CARY — Cary’s Taylor Cummings and Green Hope’s Steve Gursslin both managed to walk out of Green Hope's gym on Wednesday night with smiles on their faces.
The Cary coach was happy because his team won 44-25 after dominating the second half of the dual meet.
And Gursslin was smiling, too, because his Falcons performed well against one of the state’s wrestling powerhouses.
Green Hope (0-3) led 19-15 after Michael Eastwood scored a major decision over Ian Anderson in the 106-pound class, but Cary (5-0) won six bouts in a row to seal the match.
“We’re still getting down to our weights, and we’re still trying to solidify our upper weights,” Cummings said. “They gave us all we wanted at our upper weights. We were swapping matches for the first eight matches. At times, they looked a little more physical than us, but at this point in the season, it’s important that we look to see how we're progressing.”
Gursslin knew his team was an underdog to the Imps, but the Falcons battled in every class.
“I am very happy with tonight’s effort,” Gursslin said. “I told the guys in the beginning, ‘We all know Cary has a strong team, but my goal is for us to go after them as hard as we can,’ and I feel like we did that tonight.”
Gursslin was especially pleased with senior George Chirayath, who ended the match with a pin of Cary’s Joseph Clevenger at 152, and with freshman Caleb Andreu, who gave Cary’s Lucas Fryar a tough match despite a 7-2 loss.
Fryar’s win, coupled with Nick Tarvin's victory at 113 and a forfeit at 126, put Cary in control. Pins by Kollin Wade at 132 and Ke Wang at 138, plus a 15-5 win by Will Clark at 145, closed Green Hope out.
Clark, who finished third in the state at 126 a year ago, moved up two weight classes against the Falcons and dominated Jacob Goldstein.
“We’re really young, which is good, because I still have another year,” Clark said. “If we keep pushing, and if our upper weights keep getting the hang of it, we could really strive. They’re starting to click, and sometimes it just takes that one stone to fall, and it could avalanche from there.”