Chapel Hill’s wrestling team prepped for what should be the decisive week of its season by heading over to Southern Durham on Thursday night and winning easily, 69-10 over the host Spartans.
The win improved Chapel Hill’s dual-team record to 17-4 overall and kept the Tigers undefeated versus Big-8 Conference opponents.
Thursday’s winners included two-time all-conference wrestler George McBurney at 220 pounds, who got his 99th career win for Chapel Hill by collecting a forfeit at Southern.
McBurney, also a two-time all-conference selection in football, will go for his 100th win Wednesday, when Chapel Hill hosts defending conference champion Orange at 6 p.m. The Tigers follow that dual match with their last conference meet of the season by hosting Northwood at 6 p.m. Thursday.
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Orange (currently 16-2 overall, 5-0 in Big 8 matches) has won nine N.C. High School Athletics Association state championships since 2005 – five in the dual-team playoffs and four in the individuals’ state tournament. The Panthers have won 13 straight conference championships, including every Big 8 title since the conference was formed.
McBurney was one of eight Tigers to win by forfeit Thursday.
Southern won two of the six weight classes it contested, with Matthew Darby winning a major decision at 195 pounds and Jayr Lewis winning with a pin at 145 pounds. Other than that, it was all Tigers in the winner’s circle. South never led in the team points battle.
Chapel Hill’s Camden Bergey got things rolling with a 8-4 decision at 170 pounds against Shemar Brandon in the night’s opening bout, followed by Bradley Kenyon’s victory with a pin in 3 minutes, 20 seconds of Maliki Rouse at 182.
McBurney, Hudson Price (285 pounds), David Cureton (106), Tyler Tachman (113), Wesley Kelley (120), Zachary Allen (126), Jack Davenport (132) and Ulises Ramirez (138) all collected wins by forfeit before Lewis broke the Chapel Hill win streak.
Matthew Minnick, at 152 pounds, followed with the night’s quickest pin, felling Southern’s Davion Snipes in 92 seconds.
Chapel Hill’s William Hess (160 pounds) ended the scoring with a pin in 2 minutes, 43 seconds of Mahari Rouse.
Orange also wrestled Thursday night and routed Northern Vance by an 82-0 score.
The Panthers feted seniors Cameron Grap, Alex Coates, Jamison Askew, Juan Torres, Gonzalo Garcia Cantoral and Joe Scott before the match.
Ten of the Panthers pinned their opponent, the fastest (19 seconds) being Josiah’s Ramirez’s win at 160 pounds.