Sur­prise, Sur­prise

NC’s Frey loses track of bouts left, then Ri­ley pin­fall caps stun­ner over Decatur

Times-Record - - Sports - By WIL­LIAM HAUFE bhaufe@star­dem.com

RIDGELY — Tim Frey lost track Wed­nes­day night.

“To be hon­est I thought the meet was over af­ter the 52-pound bout,” North Caro­line High’s head wrestling coach said of the sea­son opener against long­time power Stephen Decatur. “I thought the match was over. I told the boys to ‘Stand up. Let’s go shake hands.’ I for­got we still had 160 to wres­tle.”

Less than 10 min­utes later, Frey and Caro­line’s bench were jump­ing for joy af­ter Tyler Ri­ley’s pin­fall with 21 sec­onds re­main­ing in the fi­nal pe­riod of the fi­nal match gave the Bull­dogs a riv­et­ing 38-34 vic­tor y over the Sea­hawks.

“This was a to­tal shock,” Frey said.

Be­fore shock set in though, there was dis­cov­ery.

“I thought the match was over, and all of a sud­den they said, ‘Ri­ley’s go­ing.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah.’ So I felt like we had a chance at win­ning this thing now,” Frey said.

Ri­ley sounded any­thing like a con­quer­ing hero, though.

“Just be­cause I was the last match doesn’t mean I won it for the whole team,” Ri­ley said. “I mean it was ev­ery sin­gle per­son out there; ev­ery sin­gle per­son that went out on the mat.”

But on this night, it just so hap­pened Ri­ley was the last Bull­dog on the mat.

“I was just try­ing to stay fo­cused, do what I nor­mally do in prac­tice all the time; what we keep drilling,” Ri­ley said.

Lead­ing 32-24 with three matches re­main­ing, Caro­line for­feited to Decatur’s Andy McKa­han at 145, then watched Jaron Purnell’s 17-8 ma­jor de­ci­sion over Tren­ton Hil­lard push the Sea­hawks in front, 34-32.

That brought up Ri­ley, who was taken down 31 sec­onds into his match with Lukas Lay­ton. Ri­ley trimmed his deficit to 2-1, then, work­ing off bot­tom to start the sec­ond pe­riod, ral­lied for a 4-2 lead. Ri­ley main­tained his two­point cush­ion head­ing into the third, and start­ing up, rode Lay­ton be­fore turn­ing him for the fall in 5:39.

“First pe­riod, he was be­ing pretty ag­gres­sive,” Ri­ley said. “He was keep­ing his dis­tance. I was try­ing to close the dis­tance. I was try­ing to look for a shot the whole time, just work on what I usu­ally do.

“Hon­estly, I wasn’t ex­pect­ing to pin him,” Ri­ley added. “When I pinned him it was all re­ally quick.”

With a team seem­ingly di­vided be­tween a solid group of sea­soned wrestlers and a group with lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence, Frey thought his team was a heavy un­der­dog against the Sea­hawks. But in the end, Decatur head coach Todd Martinek wasn’t sur­prised.

“I knew it was go­ing to be a tight dual meet,” Martinek said. “And I knew ev­ery mis­take and move was go­ing to mat­ter. I knew it was go­ing to come down to maybe one match and one move.

“I was kind of sur­prised it would come down to 60,” Martinek said. “I thought some­body would have it solved by then. But I had con­fi­dence in Lukas Lay­ton but he didn’t have the gas. Ri­ley wanted it. Ri­ley wanted it more. He was in bet­ter shape and he de­served the win. They out­wres­tled us tonight.”

The match started at 170 pounds, where North Caro­line’s Tyler Bauer pinned Ja­cob Caple in 47 sec­onds. Two matches later, the Bull­dogs were lead­ing 15-0 af­ter Alex Grable pinned Alan Means in 2:46 at 182, and Alex Ea­ton got a take­down at the edge of the cir­cle mid­way through the third pe­riod for a 5-4 de­ci­sion over Caleb Bourne at 195.

A lit­tle over three min­utes later, the Sea­hawks were within 15-12, as Jian Joobeen pinned Noah Schall in 2:17 at 220, and Ean Spencer earned a 46-sec­ond fall over Jar­rett Cooper.

Then, in what Martinek and Frey con­sid­ered a swing match be­tween a pair of fresh­men at 106, North Caro­line’s Reilly McIn­tyre built a 7-2 lead be­fore pin­ning Austin Miller in 4:44.

Cade Solito’s 44-sec­ond fall over Cody Groves at 113, pulled Decatur back within three at 21-18.

The Bull­dogs got a some­what un­ex­pected pair­ing at 120, where Ryan Bauer faced Josh Law­son, in­stead of Robert Kamin­ski. Strug­gling to es­cape Law­son’s tight-waist ride through the sec­ond pe­riod, Bauer held a 1-0 lead head­ing into the third, then took ad­van­tage of small open­ings for a 7-0 de­ci­sion that nudged North Caro­line ahead, 2418.

“He fi­nally found a lit­tle niche, the lit­tle mis­take the guy made and then Ryan scored the point,” Frey said. “And then when that guy got be­hind he had pres­sure and go for other things, which opened up things for Ryan.”

Kamin­ski’s pin­fall over Rhian Sil­s­ley with 7 sec­onds left in the first pe­riod forged a 24-24 tie.

The Bull­dogs then got two piv­otal vic­to­ries. Bran­don McIn­tyre fell be­hind 2-0, be­fore reeled off the next six points en route to a 9-5 win over Jeremy Dan­ner at 132. Seth Lay­ton (138) fol­lowed with an im­pres­sive 18-3 tech­ni­cal fall over Mar­quel Trower that ex­tended Caro­line’s lead to 32-24 with three bouts left.

“I al­most think we just had a cou­ple of kids that wanted it just a lit­tle bit more in some of the close matches,” Frey said. “And we pulled off a match here and a match there.

“I think also be­ing at home, I think that might have helped in a cou­ple of those very, very close matches, where our fans re­ally got into it,” Frey added. “And our boys felt the en­ergy from the fans and might have pushed just a lit­tle bit harder to get that one take­down, or one es­cape, or one re­ver­sal or what­ever it was to win the match.”

PHOTO BY WIL­LIAM HAUFE

North Caro­line’s Seth Lay­ton, right, ties up with Stephen Decatur’s Mar­quel Trower dur­ing Wed­nes­day night’s 138-pound match. Lay­ton won with an 18-3 tech­ni­cal fall.

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