ROXBORO — Led by individual titles won by junior Grayson Bryant, sophomore Michael Queen and sophomore John Dunning, Northwood’s young wrestling team out-pointed 11 others last weekend to take first place in the Rocket Invitational Tournament.
Bryant won the 145-pound weight class, Queen at 160 and Dunning at 182.
Chapel Hill’s Hudson Price went 3-0 to win the 285-pound class Saturday, improving to 20-5 overall in the process, helping the injury-riddled Tigers earn seventh place.
Northwood, a member along with Chapel Hill of the 3A Big Eight Conference, finished with 156.5 points to win by a substantial margin over tournament host Roxboro Person, a 4A program that ended up with 114.5 points.
Franklinton (110 points) was third, South Granville (108) fourth and Danville (Va.) George Washington (102.5) fifth. Rockingham County (84.5) took sixth, followed by Chapel Hill (83), Granville Central (62), Halifax (52), Voyager Academy (50), Bartlett Yancey (30) and Oxford Webb (19).
Northwood’s team championship was sweetened by the fact that Chapel Hill had defeated Northwood 43-26 during a dual match Dec. 4. in Tiger Gym.
Chapel Hill, which went on to win both the Mt. Pleasant Invitational and Croatan High’s prestigious Beast of the East in December, was still undefeated in duals at 11-0 entering last weekend’s tournament in Roxboro, but the Tigers were missing some of the wrestlers who won against Northwood on Dec. 4.
Saturday in the Rocket, the Chargers went 6-0 in head-to-head meetings with Tiger rivals. Two of the bouts were rematches.
Dunning (27-12), who had lost a 5-2 decision to Chapel Hill’s Roberto Sibrian on Dec. 4, won 2-1 in sudden victory Saturday over Sibrian (23-11).
Rob Hamlet, who lost for the first time in 2013 when he was pinned by Tommy Morrison in their 138 match on Dec. 4, decisioned Morrison 17-8 in Saturday’s semifinals. Hamlet ended up in second place in the tournament and improved to 25-10, while Morrison’s record went to 17-8.
Also, Queen (28-6), who pinned Chapel Hill’s Henry Hogan on Dec. 4, won Saturday by tech fall over Chapel Hill’s Camden Bergey (20-7) in the semifinals.
Queen later pinned James Anderson of Halifax for the 160 title. Bergey won two consolation matches for third place.
Chapel Hill’s 106-pound Zachary Allen lost in the second round Saturday but then rallied to win four straight in the consolation bracket for another third place for the Tigers.