Two Patriot Wrestlers One Step for State Titles
Pinecrest had two dates in the big dance Saturday at Joel Lawrence Coliseum.
Sam Ransdell (103 pounds) and Kevin Brown (112 pounds) took the final step toward state titles with convincing victories in the championship semifinals of the NCHSAA Individual State Wrestling Championships being held in Winston-Salem.
Ransdell blanked New Bern's Sean Corcoran 13-0 to secure his spot in Saturday night's championship finals. He faced Cary's unbeaten Joey Farnsworth in that match.
Brown scored a 9-2 decision over East Burke's Austin Annas to earn his shot in the finals. He was scheduled to meet No. 1 seed and 2006 state champion Corey Mock in the title match.
Brown provided a glimpse of things to come when he stunned Riverside star Shelton Wilder in the 112-pound quarterfinals Friday, pinning the Durham senior with time to spare in the second round.
Brown put Wilder, who boasted an 83-2 record, on his back twice and had built an 8-4 point advantage before squeezing the fall that derailed the second-ranked Wilder's run in the tournament. Brown is now at 49-6 for the season.
Ransdell took Michael Townsend of Watauga by a 7-4 decision in the opening round, then retired Devin Solow of Chapel Hill on a 9-2 decision in the quarterfinals.
In other first-day action, Pinecrest 152-pounder Brad McKeever upset Jack Wilson of R.J. Reynolds in a 3-1 decision, then lost by fall to top-ranked Thomas Ferguson of Cary.
Pinecrest 189-pounder Glen Holmes pinned Athens Drive's Nathan Scott to reach the quarterfinal round where he ran into trouble against No. 1 seed Anthony Clinton of Mount Tabor. Clinton established an early lead, then worked the edge of the mat to frustrate a furious comeback effort by Holmes, who fell short at the end by a 7-3 count, bumping him to the consolation round.
Union Pines 135-pounder Tony Fernandez fought off a comeback effort by Jason Stephens of Southwest Randolph in the first round of the state 3-A championship, prevailing 18-10 to advance to the quarterfinals. The 3-A tournament was also at Lawrence Coliseum.
Fernandez hopes for a title evaporated in a 7-2 loss by decision to Cory Sly of D.H. Conley. Fernandez dropped into Saturday's consolation rounds where he was eliminated from the tourney.
Viking 145-pounder Aaron Breasseale dropped his first-round match to Austin Reece in a 16-0 tech fall, but stayed alive in the consolations with a win by forfeit. Saturday morning he was eliminated.
Joey Beck, at 160 for Union Pines, fell short by a pair of points in his first-round match, surrendering an 8-6 decision to Danny Jones of Lake Norman, but bounced back to take an 8-3 decision over Chris Morgan of T.C. Robertson in the consolation bracket. He also suffered a loss Saturday morning and was eliminated from medal contention.
Union Pines heavyweight Dan King took an early exit, suffering losses by pinfall to Devon Price of T.W. Andrews and Nate Lockhart of Waddell.
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