Tied 25-25, a prep wrestling match between Maiden and Bunker Hill high schools came down to three forfeits.
Fortunately for the Blue Devils, they were able to earn two of them.
Ben Mayo and Gavin Thomas received forfeits at 106 and 113 pounds, respectively, giving Maiden its second conference win of the season.
“It got exciting there at the end,” said Maiden coach Sean McGovern. “It was a lot of fun. It’s our first win ever against Bunker Hill. The guys feel really good about that.”
The Bears led early in the match behind decisions from Cody Dobbins, Josh Moore and Chris Deal, as well as a technical fall by Logan Quiney.
The heart of the Maiden line-up helped to pull them back into the contest.
Gage Isaac picked up a 4-1 decision on the Bears’ Michael Fransworth, giving the Blue Devils their first points of the match.
The Bears were also docked a point when Fransworth threw his headgear.
In a match-up of top 10 ranked wrestlers in the state, senior Evan Spears took on Bunker Hill sophomore Cody Shook.
Fourty-two seconds into the match, Spears took down Shook and pinned him to the mat, improving his record to 28-3 this season.
“Evan has been really phenomenal this year,” McGovern said. “He’s really stepped it up. I’ve been really impressed. Wherever we’ve gone — from Virginia to South Carolina — he gets excited about wrestling top-ranked wrestlers. It really gets him fired up. You just love kids like that. He thrives on that kind of stuff.”
Spears, No. 2 in the state, said he didn’t put much thought into facing Shook, who is ranked ninth.
“I just wanted to wrestle my match,” he said. “I acted like it was just another match, and that it wasn’t anything special.”
Senior Richard Kerekes also earning another mat victory for Maiden. The senior improved to 26-0, earning a forfeit.
“Richard is really excited,” McGovern said. “We went down to Columbia, and he beat the No. 1, 2 and 3 ranked wrestlers in the state of South Carolina. He had a lot of success down there. He’s used to forfeits, but he’s eager to wrestle, too. He will still be tested this year. He has a lot of competition in our conference.”
Seventh-ranked Brett Carlile, another Maiden senior, also improved his record to 20-9 with a 9-1 decision against Jordan Speaks.
“I know Bunker Hill is young and we have young guys, but it was our upperclassmen that came through tonight,” McGovern said. “That made the difference.”
The Bears earned a forfeit victory by Kyle Guins and a pin by Devon Harris. Accompanied by a pin from Maiden’s Christian Hammons, the match remained deadlocked, 25-25.
Earning forfeits in two of the final three matches, the Blue Devils won, improving to 7-5 overall and 2-0 in the CVAC.
With the loss, Bunker Hill falls to 7-6 overall and 1-1 in the Catawba Valley 2A.
“It feels pretty good to beat them,” Spears said. “Especially during my senior year.”
Friday's prep wrestling scores
Newton-Conover 61, South Iredell 3
106 - Ian Canrobert (N-C) maj. dec. Garrett Linebarger
113 - Jonte Parker (N-C) dec. Jose Lopez, 12-9
120 - Coleman Carter (N-C) dec. Phillip Helderlein, 6-2
126 - Franklin Wepner (N-C) tech. fall. Zachary Hubbard, 19-3
132 - Casey Toomey (N-C) pin. Blaine Shinn, 3:29
138 - Kyle Toomey (N-C) dec.
145 - Eric Holbrook (N-C) pin Michael Tadlock
152 - Addison Klutz (N-C) won by forfeit
160 - John Bustle (SI) dec. Nathan Reitzel, 5-4
170 - Colllin Minor (N-C) maj. dec. Devin Alspaugh, 12-2
182 - Rolen Benson (N-C) maj. dec. Dustin Barker, 16-5
195 - Tyler Benfield (N-C) pin Julio Sanchez, :58
220 - Jarren Pitts (N-C) dec. Tyler Flowers 7-1
285 - Ah-Ron Hope (N-C) dec. Noel Solis 6-1
Records: Newton-Conover 33-2, 2-0 in CVAC; South Iredell 14-8, 1-1 in CVAC