Published: Feb 16, 2013 12:00 AM
Modified: Feb 15, 2013 11:32 PM
CHAPEL HILL - After an early exit from the state’s dual-tournament, Chapel Hill and Orange wrestlers can look forward to getting a fresh start in this week’s N.C. High School Athletic Association individual regionals.
Both Orange and Chapel Hill, which finished 1-2 in the Carolina-6 Conference this winter, will send wrestlers to the regional rounds Friday and Saturday at Eden Morehead High School. The top four finishers in each weight class at the regionals will advance to the state championships Feb. 28-March 2 in the Greensboro Coliseum.
Orange, having just secured its 11th straight Carolina-6 championship with a decisive victory Feb. 6 at Chapel Hill, hosted an opening-round, four-team pod of the dual-team playoffs on Feb. 12. The Panthers bested Gray’s Creek 45-24 but then fell 34-31 to Eden Morehead — a disappointing loss for the two-time defending 3A state champions, who finished 17-2 overall for the season.
“They just got some pins in the first couple of matches, and we never could quite catch up,” Orange coach Bobby Shriner said. “They got some momentum early and wrestled very well.”
The three-point win at Orange was the closest tournament match for Eden Morehead (21-6) — at least up to the state finals. Morehead wrestled Saturday night at Newton’s Fred T. Foard High School (38-2) for the state 3A championship; for final results, see www.nchsaa.org .
Wrestling on the road in Tuesday’s opening round, Chapel Hill fell 57-12 at West Brunswick.
The Tigers got off to a good start when Joe Carter won a 2-1 decision at 152 pounds. Despite two West Brunswick pins, CHHS was still close after 182-pounder Andrew Hotong pinned his man in 1:07. But the Trojans proceeded to win the next eight bouts — five by pins.
CHHS decided to wrestle out the final matches, but West Brunswick had clinched the win before Camden Bergey provided Chapel Hill with its last win: a 4-2 decision at 138 pounds.
West Brunswick went on to be eliminated Thursday by Eden Morehead.
Northwood, the only other area team in the dual-team playoffs, defeated Chatham archrival Jordan-Matthews 61-11 but was bounced from the 2A bracket by North Pitt 47-17 on Tuesday.