in the semifinals. Stewart pinned Diego Martinez in the bronze-medal match.
Goldsboro's Jamelle James (126 pounds) and Spring Creek senior Corey Howell (132) each stumbled in the consolation semifinals.
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