RONDA — An East Wilkes reserve came through when his number was called on Friday night during its 39-36 win over Elkin in the regular-season finale tri-match for both wrestling squads.
The Cardinals, who closed out the Northwest 1A Conference dual season at 3-2, held a slim 30-27 advantage after a Tristan Alkire forfeit victory at 195 pounds.
Grayson Sebastian, the Cardinals’ regular 220-pounder, was unavailable due to an injury the senior endured in the prior match against Mount Airy.
Johnathan Hanlin would come off the bench and deliver a hard-fought 7-5 decision over Elkin’s Jaden Martin to increase the team lead to six (33-27).
But the Cardinals (23-8, 3-2) couldn’t celebrate match victory just yet as there were still three bouts to go.
With the Buckin’ Elks expected to forfeit the 106-pound match, the prior one at 285 pounds held a lot of weight on the pending outcome.
Elkin’s William Santos and East Wilkes’ Tristan Mahan battled back and forth and were tied 5-5 after three periods of regulation, meaning they’d go to a sudden victory tiebreaker with the first takedown winning the match.
After the one-minute sudden victory produced zero takedowns, the duo faced two 30-second sessions and was tied at six at the end of that. That meant a 30-second sudden victory would be needed with the next point winning the match.
Since Santos scored the first takedown of the match, the sophomore was able to choose the position to start in. He chose down, and then scored an escape to pick up the one-point decision and three team points.
With not allowing the six-point pinfall in that match, the Cardinals essentially clinched the match after Jordan Sweet won the 106-pound match via forfeit to put East Wilkes up 39-30 going into the final bout.
But Elkin (8-20, 1-4) closed out the evening and the regular dual season on a high note when Manuel Salas collected a first-period pin over East Wilkes’ Alan Lopez.
The Cardinals and the Buckin’ Elks entered the third match of Friday’s tri off losses to conference power Mount Airy. East Wilkes dropped a 43-36 decision to the Granite Bears in the prior match while Mount Airy scored a 51-19 win over Elkin in the opener.
Elkin’s David Rojas kicked off the match with a first-period pin over Robert Craft at 120 pounds; Collin White responmded for the Cardinals with a third-period pin of Yovanni Martinez.
The Buckin’ Elks led by as many as nine on three different occasions with the first one coming after Alejandro Lopez picked up a 9-2 decision over Tylor White.
After a Wesley Willey pin, Elkin’s James Steele stretched the lead back to nine (21-12) when the junior pinned Noah Hall late in the second period.
Down 27-18 after Adrian Rodriguez’ pin of Rhett Hudson at 170 pounds, Raul Lopez closed the gap to set up an exciting finish with a pin of Bo Huff.
Friday’s earlier matches
Prior to the clash between the Cardinals and the Buckin’ Elks, Mount Airy remained undefeated in conference matches with a pair of wins.
But East Wilkes and Elkin certainly didn’t make it easy on the Granite Bears.
In the opener, Elkin built an 8-6 team lead after Salas and Rojas picked up major decisions at 113 and 120 pounds, respectively.
The Granite Bears (5-0, 4-0) took control from there as they ran off the next 32 points on the strength of four pins and a pair of major decisions.
Rodriguez halted the skid with a first-period pin and Bo Huff scored a 19-2 technical fall to trim Mount Airy’s lead to 37-19.
After a Granite Bear forfeit win, Mount Airy was docked a team point during the 220-pound due to unsportsmanlike conduct from the Granite Bear bench.
Against the Cardinals, things remained fairly close early.
East Wilkes led 12-6 after Collin White’s pin at 126 pounds, but like against the Elkin, Mount Airy seized the momentum thanks to 31-straight points.
Bryson Caudle highlighted the run for the Granite Bear with a pin fall victory in just 13 seconds at 160 pounds.
Josh Chavis built a 17-5 advantage in his 170-pound bout with Bryson Shumate an appeared to be on his way to tech fall victory.
The freshman came back to close the gap to 17-10 and nearly pinned the senior in the closing seconds before Chavis held on for the 18-10 major decision.
In addition White, Raul Lopez, Alkire, Mathan and Sweet pinned their opponents, with all four coming in the Cardinals’ late-match rally.
Prior to Saturday’s conference tournament at East Wilkes, Mount Airy will look to collect an outright conference dual championship when it hosts Alleghany on Wednesday night.
East Wilkes 39, Elkin 36
120: David Rojas (ELK) p. Robert Craft 1:10
126: Collin White (EW) p. Yovanni Martinez 5:34
132: Jake Wright (ELK) p. Jake Borders 0:30
138: Alejandro Lopez (ELK) d. Tylor White 9-3
145: Wesley Willey (EW) p. Vince Mullis 1:00
152: James Steele (ELK) p. Noah Hall 3:43
160: Danny Anderson (EW) forfeit
170: Adrian Rodriguez (ELK) p. Rhett Hudson 0:29
182: Raul Lopez (EW) p. Bo Huff 3:41
195: Tristan Alkire (EW) forfeit
220: Jonathan Hanlin (EW) d. Jaden Martin 7-5
285: William Santos (ELK) SV Peyton Mahan 7-6
106: Jordan Sweet (EW) forfeit
113: Manuel Salas (ELK) p. Alan Lopez 1:10
Mount Airy 43, East Wilkes 36
113: Alan Lopez (EW) p. Charlie Smith 3:02
120: Robert Craft (EW) p. Hope Horan 1:36
126: Brison George (MA) p. Collin White 3:20
132: Jack Martin (MA) p. Jake Borders 0:55
138: Alex Cox (MA) d. Tylor White 5-0
145: John Martin (MA) p. Wesley Willey 2:37
152: Avery Poindexter (MA) p. Braylon Walker 1:15
160: Bryson Caudle (MA) p. Rhett Hudson 0:13
170: Josh Chavis (MA) major d. Bryson Shumate 18-10
182: Raul Lopez (EW) p. Karson Pack 1:24
195: Tristan Alkire (EW) p. Edwin Agabo 3:48
220: J.D. Harper (MA) inj. default Grayson Sebastian
285: Talon Smith (MA) p. Tristan Mahan 2:59
106: Jordan Sweet (EW) p. Jeremiah Brooks 2:48
Mount Airy 51, Elkin 19
106: Jamie Hearl (MA) forfeit
113: Manuel Salas (ELK) major d. Hope Horan 10-0
120: David Rojas (ELK) major d. Garrett Routh 14-6
126: Brison George (MA) p. Yovanni Martinez 2:50
132: Jack Martin (MA) p. Jake Wright 1:14
138: Alex Cox (MA) major d. Alejandro Lopez 11-3
145: John Martin (MA) p. Vince Mullis 0:41
152: Avery Poindexter (MA) d. James Steele 8-2
160: Bryson Caudle (MA) forfeit
170: Adrian Rodriguez (ELK) p. Christopher R 0:10
182: Bo Huff (ELK) tech fall Carson Pack 19-2
195: Edwin Agabo (MA) forfeit
220: J. D. Harper (MA) d. Jaden Martin 7-5
295: Aiden Frank (MA) p. William Santos 2:18
(Mount Airy was deducted a team point due to unsportsmanlike conduct)