BRISTOL, Tenn. — The UNC Pembroke wrestling team tacked up 20 takedowns and two near falls on the way to capturing the first eight individual matchups on the night and the Braves steamrolled 22nd-ranked King, 35-12, to clinch the program’s first Eastern College Athletic Conference title on Monday evening.
It was the sixth win in the last seven dual meets for the Braves (12-10, 5-1 ECAC) who won their final five ECAC matchups of the season to secure the conference crown. It is the first conference title of any kind for the program since it tallied five six Carolinas Conference championships from 1977-1984. The program competed as an NCAA Independent from 1992-2015.
Nick Daggett kicked off the night with a dominating 19-6 major decision over Reed Jacks in the 125-pound matchup, and Jayquon McEntyre multiplied the momentum ten-fold with an 8-5 comeback win over third-ranked Dustin Kirk at 133 pounds. The Black & Gold would continue to run the table in the next three matchups, including a last-minute comeback by Tyler Makosy in his 16-12 decision over Landon Goforth at 149 pounds, to go out in front 17-0 before the Tornado knew what hit it. Luke McDonough (141 pounds) and Eric Milks (157) would add to the onslaught with wins by decision as well.
UNCP benefitted from forfeit victories by the hosts at 165 and 174 pounds to increase its lead out to 29-0 and clinch the team victory, but Faris Teia provided the exclamation mark on the night with a third-period pin of Kody Eichlin in the 184-pound matchup.
The Braves will now focus their sights on the postseason when they pack up their show and head to Findlay, Ohio, for the NCAA Midwest Super Regional inside Findlay University’s Koehler Fitness & Recreation Complex. Wrestling action will get underway on February 23 and conclude on February 24.
The top four finishers at each weight class in that event will advance to the NCAA Division II Championships, March 9-10, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Second half guides Lumberton girls past Scotland
LUMBERTON —Senior London Thompson recorded her third triple-double of the season for the Lumberton girls basketball team as it advanced to the Sandhills Athletic Conference semifinals with an 80-31 win over Scotland on Monday.
No. 2 Lumberton (21-4) scored 33 points in the third quarter and held No. 7 Scotland (3-18) to five field goals after halftime to secure the lead in blowout fashion.
Thompson had 14 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for the Lady Pirates that will play No. 6 Richmond on Wednesday. Madison Canady had 26 points and 14 rebounds, and 11 points from Rachel O’Neil.
In other Sandhills Athletic Conference action, No. 8 Purnell Swett lost on the road at No. 1 Pinecrest.
Fairmont bests East Columbus in TRC tourney
FAIRMONT — The Fairmont boys basketball team earned a 79-33 win over East Columbus at home on Monday in the quarterfinals of the Three Rivers Conference tournament.
No. 1 Fairmont used a 22-10 first quarter and 24-8 third quarter to widen the margin against No. 8 East Columbus. Derrick Arnette logged 20 points, six steals and five assists. Corry Addison tallied 16 points and eight steals for Fairmont.
On the girls side of the Three Rivers Conference tournament, top-seeded East Bladen defeated South Robeson, 74-50, and East Columbus held off a late charge from St. Pauls to pick up a 48-41 win.