Holly Springs sophomore Ed Callahan scored a takedown with 9.2 seconds left in the final bout of the night as the Golden Hawks rallied past Riverside 37-35 to advance to the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A dual-team wrestling tournament on Tuesday at Clayton.
Riverside led 35-34 with the 160-pound bout remaining, with Callahan facing Clay Bourguignon. Callahan led 7-5 in the third period but was whistled for an illegal hold that evened the bout 7-7. But Callahan responded with a takedown to clinch the match.
“It was just a feeling of, ‘I did what I had to do, did my job,’” Callahan said. “I was proud about that. I felt a lot of pressure (before the match) but I knew what I had to do. So it wasn’t completely overwhelming.”
Holly Springs (38-4) exacted some revenge on the Pirates, who had eliminated the Hawks in the East semis a year ago.
“We beat them the first week of the season, and that was therapeutic in a way because we knew we had the team,” Hawks coach Nick Nosbisch said. “Guys like Ed stepped up, and that shows the depth of our team. That’s what we train for, for the next guy to step and be the man. Ed stepped up, and he was the man tonight.”
Riverside, which dumped Clayton 39-33 in the first round, led after 11 of the 14 bouts but couldn’t hold on. The Hawks won by forfeit at 145, then Elijah Geniesse scored a pin at 152 to cut the Riverside lead to 35-34.
“We pulled it off last year,” Riverside coach Brandon Palmer said. “We weren’t able to do it this year. Both teams probably had more firepower last year, but as a coach, this was more fun because you’re watching what you’re teaching out there. These are more fun to coach, but also tougher to lose.
“At the end of the day, I can’t fault the effort, they all scrapped.”
Holly Springs had to rally in the first match against Hope Mills’ South View High, too. South View (15-6) led 21-8 after seven matches and 21-20 after 10 but Holly Springs dominated the final four to pull out the win. Jared Wainwright won at 132 and Jake Maroney won at 138 before Nigel Lucas at 145 and Cam Devers at 152 each scored pins to close out the match.
Clayton bows out
The Comets led Riverside 11-9 after Davis Gleisner notched a pin at 160 and Mike Lines scored a technical fall at 183, but Clayton forfeited matches at 126, 138, 220 and heavyweight to see its season end.
But that was somewhat by design, Comet coach Cory Daker said. Clayton is looking to the individual state tournament that starts next week.
“It’s got to end at some point,” Daker said. “We’re not going to end up in the state championship (as a) team. We need to focus on what we really need to focus on.
“I’m not putting too much into this. We’re really concerned about next weekend. The main thing is everybody’s conditioned, everybody’s healthy coming into Friday. That’s kinda the main thing.”
Clayton (10-4) won the Greater Neuse River Conference with a strong senior class led by Lines and Christian Prescott, who scored a major decision at 113 on Tuesday.
“I’ve been here for seven years, but this is the next group that’s come through,” Daker said. “To get to this point and start winning conferences and things like that is good for these kids. The goal is always the state tournament and get people on that podium.”