Gryphons eliminate Golden Falcons from dual-team playoffs
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 13, 2013 1:47 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock's chances of halting its three-match skid in the postseason took a major hit on the coin toss ... yes, the coin toss before its battle with perennial power Rocky Mount on Tuesday evening.
The Gryphons got the choice individual bouts.
And the Golden Falcons could do nothing but graciously accept a 43-36 defeat in opening-round action of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A dual-team wrestling playoffs.
"For us to have a great chance, we had to win the toss because we had some matchup issues," CBA head coach Marc Peck said. "When we lost the toss, that really tied our hands. I'm proud of the way our guys fought and I thought we wrestled well as a whole.
"It wasn't meant to be."
Aycock raced to a 24-6 lead after five individual bouts.
Zack Howard recorded a 45-second pin at 106 pounds and Jacob Dickenson followed with a second-period pin at 113. Seniors Jordan Bailey (120 pounds) and Daniel Romo (132) each notched a pin, which was sandwiched around a first-period pin by the Gryphons at 126 pounds.
Rocky Mount, the three-time reigning Big East champion, reeled off the next 25 points. Rayshawn Elliott fueled the run with a second-period pin over Golden Falcons senior Charlie Mills. Teammate Desmond Scott wiggled out of a near-pin situation and pinned Aycock senior Alex Edmonds with 28 seconds left in their 145-pound match.
"That's a 12-point swing," Peck said. "Alex rolled him (Scott) on his blades twice, but the referee was on the opposite side (of the mat). That could have gone either way and it was huge."
Alexander Knight followed with an 80-second pin at 152, which knotted the overall match at 24-all.
The chess match belonged to Rocky Mount at that point.
Head coach Jermaine Jones continued to restructure his lineup well and got an unexpected victory when Joseph Cooper upset Aycock senior Khaleil Owens 5-2 at 160 pounds.
The open holes started to show in Aycock's lineup.
Ryan Morton couldn't wrestle due to a toe injury he suffered in the Eastern Carolina Conference tournament. The Golden Falcons sorely missed senior 220-pounder Jorge Flores, who suffered a season-ending knee injury nearly two months ago.
Rocky Mount's Anthony Battle claimed the last contested match of the night. The teams traded forfeits over the final four weight classes and the Gryphons picked up their first postseason win over the Golden Falcons, who ended the year 28-6 overall.
"Cooper's win, little did everyone know, seal the deal for them," Peck said. "There are some good athletes on that Rocky Mount squad."
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