ORLANDO — Newcomers Chris Kelly at 133 pounds and Sammy Petticos at 149 breezed through their respective tournaments with ease, Adrian Davenport at 141 and Josh Watts at 165 grabbed runner-up finishes and eight other Braves made trips to the podium as well to help The University of North Carolina at Pembroke wrestling team complete a successful day at the Central Florida Classic in Orlando.
Carson Amy at 149, Matthew Engel at 184, Tyler Makosy at 165 and Brysen Thorpe each finished third or tied for third in their respective tournaments, while Cory Brown at 285, Chase Emory at 174 and Michael Perez at 125 all came away with fourth place tallies. Joseph Ballantyne finished fifth in the 133-pound tournament.
Twelve of UNCP’s 13 entries into the event registered at least one victory on the day, with 11 of those wrestlers coming away with multiple wins. Twenty-four of the 30 victories on the day recorded by UNCP wrestlers were of the bonus point variety, including 11 victories via pin.
Watts and Kelly, both Lumberton natives, ran through their respective brackets to make their title bouts. Kelly won his first match by pin, and the next two by major decision before claiming a technical fall victory in the 133-pount title match. Watts earned two wins by pin and then lost by fall in the 165-pound title match.
UNCP caps Newberry Duals with win over Bellarmine
NEWBERRY — Eric Joyner’s convincing 11-4 victory at 157 pounds marked the first of four straight victories for the UNC Pembroke wrestling team as the Braves offset an early deficit on the team scoreboard to turn back Bellarmine, 25-18, and cap its stay at the Newberry Duals on Sunday afternoon.
The victory snapped a three-match skid for the Braves (2-4) who also dropped contests with top-ranked St. Cloud State and Life earlier in the day. The Running Eagles are ranked No. 7 in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Top 25 poll.
Freshman Nick Daggett provided a bulk of the highlights for the Braves on the day as the 125-pounder went 2-1 with wins over Life’s Stephen Moreno and Bellarmines’s Caleb Yates. Daggett’s lone loss of the day came at the hands of top-ranked Brett Velasquez in a red-eye matchup that was eventually decided in overtime.
Thanks to bonus-point wins by both Daggett and 133-pounded Ethan Hnasko, the Braves built an early 8-0 lead over Bellarmine in the afternoon session, but the Knights used consecutive pin falls to storm ahead, 12-8, heading into the second half of the dual.
Joyner turned in an 11-4 decision over Connor Fletcher to pull the Braves back to within one point, but his victory was followed up with wins from Tyler Makosy, Brandon Sloop and Joey DiMartino to give UNCP a 21-12 lead on the team scoreboard.
Bellarmine got a big first-period pin from Brett Bryant in the 197-pound matchup to pull within striking distance again, but Cory Brown finished off the victory for the Braves with a decisive 11-2 win over Josh McCorkle in the heavyweight bout.
UNCP will be back in action again on Saturday when they open up the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) portion of its schedule with a road tilt against Belmont Abbey (2-1). Wrestling action is scheduled to get underway at 1 p.m. inside the Wheeler Center.
Rams finish second at Caleb Hawkins tournament
SHALLOTTE — The Purnell Swett wrestling team took second in the Caleb Hawkins tournament on Saturday hosted at West Brunswick. St. Pauls and Lumberton also competed in the event, with the Pirates finishing sixth.
The Rams came in second to the host and tournament champs, West Brunswick, by 10 points. Four wrestlers won their brackets and four others earned runner up.
Championships came from Jastan Simmons at 126 pounds, Will Deese at 132 pounds, Noah Locklear at 182 pounds and Millard Locklear at 220 pounds. Noah Emanuel at 120 pounds, Jonathan Locklear at 138 pounds, Dustin McMillan at 195 pounds and Rayshaun Baker at 285 pounds claimed runner up.
Lumberton’s Ahmir Singletary went 3-0 on the day at 145 pounds, and Sincere Johnson and Tray Regan each picked up wins. St. Pauls earned match wins from Gerette Jackson, Damien Ortiz and Harry Locklear.
In the latest state wrestling rankings, the Rams jumped up to the No. 2 spot in the 4A East region, with the Pirates in the third spot. Purnell Swett was also ranked fifth overall in the state in the ranking as well.
The Purnell Swett wrestling team celebrates its team runner-up finish at the Caleb Hawkins tournament hosted at West Brunswick on Saturday.