Cardinal Gibbons wanted to send its seniors off on a high note. Northern Durham had other plans.
The Knights remained perfect in PAC-6 Conference play with an impressive 54-25 win over Cardinal Gibbons. At one point in the match, Northern ripped off four straight pins. Each of the wins by the Knights game by pinfall.
“I thought we wrestled pretty good tonight,” Northern Durham coach Matt Brown said. “We’re pretty young, but we wrestled hard, we had a good effort.”
The Knights were led by senior Demazio Samuel, who is undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the state in the 220-pound class. Jon Armfield, the Gibbons coach, sent off three seniors. His top two, John Hart (forfeit) and Bailey Brooks (points) each got a win on their final night at home.
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“They’ve seen some really tough years at Gibbons,” Armfield said. “They kept going, they came back. They’ve had a lot of heart, and they’ve seen this program grow to the numbers that we have.”
They said it
The Crusaders didn’t get the win, but Armfield felt like there were a few matches that could have gone either way.
“We had two or three matches where we lost and got pinned, where we probably should have maybe won that match,” Armfield said. “Those missed opportunities really hurt us tonight.”
The 195-pound showdown between Lee Rodio of Northern Durham and Derek Rose of Gibbons was as tight as it gets. Heading into the second round, neither wrestler had recorded any points. In the third and final round Rose led 7-1, but Rodio was able to close it out with a pin.
Most of the matches were rather lengthy, with the fastest pin coming in the 220-pound match between Samuel and Wesley Albrecht. Samuel took down Albrecht with one second remaining in the first round. Samuel came into the match nursing an injury to his quad and didn’t want to further aggravate it. He decided it was time to wrap things up.
“I was trying to do a little bit, but he really wasn’t giving me much to work with,” Samuel said. “So I just took a double and kind of finished it.”
The match winner
The match was tied at 12 heading into the 195-pound match. That’s when Northern went on its run of four consecutive pins.
“What really started in our favor is I’m pretty good in the upper weights,” Brown said. “So when we start there, we got on a roll.”
Northern Durham’s winners
Robbie Rich (152 pounds, pin), 182-pounder Jose Marrero (pin), 195-pounder Lee Rodio (pin), Samuel, 106-pounder Gerald Mills (pin), 126-pounder Delarosa Marcus (pin), 132-pounder Joseph Harris (pin), 138-pounder Leon King (pin).
Cardinal Gibbons’ winners
John Hart (160 pounds, forfeit), 170-pounder Mason Middleton (pin), 113-pounder Trey Dalpizzol (forfeit), 120-pounder Bailey (19-8), 145-pounder Liam Gahagan (6-3).