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Hough does it again, claims MECKA 4A wrestling tournament title

By Herb White
Correspondent
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/02/01/20/06/Bs7Qt.Em.138.jpeg|224
    TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
    North Meck’s Desmond Logan, top, pins Vance’s Javaris Byers during their semifinal match in the 195-pound division at the MECKA 4A wrestling tournament at Hough High on Saturday.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/02/01/20/06/sIv8k.Em.138.jpeg|236
    TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
    J.M. Robinson's Carlos Lopez, left, goes head-to-head with Kannapolis High's Cameron Hodges during their semifinal 285-pound match at the MECKA 4A wrestling tournament at Hough High on Saturday. Hodges won the match to advance to the finals.

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 Creek’s 154 points and Kannapolis A.L. Brown’s 148.5. After winning the regular-season championship, the tournament validated Hough’s dominance.

“We want to make it a habit,” Huskies coach Tripp Rogers said. “We want to make it to where it’s a foregone conclusion. We want to win a whole bunch of them in a row. We don’t like to lose. We want to win all of them.”

Five Huskies won individual titles among the 14 weight divisions, while A.L. Brown’s Nick Sexton earned most outstanding wrestler after scoring three pins to earn the 126-pound championship. Hough senior Sebastian Barreto, who beat Hopewell’s 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 I’ve been training hard, I guess,” Baretto said. “I’ve been wrestling only two years, so my technique isn’t all there, but I just go out and wrestle 100 percent.”

Barreto wasn’t alone. Senior Kevin O’Brien overcame a slow start to beat Brown’s Isiah Johnson 6-4 in the 138-pound final. Johnson scored a pair of takedowns to lead 4-2 in the second round, but O’Brien 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,” O’Brien said. “I’ve got to start turning it on earlier, that’s for sure.”

A third Hough senior, Jake Efird, earned his first tournament championship with a pin of Hopewell’s 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 I’m getting better,” he said. “It’s a big deal to me because I’d 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 don’t 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.”

Team results

TeamPoints
Hough 181
Mallard Creek 154
Kannapolis A.L. Brown 148.5
Concord J.M. Robinson 119
Hopewell 68.5
West Charlotte 60
North Mecklenburg 35
Vance 35

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 O’Brien (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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