Published: Feb 09, 2013 04:09 PM
Modified: Feb 09, 2013 04:11 PM
CHAPEL HILL - Both teams got what they wanted heading into this week’s N.C. High School Athletics Association tournament. Orange got yet another Carolina-6 Conference championship, and Chapel Hill gained some confidence for the post-season.
Both teams area waiting the NCHSAA pairings that were to be released this weekend. (See www.newsobserver.com for the brackets.) Despite having won two straight NCHSAA dual-team championships and four in five years, Orange was not guaranteed a home match when the post-season begins Tuesday.
The NCHSAA uses a pod system to bring four teams together in the opening rounds. First-round winners will wrestle each other in a second dual match Tuesday night, and the winner of that will advance to another two-round regional on Thursday.
“We look forward to this time,” said Orange coach Bobby Shriner, who passed the 500-win mark earlier this season. “We’ve had crazy season up to here -- injuries, new kids coming in, all sorts of stuff. But the kids have done great, and we’re grateful for what they’ve done.”
Orange, 16-1 in dual meets this season, won decisively Wednesday night at Chapel Hill, 60-3, and claimed its 11th consecutive conference title.
Chapel Hill was heartened by the fact that, despite five pins by the Panthers (and one of those with 22 second left in the match), most of the their wins came on decisions — five by six points or less.
“It was a very competitive match,” Chapel Hill head coach Tripp Price said. “That’s wanted to see. We wanted to be competitive with them. That’s a great team.
“We’re headed in the right direction. We’ve got a lot of kids in the right places. They’re growing up and figuring it out. That’s the key.”
Chapel Hill’s Alex Colson then brought some energy into the Tiger Gym crowd with his methodical 3-0 win over Bryon Stephenson. Colson kept Stephenson at bay until the third period, and the match was still 0-0 when he started in the down position to start the third period. Colson earned one point for an escape with 30 seconds remaining. He tacked on two more points for a takedown with three seconds left.
“He was a tough opponent,” Colson said. “I had to come out and wrestle hard and smart. I tried to wear him down a little it and just see what he was going to come out with then. In the third I made him wrestle my match.”
“Alex look really good tonight,” Price said.
Orange’s Melik Jimenez (152), Drew Lemaster (170), Logan Joseph (195) and Dylan Wilson won by decisions -- Jared Flynn (120), Michael Proctor (132) and Aubry Browning (182) with major decisions.
Joe Scott ( 106) , Gonzalo Garcia Contoral (113), Collin Smith (126), Jack Twomey-Kozak, (138) and Anderson Pope, (145) all won with pins. David Peters-Logue (60) won by forfeit.
For Twomey-Kozak, it was his second match since suffering a concussion Jan. 5 in the Orange Winter Duals. He had returned to action the previous weekend in the Carolina-6 Duals, where his one win and three forfeits received boosted him to the 100-win plateau for his high school career.
“It’s great to be getting back when the team is coming together at crunch time,” Twomey-Kozak said.
“Once the state duals come around, that means it’s time to crank things up. It’s just time to get going.”