North Rowan wrestling wins East
SPENCER — North Rowan’s wrestling team rode a big green tidal wave to wipe out the east region.
Now North’s goal is to make it a title wave.
The Cavaliers got three pins, all under a minute each, in the first three duals of the night to set the tone in a 55-18 victory against Rosewood in the state 1A dual team eastern championship Thursday night.
With only a pair of lights in the gym to guide them, the Cavs’ big guys shined the brightest. Xavier Robinson (195 pounds), Cecil McCauley (220) and Will Robertson (285) dominated their matches for an 18-0 lead. The Cavs, ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the year, backed up their hype.
“This is the best we’ve looked all year,” North coach Tim Pittman said. “When we got the draw to start at 195 we felt really confident that we’d get those first three pins.”
Robinson (:51), McCauley (:37) and Robertson (:13) didn’t need much time to assert their will.
“We wanted to keep the momentum rolling from Tuesday night to today,” Pittman said. “We hope to keep it going through Saturday night.”
West Wilkes beat Robbinsville in the other semifinal and awaits North (27-2) in the state championship Saturday. West, winners of three straight state crowns, beat North in 2011 for the title.
“Coach Pittman told us we had to go out there and dominate” Robinson said. “We have a great coaching staff and great fans. We’ve gotta win it.”
After the first three pins, North kept coming in the lighter weights. Simon Connolly won the 106-pound bout 4-0 with a takedown and a reversal. Marc Gonzalez and Damon Ellis followed with pins.
“That shocked me,” said Ellis of the early pins. “Those pins under a minute, I didn’t expect that at all.”
Darrell Taylor defeated Samuel Drew 7-2 and the Cavs held a commanding 36-0 edge.
“Their strong guys were a lot stronger than our guys tonight,” Rosewood coach Bill Edmundson said. “They really looked good.”
Defending state champ Nick Quillen temporarily halted the fun with quick pin to give Rosewood its first points. 138-pound Jacob Broughton beat Jordan Batson 11-9 to clinch it for North at 39-6.
“The early matches definately set the tone,” said Robertson, one of two seniors on the team. “Everybody was excited from there on out.”
Brandon Lemmon pinned Evan Reiss in just over a minute and Brandon Rabon beat Dylan Melgar 10-2. Kaleb Smith and Josh Drew collected pins for the Eagles to round out their scoring. Trae Clark’s pin of Syhieem Peterson capped the night and North’s brief celebration began before refocusing on the task ahead.
“I’m ready for Saturday,” Ellis said. “That’s all that matters. Words can’t express it.”