PREP NOTEBOOK: N-C, Foard knocked out of duals

Thursday night was unpleasant for two of Catawba County’s wrestling teams, as Newton-Conover and Fred T. Foard exited the dual team state playoffs. 

Tied 28-28 after all wrestlers had competed, Piedmont (37-0) defeated Newton-Conover (41-3) in a tiebreaker.

It was the third-straight year Piedmont eliminated the Red Devils in the 2A dual team western regional finals.

Piedmont had already defeated N-C once this year, a 35-31 decision at the annual Red Devil Duals in December.

The Tigers lost for only the second time this season in 32 matches, dropping a gut-wrenching match to Southwest Randolph.

Up 33-27 going into the final match of the night, the Tigers (30-2) needed only to survive a pin in order to win the match and advance.

A late pin by Southwest Piedmont (35-2) in the second period, combined with a deduction of a team point due to misconduct, gave the Cougars the win.

Turcanu wins two events, men’s MVP

St. Stephens’ Sava Turcanu scored victories in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events in Thursday’s 3A swimming championships in Cary.

The pair of performances earned the senior the men’s MVP award for the meet.

County teams finish among top 15

Of the Catawba County swim teams competing in the 3A state championships Thursday, the Hickory girls (10th) and St. Stephens boys (13th) were the top teams.

Led by Leah Watts, Fred T. Foard finished 13th in girls competition. Watts finished fourth in the women’s 200-yard individual medley in tight competition that also included St. Stephens’ Marinela Procopii (sixth) and Hickory’s Samantha Merta (ninth).

The Tigers also tied for 17th in the boys standings, led by Jake Pierce’s second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle event.

Sami Alkoutami finished 12th in the 500-yard IM, behind Turcanu and Pierce.

To go with its 13th-place boys showing, St. Stephens ranked 15th in the girls standings. 

The Lady Indians ended the day strong in two relays — 13th in the 200-yard medley and 10th in the 400-yard freestyle.