GREENSBORO - Great experiences and special moments for Orange wrestlers ended with disappointing results in the state finals Saturday night.
But those couldn’t diminish the accomplishments for the Panthers, who repeated as Class 3A team champions and had their share of thrills along the way.
Four Orange wrestlers were state runners-up and two others placed in the three-day tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum.
“You’re not promised anything,” Orange coach Bobby Shriner said. “It’s special, very special.”
Joe Scott (106 pounds), Jack Twomey-Kozak (138), David Peters-Logue (160) and Aubrey Browning (182) were runners-up.
“No one likes finishing second,” said Peters-Logue, a junior.
On the team side, Orange compiled 106 ½ points to edge runner-up Concord Robinson, which had 98.
“You want to try to do your best (in the team aspect),” Shriner said. “We have strength in numbers.”
With all four NCHSAA Classes wrestling on the same floor Saturday, 2A Carrboro junior George Carpenter won the 113-pound championship.
Among Orange’s wrestlers, Peters-Logue came closest to winning in the finals. He dropped a 2-1 decision to Concord Robinson’s Kenan Robertson. Peters-Logue escaped with about 25 seconds left, but he couldn’t notch a go-ahead takedown, hindered by a stalemate ruling.
“I just couldn’t take him down,” Peters-Logue said. “I was going. I gave it all I’ve got. I could tell he was gassing.”
Peters-Logue (43-4), who placed fifth last year as a sophomore, was involved in a 7-5 overtime victory against Concord Robinson’s Hamilton Jones in the semifinals.
“That’s why I love states,” Peters-Logue said. “It’s tough and tough and tough and it shows who has more heart. … I’m just showing up every day. I’m not athletically gifted. I’m not technically sound. I’m a kid who shows up every day at practice and gets beat on. It works on your heart.
“I just think it’s amazing to get here. The whole team, pushing everybody.”
Twomey-Kozak (31-3) came up short in the final, trailing 4-0 and eventually falling 5-2 to West Carteret’s Chris Halstead.
That came after Twomey-Kozak’s overtime victory in the semifinals. He rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the third period to defeat Concord Robinson’s Hamilton Jones.
“At states, matches are all going to be pretty tough,” Twomey-Kozak said. “You kind of throw all technique away (in overtime). I guess I just wanted it.”
Twomey-Kozak, a senior who improved one spot from his third-place finish last year, is going to Brown to wrestle.
Browning (19-3) returned to Orange this season after spending his junior season at South Brunswick. He didn’t place in the 2012 states, so it a fast rise.
“I’m extremely blessed,” Browning said of his success and the return to his roots.
In the final, there were a quick change of fortunes for Browning. He made the first move on North Gaston’s Collin Johnson, gaining a 4-0 upper hand by turning his opponent briefly.
A series of maneuvers by Johnson put him ahead 5-4 before a pin at the 1:22 mark.
In the semifinals, Browning used a nearside cradle for a 45-second pin of Mt. Pleasant’s Ryan Johns. That was Browning’s second pin of the tournament. He also wasn’t threatened in a 9-2 victory against Clay Wightman of Tuscola.
Concord Robinson’s David Cline pinned Scott in 55 seconds of the 103 final. Earlier, Scott (35-7) had two pins and a decision to reach the title bout.
Orange’s Anderson Pope (145) claimed third place and Collin Smith (126) finished fifth.
Pope suffered an overtime semifinals loss by 5-3 to eventual champion Gilbert Brooks of Shelby Burns.
Pope responded to win his last two bouts, including a 4-2 overtime decision against Cardinal Gibbons’ Alex Palinski in the third-place match.
Smith led a semifinal until a late escape and takedown for Freedom’s Dalton McGalliard resulted in a 6-4 loss.
“We were on the heartbreak side,” Shriner said. “Just really thankful we go four through (to the finals).”
Orange’s Jared Flynn (120), Drew Lemaster (170), Logan Joseph (195) and Byron Stephenson (285) all went 0-2 in states.
At 220 pounds, Chapel Hill senior Arthur Colson won his opening match with a second-period pin of West Iredell’s Cody Faircloth. He lost in the quarterfinals and then split two consolation-round matches, falling just short of placing in the meet. His record was 39-9 for the season.
Carrboro’s George Carpenter reached the 113 final with a technical fall and a pair of 3-2 decisions. In his championship bout against Newton-Conover’s Austin Klutz, Carpenter scored on a reversal with 16 seconds left to make him a 2A state champ and the first state champ in Carrboro’s school history.
“I’m just choked up right now,” Carpenter said. “I’m the first. The first of many to come.”
Carpenter’s teammate Stephen Dreher (120) was up in position to be the second, but was pinned in 3 minutes, 32 seconds.
Carpenter finished the year with a 35-4 record.
It didn’t go quite as well for teammate Stephen Dreher, a 120-pound junior. Dreher lost by a second-period pin to Croatan’s Alex Bray in the final. Dreher finished the season with a 25-5 record. J. Mike Blake of the Cary News contributed to this report.
minutes, 32 seconds.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.