Carrying momentum from its big victory Saturday at the Indian Classic, the Newton-Conover wrestling team continued its brilliance on the mat Thursday.
The Red Devils took an early lead and held off a tough West Wilkes squad for a 40-22 victory.
N-C coach Eddy Clark said he expected the Blackhawks, which have won the state 1A title the past three seasons, to bring their “A” game.
“We knew what they had,” Clark said. “They have 11 kids ranked in the top five of the state. We knew we had our work cut out for us.”
Newton-Conover took an early 18-0 lead behind pin wins by Tyler Benfield, Cody Sifford and Ian Canrobert, but West Wilkes roared back.
The Blackhawks managed to win three-straight decisions and four of the next five matches to take hold of a 19-18 margin.
Still, the Red Devils gritted out wins in five of the next six matches, including pins by Nathan Reitzel, and Addison Klutz.
Sophomore Colin Minor also picked up a hard fought victory, fighting back from a late deficit to win a 6-4 decision against Wesley Blevins.
“What I’m most proud about is we’ve been trying to focus on our third period,” Clark said. “We had Franklin Wepner with two late takedowns. We had Colin Minor with a takedown at the buzzer. We had Addison Klutz getting the fall late in the third. The conditioning is coming. We are about to get our wheels under us and be able to go six minutes. We are pretty good if we can overcome that, but I think we did really good tonight in that aspect.”
Newton-Conover travels to North Iredell today and Saturday for a tournament that Clark expects will help further prepare his team.
“We go there to get good competition,” Clark said. “It is another leg in a long journey. We’re excited about the trip and about the tournament.”
Newton-Conover 40, West Wilkes 22
106: Ian Canrobert (N-C) pin Brandon Reynolds
113: Jake St. Germain (WW) dec. Jonte Parker, 6-1
120: Dustin Huffman (WW) maj. dec. Coleman Carter, 12-1
126: Jorge Lima (WW) dec. Franklin Wepner, 9-7
132: James LaPlan (WW) pin Joseph Lail
138: Devin Fussell (WW) dec. Casey Toomey, 6-1
145: Kyle Toomey (N-C) maj. dec. Casey Wills, 16-4
152: Nathan Reitzel (N-C) pin Miguel Munoz
160: Addison Klutz (N-C) pin Kody Nichols
170: Colin Minor (N-C) dec. Wesley Blevins, 6-4
182: Hayden Sutphin (WW) dec. Rolen Benson, 9-5
195: Jarren Pitts (N-C) dec. Joshua Kilby, 9-5
220: Tyler Benfield (N-C) pin Cody Lefler
285: Cody Sifford (N-C) pin Anthony Alvarado