CARY — Panther Creek is proving to be a tough tournament team.
Already with one tournament win – the Bull Durham Holiday Classic – the Catamounts finished third in Saturday’s Mark Adams Holiday Invitational, hosted by Cary High School. It was the highest finish of any Triangle team.
Lake Norman took the title with 187.5 points with seven placers and three first-place finishers, led by the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler Cody Karns. Lexington (S.C.) was second with 169.5 points, followed by the Catamounts with 167 and Wilmington Laney with 163.
Holly Springs (155), Cary (141.5) and Orange (133) followed in order to give the Triangle four teams in the top seven.
“It was a tough tournament this year,” said Panther Creek coach Jon Armfield, whose team had seven placers total. “I’m really proud of our guys. This was a great finish for us.”
PC’s Matt Powell won the 195-pound class after his opponent Brian Capps forfeited after suffering a concussion in his previous round.
Aaron Chan was second – by a score of 3-2 – at 220 pounds, Mike Sutton (heavyweight) and Shovan Bhatta (113) finished third, while Nathan Allison (120) took fourth.
It was the first year Panther Creek competed in the Mark Adams Holiday Classic, which had 29 teams total. Armfield was encouraged that his group finished higher than his top two Tri-9 Conference competitors, Cary and Holly Springs.
“I think it speaks volumes about my team. Coming into a holiday tournament, you get mixed things. Of course they’re sacrificing time to be with their family, a lot of kids are going on break,” Armfield said. “These guys came here with the mentality to wrestler better than they’ve ever wrestled and they did just that.”
Cary won two weight classes with Will Clark coming up victorious at 126 pounds (pinfall at 5 minutes, 22 seconds) and Alex Ynoquio (pinfall at 2 minutes, 52 seconds) winning at 132.
Orange also had two champions, with Jack Twomey-Kozak defeating Holly Springs’ Javon Johnson 8-5 in the 138-pound title and David Peters-Logue beating Western Harnett’s Dakota Roberts 9-3 at 160 pounds.
Durham School of the Arts, which came in 12th, had two wrestlers in the championship, but Drake Swigert lost to Karns 22-6 in the 120-pound title bout and Isaac Little lost to Ynoquio.
Holly Springs’ Aaron Redus (106) won 5-2 in his championship bout, while Riverside’s Jaquon Sowell (152) won 8-4 and Southeast Raleigh’s P.J. Shuler (heavyweight) won 10-7 in overtime.
The Mark Adams Holiday Classic is named after a former Cary wrestler and assistant coach who died in Iraq after re-enlisting in the marines post-9/11.
Blake: 919-460-2606 or twitter.com/JMBpreps