Broughton trailed by six points when Joshua Zinner took the mat for the 106-pound match, the final bout of the Caps’ conference dual against Millbrook on Wednesday.
The sophomore was able to pin Millbrook’s Quentin Merritt in 1 minute, 24 seconds, prompting a Broughton team looking for its first conference win to celebrate as the scoreboard flipped to show each team with 31 points.
Broughton coach Stan Chambers and Millbrook coach Scott Saby met with the referee at the scorers’ table, rule book in hand.
After a short discussion, the score was changed to 32-31 in favor of Millbrook. The Wildcats, who won eight of the night’s 14 matches, got the advantage for most matches won to remain undefeated on the season.
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“Broughton is definitely improved,” Saby said. “Stan Chambers does a nice job with the kids. They’re always prepared, so that’s what I expected, and we’re pretty young. We’re very young, so we throw our kids out there and see what happens and I told them tonight it would be close, and we came out with that one extra win.”
Millbrook trailed for much of the match, facing a 25-15 deficit after nine matches before winning four straight – one by forfeit.
Matt Flores (182) defeated Emmanuel Robinson by major decision, 11-3; Wilhelm Heinsen (195) topped Umang Patel, 10-5; and Jacob High (220) won over Jasper Lassiter, 7-4, in that stretch for the Wildcats.
Broughton kept things close by staving off Millbrook pins to take nearly every match of the night to three rounds.
Robinson Carroll was the only Millbrook wrestler to win by pin, topping Broughton’s Jack Elliott in the third round at 132 pounds.
“I told our guys not to get pinned,” Chambers said. “They can’t give up six points. They’ve got to fight and that’s what I’m about, fighting, giving that effort and whatever happens happens. ... I’m seeing more heart and I’m seeing more improvement in their wrestling skills.”
Braxton May-Nicholson pinned Jarred Simmons in 1:40 at 145, and Lamont Burt followed with a pin over Alexander Janni in 3:05 at 152 for the Caps.
Broughton’s Nash Philbeck (138) topped Luis Lopez in a 13-1 major decision, and Christian Hite (170) defeated Chris Engel, 4-3.
“Teams work on those things in practice because even when a lot of different programs have new kids one thing that you can teach to is your toughness and not letting somebody put you on your back,” Saby said. “That’s definitely a skill, so if you can avoid that, then your team can be successful.”
The Caps opened the match taking the 113-pound class by forfeit before Millbrook’s Christopher Medina (120) defeated Christian Bugger, 10-5, and Jonathan Medina (126) topped Ezekiel Love, 7-4. Joshua Reid (160) also topped Di Rahlan, 9-7, for the Wildcats.
Saby said there weren’t many surprises in the match, though the conference looks to have a bit more parity this year with so many young wrestlers and new coaches.
“It’s a lot more wide open because the whole Cap Eight is young,” Saby said. “We definitely want to keep the coaches interested and build the programs, because I think that’s what makes good wrestling.”
Chambers, in his first year with the Caps, has seen growth already, but is looking to take the program to the next level.
“My focus is just on getting better and building for the future,” Chambers said, adding that one important change will be getting Caps wrestlers to compete during the offseason. “The schools that we’ve lost to, their kids wrestle on the offseason. Our kids don’t until now. They will.”