KENLY — Corinth Holders’ wrestlers took advantage of two valuable commodities Wednesday night: numbers and experience.
Both proved valuable as the Pirates swept to a pair of victories in a triangular meet, defeating Northern Carolina 2A Conference rival North Johnston and Big Eight 3A Conference member Rocky Mount.The Pirates’ numbers came into effect by claiming five forfeit wins in both meets, and their experience paid off in notching five pivotal head-to-head triumphs over the Gryphons in the nightcap.
The twin victories left Corinth Holders 15-2 overall, while the win over North Johnston improved the Pirates' conference ledger to 2-0.Corinth Holders opened the evening against the Panthers in their NCC battle instead of meeting in the final match of the evening, as would be the norm.
“We did that so neither team can have the excuse of ‘We just wrestled a match and were tired.’,” said Pirate coach Eric Wychussen. “This way we could both be fresh when we went against each other.”
Tired or fresh, the Pirates had more than the Panthers could handle, registering five pins, five forfeits and a technical fall in rolling to the 68-12 victory.
Darius Dunn opened the night for the Pirates against North Johnston, rolling to a 17-1 technical fall win over Jacob Creech. Dustin Brennan and Nick Pulliam followed with pins at 113 and 120 pounds, respectively, increasing the overall margin to 17-0.
Cameron Brewer received a forfeit at 126 to push the lead to 23-0 before North picked up its first win of the night when Dyllan Creech pinned Greg Alford in 2:53 at 132.
After that, it was all Pirates as Corinth Holders posted six straight victories, including three forfeit wins to put the meet away at 56-6.
Earning forfeit wins were Tyler Sigler (145), Dylan Brennan (171) and Jason Gonzalez (182) while Charlie Gray (160) earned a pin and Matt Duncan held on for an 8-5 win at 152.
Hunter Stephenson picked up North's other win, a pin at 195 pounds to cut the margin to 56-12, but a forfeit win by Elijah Harris and a pin fall from Chris Solare at 285 closed out the scoring for the Pirates.
North fared a little better against the Gryphons, falling 60-22. The match was close through the first four bouts, with North getting a forfeit win from Harold Stephenson at 120 and a 12-2 win at 132 from Dyllan Creech to trail 12-10. But Rocky Mount posted six consecutive wins, three forfeits and three pins to put the match away a 48-10.
The Panthers made the score closer with a forfeit win from Hunter Stephenson and a pin from 106-pounder Alllen Creech.
The nightcap saw Corinth Holders’ Sigler at 145 with an 8-2 win by Brewer at 132 and 6-2 by Sigler at 145 which, along with a forfeit win by Pulliam at 120, staked the Pirates to a 12-7 lead.
Rocky Mount used back-to-back pins to forge a 19-12 led, but the experience came through again when Gray scored a takedown with 16 seconds left to take a 5-3 win at 170, drawing the Pirates within 19-15.Jason Gonzalez picked up his second forfeit win of the night, propelling Corinth Holders in front for good at 21-19.
William Floyd, a 195-pounder, outlasted Keynard Johnson 5-4 and Elijah Harris held off Jeffrey Person 7-5 at 220 for a 27-19 Pirate lead with three bouts remaining. Those bouts were never contested, as Gryphons coach J. J. Jones opted to forfeit those matches, giving Corinth Holders a 45-19 win.
“It was good to win those matches,” Wychussen said of the night. “Our guys wrestled really well tonight and stepped it up when they needed to.”