Holly Springs’ wrestling team knew it would have its hands full with a tough opponent in Middle Creek. But the Golden Hawks made it look easy coming, winning the first seven matches to cruise to a 63-10 win against the Mustangs (10-8, 1-3) in a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference dual match Wednesday night.
“I think we handled it well. We knew they were good coming in, and our guys were fired up and wanted to send a message,” said Holly Springs coach Nick Nosbisch. “That showed tonight. We came out strong and built an early lead up top which is where people like to attack us; we were able to maintain and keep the lead. We kept our foot on the pedal the whole night.”
In the fourth bout, between Nick Connochie (152 pounds) and Braxton May, Connochie took the match for the Golden Hawks (16-0, 5-0) after narrowly defeating May by a decision of 7-4. In the hard-fought three periods, Connochie led 2-0 and 3-0 before eking out the three-point win.
“(Connochie and May) are two solid kids. Braxton May is a solid wrestler,” said Nosbisch. “He’s very physical, he’s very quick. (Connochie) likes to be physical and slow the pace down. I think you saw matchup styles in that one. Our guy needs to score more points. We’re always looking to score more points. It’s a learning lesson for him that there are guys in the conference that are looking to attack him.”
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Following a pin by Zion Cooke (182) in the seventh match against Sam Riggsbee, the Mustangs won the next two with one coming via a pin by Gabriel Pickett (195) against Spencer Wilson, and an 18-9 decision favoring Andrew Molite (220) over Justin Smith.
The two straight wins by Middle Creek made it 33-10, but any kind of momentum they had was soon gone. Holly Springs won the next two matches, Zach Munoz (heavyweight) and Sean McLane (106) by forfeits.
“At (195) we bumped our ’82-pounder up (Wilson) and he’s got to be better than that,” said Nosbisch of the pin by Pickett. “I think he got caught out of position, but that’s a case where we were at an advantage as a team where we have a senior guy who can step up at 182 pounds and wrestle 195 for us. He’s got to win those scrambles and win those positions. He’s giving up a lot of weight which plays into it.”
Holly Springs finished off Middle Creek with three straight pins by Hunter Baratta (113), Josh Lehr (120) and Hunter Morton (126) all coming in the first periods.