Orange, Carrboro and Rosewood won N.C. High School Athletic Association individual wrestling tournament championships on Saturday night at the Greensboro Coliseum. For all three, it was a bit of redemption after losing the dual-team titles to the western champs two weeks prior.
Carrboro’s first state title came comfortably. The Jaguars had one state champ and two runners-up and scored 137 points, well ahead of Rutherford County’s Chase High (100).
“Everybody was fired up to come here and do what they had to do,” Carrboro coach DeWitt Driscoll said. “We wanted to make a statement that we were the best (2A) team in the state and they did that. Our goal coming in here was to leave no doubt that we were the best.”
Rosewood repeated its tournament title from a year ago with 106.5 points, dominating runner-up Avery County (70) and Voyager Academy (third, 56).
“This was a major goal, major redemption from the state duals. It’s unreal still to me right now,” Rosewood coach Bill Edmundson said. “We thought it would be about 78 points to win this and to come out with 106 points in this crowd, in a bigger arena with a bigger number of teams, speaks volumes about these kids.”
Orange won its 10th wrestling championship, fifth in the tournament. The Panthers had one state champ (Payton Wilson) and one runner-up (Josiah Ramirez) to clip Harrisburg’s Hickory Ridge 84.5-81.5.
In hindsight, the state title hinged on Orange junior Payton Wilson’s victory over Hickory Ridge’s Dan Louba.
The match ended in some controversy with Louba getting an apparent match-winning takedown as time expired. After a long discussion between the referees and the timekeepers, it was determined that the takedown came after the time expired. The crowd booed the decision, though N&O video confirms the official’s final call.
“We had strength in numbers,” Orange coach Bobby Shriner said. “We had two in the finals and a champion. It was a heart-breaker for Josiah. We had some great efforts and it was truly a team effort. We’re proud of our guys. We’re so blessed. It’s been a awesome year.”
In 4A, Southeast Guilford’s 115 points bested West Forsyth (98) and Greensboro’s Ben L. Smith (92). Cary was the top team form the Triangle in fourth (76).
In addition to Wilson, nine other N&O area wrestlers won state titles, including 1A Most Outstanding Wrestler Nick Daggett of Chatham Central.
Daggett (35-0 overall) finished off his third consecutive state championship and second unbeaten year with a 16-0 victory.
“At the start of the match I wanted a pin,” Daggett said. “But in the second period I was up by 11 and I figured if I turned him I was going to get a tech (fall). Either way I was pretty happy.”
Quincy Monday (31-1), Carrboro’s 132-pound 2A champion, also won his third title – his first two came in Texas.
R.J. Whitt (29-5) of Voyager Academy earned a 12-6 victory over River Griffith of Avery County to win the Durham school’s first-ever state wrestling championship.
“I did it for the free T-shirt,” Whitt joked of his state title before acknowledging, “That was my goal all season.”
Jaden Davis (35-2) of Riverside defeated Michael Johnson of Southeast Guilford 6-2 in the 4A 195-pound championship tilt that was a repeat of their regional final.
Rosewood had two state champions in sophomore Jordan Todd (48-7), who defeated Elkin’s Jude Lloyd 5-0 to win the 132-pound title, and senior Cameron Helt (31-4) who defeated Avery County’s Blake Williams 21-12.
Broughton’s Nash Philbeck (34-4) became the school’s first champion since 1997 when he won the 4A 145-pound title by a 12-9 score.
Union Pines’ Alex Faison (28-6) upset Piedmont’s Matt Price (52-2) 6-5 for the 3A 152-pound title.
Like Wilson, Northwood’s Hunter Queen was on edge thinking he may have lost a state title because of five stalling calls. However, the match was not stopped after his fourth stalling, so officials had to revert back to how much time was left – 53 seconds – and finish the match.
Queen (48-2) now has 199 career victories, breaking his brother Michael’s school win record, after defeating Tyrie Houghton of Weddington 7-6 in the 3A 182-pound title match.
Carrboro heavyweight Emanuel Oquaye (31-4) took second in the 2A title match, falling 3-2 to Kanaan Brock of R-S Central. He was one of 10 area wrestlers to come just short of winning their weight class.
David Veltri (24-10) of Carrboro fell to Patrick Burton of North Brunswick by fall in the 152-pound championship clash at 3 minutes, 5 seconds.
Frankie Miller (44-3) lost in “ultimate overtime” after being tied with Havelock’s Destin Floyd after three periods, then one sudden death period, then two tiebreaker periods. Floyd stayed undefeated with an escape to win 4-3.
Cary freshman Kobe Early (46-1) lost 6-2 to Marcelino Aponte III of Cape Fear in the 4A 106-pound title.
In the 170-pound 3A finals, J.C. Ciaramella of Marvin Ridge decisioned Josiah Ramirez (50-5) of Orange 12-7.
Rosewood’s Christian Decatur fell in the 1A 106 match on an injury to finish his freshman year 53-8. Teammate Chris Hill (42-13) fell to Daggett at 113.
Fike’s Rae’Sae Settles (50-3) fell 9-4 to Justin Payne of Asheville’s Clyde Erwin High.
Union Pines’ Parker Holcomb (23-4) was runner-up in the 160 final with a 9-2 loss to Hibriten’s Hayden Wyke.
Cardinal Gibbons’ Jalen Brooks (32-5) was runner-up in the 4A 220 match, falling 2-1 to Independence’s Xavier Lenear.
MAKING THE PODIUM
Third: Rosewood’s Timonty Decatur (1A 120); Voyager Academy’s Isaiah Bryant (1A 126); Voyager Academy’s Kyle Coward (1A 132); Rosewood’s Louis Tortual (1A 138); Voyager Academy’s Irving Montgomery (1A 160); Carrboro’s Mark Chaid (2A 195); Farmville Central’s Jaqwuez Norman (2A 285); Union Pines’ Tony Menozi (3A 145); Cary’s Delante Robinson (4A 145); Cary’s Nate Kinsey (4A 152); Athens Drive’s Youssef Aitboulahri (4A 182).
Fourth: Chatham Charter’s Chris Brannon (1A 126); Neuse Charter’s Alexander Gonzalez (1A 138); Chatham Central’s Ryan Baker (1A 145); Carrboro’s Otto Wolin (2A 126); Carrboro’s Taylor Day (2A 138); Southern Vance’s Trequan Alston (2A 145); C.B. Aycock’s Joshua Wallace (3A 182); Pinecrest’s Alex Blake (4A 126); Leesville Road’s Dan Mills (4A 132); Heritage’s Sheriff Njie (4A 152); Broughton’s Christian Hite (4A 160); Cary’s Joseph Grena (4A 170); Wake Forest’s Jack Malone (4A 195).
Fifth: North Pitt’s Sincere King (2A 145); Western Harnett’s Trevor Wicker (3A 120); Fike’s Aaron Bancroft (145); Orange’s Braden Homsey (3A 182); Southern Durham’s Matthew Darby (3A 195); Chapel Hill’s Joseph Cannon (3A 220); Wake Forest’s Joey Hannum (4A 113); Pinecrest’s Alex Contrearas (4A 132); Holly Springs’ Hunter Morton (4A 138); Apex’s Joey McMahon (4A 152); Holly Springs’ Hunter Yost (4A 160); Apex’s Connor Castagnero (4A 182); South Central’s Jerell Belcher (4A 195).
Sixth: Farmville Central’s Matt Garrett (2A 113); Carrboro’s Jacobie Lewis (2A 220); Chapel Hill’s Matthew Minnick (3A 152); Western Harnett’s James Clark (3A 182); Orange’s Daylen Alston (3A 285); Athens Drive’s Faris Busisou (4A 126); Broughton’s Braxton May-Nicholson (4A 152).