MOORESVILLE When the team scores were announced at Saturday's conference tournament, members of the Mooresville High Blue Devils wrestling team were particularly excited about who the second place finisher was.
The Hough Huskies being declared the runner-up meant the Blue Devils had erased a 23-point deficit going into the championship and consolation final rounds to capture the I-Meck 4A championship at Lake Norman High.
Five of the six Mooresville wrestlers that reached the championship finals conquered their weight classes. When senior Zack Brown won a 7-2 decision over Mallard Creek's Ikeem Allen in the tournament's final match, the Blue Devils had reached 192.5 team points, 2.5 marks better than Hough.
The Huskies led for much of the day and sent nine competitors to the championship finals. Adam Nivens, Tanner Russ , Jordan Thompson, and Palmer Naples won titles for Hough.
The win comes just three days after Mooresville lost its final conference meet to Lake Norman.
On Saturday, junior Samuel Crisp got Mooresville moving in the championship matches, clinching an 18-2 technical fall over Hough's Martin Markee with one minute, three seconds left in the third period.
The Blue Devils won four of five finals matches in which they were paired against Huskies wrestlers. The lone Hough victory over a Mooresville foe was Tanner Russ' pin of Daniel Burzlaff at 132 pounds.
At 138, Mooresville's Michael Huntley earned a 5-3 overtime decision over the Huskies' Edward Stokes despite trailing 3-0 entering the third period. Still trailing with just over a minute remaining, Huntley tumbled beyond the mat and hit the hardwood floor, causing a minute delay while he regrouped from the pain. He knotted the score at 3-3 in the final 10 seconds to force overtime.
"I'm so proud of Michael Huntley," said Mooresville coach Ben Watson. "The growth I saw in him to be down in that match, (have a) takedown at the end to take it to overtime, and to win, he really pulled it out."
The Blue Devils' Antonio Vanderberg pull out an 8-7 decision over Hough's Christian York. Mooresville's other champion was Dontrez Patterson.
"It's disappointing to put nine in the finals and finish second by two points," said Hough coach Tripp Rogers. "I feel we should have won it just like we should have won the two dual meets we lost in conference (to Lake Norman and Mooresville). We have to put it behind us and move forward."
Cody Karns, Jonathan DiBernard, and Jackson Dowless won titles for third-place Lake Norman. Other champions were West Charlotte's Antonio Patterson and Mallard Creek's Albert Huynh, who was named Most Outstanding Wrestler.
TEAM SCORES: 1. Mooresville 192.50, 2. Hough 190, 3. Lake Norman 166, 4. Mallard Creek 93, 5. Hopewell 59, 6. North Mecklenburg 42, 7. Vance 35.50, 8. West Charlotte 34.
106: Samuel Crisp (Mooresville) tech. fall Martin Markee (Hough) 18-2; 113: Cody Karns (Lake Norman) tech. fall Austin Randall (Hopewell) 16-0; 120: Antonio Patterson (West Charlotte) d. Wesley Petrick (Hopewell) 2-0; 126: Adam Nivens (Hough) p. Chauncey McNeill (Mallard Creek), 5:08; 132: Tanner Russ (Hough) p. Daniel Burzlaff (Mooresville) 3:22; 138: Michael Huntley (Mooresville) d. Edward Stokes (Hough) 5-3; 145: Albert Huynh (Mallard Creek) d. Jacob Efird (Hough) 12-6; 152: Jordan Thompson (Hough) d. Eddie McGrail (Lake Norman) 10-5; 160: Palmer Maples (Hough) p. Will Greene (Lake Norman); 170: Dontrez Patterson (Mooresville) p. Hayden Smith (Hough); 182: Jonathan DiBernard (Lake Norman) tech. fall Deshjion Whitlock (Hopewell) 18-3; 195: Antonio Vanderberg (Mooresville) d. Christian York (Hough) 8-7; 220: Jackson Dowless (Lake Norman) d. Traivon Cherry (Mallard Creek) 10-8; 285: Zack Brown (Mooresville) d. Ikeem Allen (Mallard Creek) 7-2;
106: Conner Kominek (Lake Norman) p. Nazar Porter (Vance); 113: Darryle Bridges (Mallard Creek) maj. dec. Marcqwuan Reid (North Meck) 15-3; 120: RJ Cloninger (Lake Norman) d. Hunter Owens (Hough) 9-3; 126: Matt Krider (Mooresville) d. Michael Ready (Lake Norman) 6-0; 132: Josh Motsinger (Vance) d. Jalen Hill (North Meck) 3-2; 138: Robert Quinlan (North Meck) p. Quyen KPA (West Charlotte); 145: Patrick Devlin (Lake Norman) d. Kane Price (Mooresville) 6-2; 152: Tyler Wood (Mooresville) p. Quaron Potts (Mallard Creek); 160: Akease Rankin (Mooresville) p. Shabazz Thornton (Vance); 170: Gore Vaughn (Hopewell) p. Mitchell Loll (North Meck); 182: Leon Pridgen (Mooresville) d. Sebastian Barreto (Hough) 5-2; 195: D'Carrius Carr (Vance) p. Jonathan Burnette (Lake Norman); 220: Dana Lewis (Mooresville) p. Nick Thomas (Vance); 285: Brendan Latham (Lake Norman) d. Antonio Hovis (West Charlotte) 6-2.