Prep Wrestling: Thomasville eliminated in quarterfinals
Thomasville’s bid for a state championship fell a couple rounds short Thursday at Newton-Conover High School.
Up against the host Red Devils in the quarterfinals of the 2-A dual team state playoffs, the Bulldogs were defeated 36-29 in a match that was not as close as the final score reads. Newton-Conover had already wrapped up its semifinal berth with a 36-11 lead. They forfeited the final three bouts.
“They are very good and we have got to find a way to catch up to them,” said THS coach Richard Herman. “That is the competition right there for the next three years. I think that team right there will be your state champion. They are that good.”
Thomasville won just three matches on the mat the entire night including the opener. Wrestling up in the 182-pound class, Aaron Reeves drew the assignment of Newton-Conover’s best wrestler, Collin Minor. Close throughout, Reeves was tied with Minor in the third period, until he pulled away with an escape and takedown to win 6-3, putting the Bulldogs on top 3-0.
“That is their best guy and Aaron is our best guy,” said Herman. It panned out good for us early on.”
Newton-Conover won the next three matches on a decision and two pins, leading 15-3 as the 106-pounders entered the circle. Up 7-0, Hiygee Martin appeared to have Joseph Xiong pinned, but the official did not see it that way despite the THS coaching staff yelling for it on the sideline. Xiong was able to free himself and lost on points instead of a pin.
“We had the pin but it just did not get it called,” said Herman. “There is nothing we can do about that.”
The Red Devils took advantage of the break by seizing control and winning five of the next six matches, earning enough points to advance and meet Piedmont in the semifinals. Ahsan Butt (120) picked up a major decision, while Felix Fernandez (152), Evan Makupson (160) and Gabe Brockett (170) were credited with forfeit wins to finish the scoring.
The Bulldogs ended their dual team season at 36-4. Newton-Conover (42-5) beat Piedmont 36-27 to reach Saturday’s state finals against Croatan.
“The kids have come a long way and we have done some really good things this season,” Herman said. “But we saw tonight how much farther we need to go. We just need to get a little mentally and physically tougher, and I believe we will.”
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.