02/13/13 — Rosewood grapplers survive two close calls

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Rosewood grapplers survive two close calls

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 13, 2013 1:47 PM

Two close calls.

Rosewood didn't panic either time.

And the result?

Another trip to the eastern regional championship round for the first time since 2010, and fifth time overall in program history.

Dylan Melgar's courageous battle at 170 pounds preserved the Eagles' opening-round, 37-35 triumph over Chatham Central. Kaleb Smith's second-period pin at 170 pounds sealed a 39-34 outcome against Southwest Onslow in round two.

"(We've) had close matches all year and these were no exception," Rosewood head coach Bill Edmundson said. "The previous matches have helped make our guys not panic in the close battles. They have proven they are working together and depending on each other to be successful."

Rosewood (39-11 overall) travels to Yadkin Valley champion North Rowan (26-2) in the eastern regional title match Thursday evening.

An unfortunate illegal hold led to a 12-point swing midway through the Chatham Central match. The referee assessed the infraction against the Eagles' Jordan Batson and the Bears' Jason Buchanan couldn't continue.

Buchanan was awarded the victory, which tied the match at 28-all.

"We were totally dominating that match," Edmundson said.

Dalton Robinson's decision over the Eagles' Evan Reiss pushed the Bears in front, 31-28. But Rosewood refused to quit.

Josh Drew pinned Chatham's Rodney VanderWalker in 71 seconds at 152 pounds and Smith followed with an 8-6, overtime decision over Ethan Mason at 160.

The Eagles led 37-31.

Melgar trotted onto the mat and avoided several potential pinfalls by the Bears' Graham Jones. Jones won 16-2.

"If Dylan didn't get pinned we would win out (and) if he did get pinned, we would have tied and won on criteria," Edmundson said.

Coastal Plains champion SW Onslow raced to a 12-0 lead over the Eagles, who answered with a 21-0 run of their own. Rosewood maintained a comfortable margin until it forfeited to the Stallions' Zach Winegardner at 160 pounds.

Smith stepped onto the mat with the Eagles team clinging to a 33-30 lead. He stayed patient against the Stallions' Maleek Platt and eventually posted the match-clinching pin with 16 seconds remaining in the second period.

"Another hardfought match," Edmundson said. "Southwest Onslow came at us with everything they had."