CORNELIUS Hough High doubled its dominance of MECKA 4A wrestling.
The Huskies earned their second straight conference championship Saturday, piling up 181 points to outdistance Mallard Creeks 154 points and Kannapolis A.L. Browns 148.5. After winning the regular-season championship, the tournament validated Houghs dominance.
We want to make it a habit, Huskies coach Tripp Rogers said. We want to make it to where its a foregone conclusion. We want to win a whole bunch of them in a row. We dont like to lose. We want to win all of them.
Five Huskies won individual titles among the 14 weight divisions, while A.L. Browns Nick Sexton earned most outstanding wrestler after scoring three pins to earn the 126-pound championship. Hough senior Sebastian Barreto, who beat Hopewells Gore Vaughn 9-0 for the 182-pound championship, was especially pumped given his limited varsity experience. He jumped out in front of Vaughn early and increased his advantage to score the shutout.
It just proves Ive been training hard, I guess, Baretto said. Ive been wrestling only two years, so my technique isnt all there, but I just go out and wrestle 100 percent.
Barreto wasnt alone. Senior Kevin OBrien overcame a slow start to beat Browns Isiah Johnson 6-4 in the 138-pound final. Johnson scored a pair of takedowns to lead 4-2 in the second round, but OBrien rallied in the third with a takedown and reversal in the final half-minute to go ahead.
I guess I just turn it on in the third period, OBrien said. Ive got to start turning it on earlier, thats for sure.
A third Hough senior, Jake Efird, earned his first tournament championship with a pin of Hopewells Dajon Lacey in the 152-pound final. The victory marked the third straight season Efird improved his place in the standings.
I got fourth my freshman year, third my sophomore year and second last year, so it means every year Im getting better, he said. Its a big deal to me because Id never won it before.
Winning the MECKA championship is only a start for Hough, however. The Huskies, who won the N.C. 4A West Region last year, are focused on surpassing advancement.
This is the time of year we focus on in practice, Rogers said. We dont focus on the beginning, we focus on the last month conference championships, regional championships. Those are the things we focus on so when we get into these situations we close well.
|Kannapolis A.L. Brown||148.5|
|Concord J.M. Robinson||119|
106 pounds: Jayquan McEntyre (A.L. Brown) d. Isaiha Hendricks (J.M. Robinson) 6-3.
113: Austin Powell (Hough) d. Kevin Nguyen (Mallard Creek) pin.
120: David Cline (J.M. Robinson) Avery Clinding (A.L. Brown) 7-2.
126: Nick Sexton (A.L. Brown) d. Jesse Kluttz (J.M. Robinson) pin.
132: Junior Andujar (J.M. Robinson) d. Quintin Mickerson (West Charlotte) 7-3.
138: Kevin OBrien (Hough) d. Isiah Johnson (A.L. Brown) 6-4.
145: Ben Cournoyer (Mallard Creek) d. Marcus Bolick (A.L. Brown) 9-6.
152: Jake Efird (Hough) d. Dajon Lacey (Hopewell) pin.
160: Waddell McNeeley (Mallard Creek) d. Xzvier Medina (J.M. Robinson) forfeit.
170: Jordan Thompson (Hough) d. Marquel Thompson (North Mecklenburg) pin.
182: Sebastien Barreto (Hough) d. Gore Vaughn (Hopewell) 9-0.
195: Angelo McCraw (Mallard Creek) d. Harrison Marchese (J.M. Robinson) 3-2.
220: Keechan Ware (A.L. Brown) d. Cliff Pittman (A.L. Brown) 21-10.
285: Malik Baker (West Charlotte) d. Connor Brook (Hough) pin.
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