HOLLY SPRINGS — Cary stayed off its back more than Holly Springs did Wednesday, and while the difference between winning and losing a wrestling match isn’t that simple, it is often that cruical.
In the final bout of the day, it was Cary 113-pounder Lucas Fryar who avoided a pin from an unrelenting Jacob Salzer. Cary held on for a 33-31 victory against Holly Springs, even as Salzer claimed a 14-6 win.
If Salzer had been able to pin Fryar, the Golden Hawks would have won the match by tying the overall score 33-33 while having the upper hand in the first tiebreaking criteria, which is most bouts won.
“Holly Springs gave us everything we wanted and more tonight,” said Cary coach Taylor Cummings.
Holly Springs had an 8-6 advantage in the match’s 14 bouts, but Cary overcame that with pins from Will Clark (126 pounds), Alex Ynoquio (132), Mark Mulligan (152) and Christian Abad (heavyweight).
“They knew how to stay off their backs and we just gave up too many bonus points. We gave ourselves a chance at the end, but of course, they knew what they had to do at 113,” said Holly Springs coach Brandon Inge. “If we can just learn to do the little things, we can be a great team. We’re very inexperienced in the upper weights, but we can become a very, very good team and make a deep playoff run.”
The Imps (5-0) and Hawks (0-1) finished first and second, respectively, in last year’s conference standings and were second and third in the final area team rankings by The News & Observer.
There are advantages and disadvantages to playing a match of this caliber to start off conference play.
Both teams were healthy – a luxury not often afforded as the season wears on the bodies of its participants – but on the other hand, both coaches have only been working with their teams a few weeks.
“Some more season conditioning would help, but that goes both ways,” Inge said.
Holly Springs started the match with a 12-2 win by 120-pounder Parker Ragsdale.
Will Clark’s pin came with just 41 seconds left in his match, which was followed by Ynoquio’s pin of Holly Springs’ Charlie Clark.
“Usually, I stress out about matches,” Ynoquio said. “But yesterday the coaches had a good talk with the team and said you can’t worry about it from here until the match – you can’t think about if you might lose, if you might win, so I kept it out of my mind until we started warming up.”
Although Ynoquio, a senior, was a state qualifier last year, his six points came as a pleasant surprise.
“We knew that if we could just get by with a decision, we’d be lucky,” Cummings said. “Ynoquio is the type of kid who’s really turned it on this past year. He’s not the same kid who was in a Cary singlet down in Greensboro (at the state championships) last year. He’s a new animal.”
Holly Springs’ Javon Johnson (138) was the only Golden Hawks to win by pin (1 minute, 40 seconds). The Golden Hawks took a 14-12 lead when Daniel Richardson (145) won 11-3.
Cary took back the lead on Mulligan’s pin in 5 minutes, 35 seconds. Mulligan was up 17-8 before earning the six points.
Holly Springs gained the lead right back on a 5-2 win by Joel Hoffert (160) and a 14-5 victory by Austin Galati (170).
Franklin McNamara’s 9-1 win at 182 pounds tipped the scales back in Cary’s favor, 22-21, but it was negated by C.J. Cooper’s 4-0 win for Holly Springs at 195.
The Golden Hawks led 24-22, but Imps senior Corey Daniels (220) won 6-1, followed by Abad’s 46-second pin in his first varsity match.
“You got no clue of what a kid’s going to do when you put him in a pressure situation,” Cummings said. “It’s the unteachables and the intangibles. You don’t know what a kid’s going to do, but that was amazing.”
Holly Springs got a 3-2 win with 103-pounder Aaron Redus to stay within striking distance of the Imps before Salzer’s match with Fryar.
“Hopefully we’ll see them in the playoffs and we’ll get a rematch,” Inge said. “We went toe-to-toe with one of the best programs in the history of any sport in this state. And I’m excited and hopeful for a rematch in the playoffs.”
Blake: 919-460-2606 or twitter.com/JMBpreps