North Raleigh: Sports

Spartans overcome deficit to edge Pride

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Sanderson's Jalil Monk spent nearly an hour and a half pacing and staying loose for his match at 182 pounds Wednesday night.

With the Spartans' dual against Leesville Road starting at 195 pounds, all Monk could do was wait for the 14th and final bout of the night.

By the time Monk took the mat, he wrestled for less than two minutes. His pin with 13 seconds remaining in the first period clinched Sanderson's 40-33 win over the Pride.

"I hate going last. It's so hard to wait. But once you get out there, it's worth it," Monk said.

Of the 11 matches wrestled, Sanderson won six for 28 points (they also won two forfeits). Although they overcame a 15-point deficit and claimed the dual win, first-year Spartans coach A.D. Johnson wanted to see more intensity from his charges.

"Leesville came out very hungry, very aggressive, and we elected not to match that intensity," Johnson said. "That's not the way Sanderson typically wrestles. It's always good to get the win, but how you win is just as important. And right now, as a team, we're focused on how we're wrestling and how we compete."

Leesville Road's Logan Rose began the night with a pin in the opening match at 195. The Spartans forfeited at 220, and they faced a 12-0 deficit.

Heavyweight Bradley Hughes cut the deficit in half with a pin in his match. Then Benjamin DeRose earned six more points for the Spartans with a pin at 106 with a half second remaining in the first period.

"Ben is coming on very strong. I'm very proud of the way he's wrestling," Johnson said. "He didn't come out with the intensity he's shown in weeks past. But any time you get a pin right at the buzzer, it's going to benefit team morale."

Solomon Solkowitz scored a 12-6 decision at 113 to give the Spartans a 15-12 lead after five matches.

But Leesville Road surged to a 30-15 lead after 120-pounder Jason Mills, 126-pounder Daniel Mills and 132-pounder Cole Jankowsky all won by pin in their matches.

"They wrestled hard. We needed a couple breaks, and they didn't fall our way," said Leesville coach Jason Wyss. "They shouldn't hang their heads. They wrestled well. It just didn't go our way."

Zach Jones scored a 3-2 decision at 145 for the Pride, before Sanderson took the remaining four matches.

Patrick McComas scored a 12-4 major decision at 152, and Jake Keehn fought off a late comeback from Cade Collins at 160 to win a 7-5 decision. After Leesville Road forfeited at 170, Sanderson led 34-33 as Monk got his chance to wrestle.

As he took the mat, a Sanderson fan hollered, "No pressure, Jalil!"

The 182-pound Spartan built a 5-0 lead in the first 30 seconds before getting the pin at the end of the first period.

"That puts a lot of pressure on your back," said Monk of his do-or-die finale for the Spartans. "But you've got to go out there, do what you've been practicing all year and get the job done."

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