Caleb Nicosin (right) gathers control of his opponent during Wednesday's match against Owen Valley. Nicosin won a 7-3 decision.
The North Clay junior high wrestling team got an early lead against Owen Valley's junior high squad on Wednesday night and then held the Patriots off in a dual match, 60-54.
The Knights pulled out to a 24-9 victory in the early stages of the match as Caleb Nicosin got North Clay out of the gates quickly with a 7-3 decision and both Austin Sciotto and Austin Bell received forfeit wins.
Luke Pingleton dominated his opponent, ringing up takedown after takedown and added several near falls on the way to a 21-3 tech fall victory at 95 pounds. Carson Craft added a 13-2 victory at 100 pounds, taking a 4-2 lead late in the first period and then shutting down his opponent on the way to a strong win for the Knights.
Those victories were key as Owen Valley responded by getting a pin at 105 and Frank Hamblen led 9-4 for the Knights in the latter stages of his match before his opponent was able to put him on his back with just 0.2 seconds left in the match. Hamblen battled from his back for quite some time, and nearly held out for the win, before Owen Valley's competitor finished the deal.
Suddenly ahead just 24-21, North Clay's Levi Stearley took to the mat for his 115 pound match.
The match was tied 2-apiece heading into the second period and Stearley dropped back 5-2 when his opponent got back points. Stearley would claw back within 6-4 heading to the third period. In the final period, Stearley was able to gain control and to the roared approval of the home crowd, put his opponent on his back midway through the last period for a fall.
The win was pivotal, giving North Clay a 30-21 lead and Brandon Mikesell fed the rising momentum when he got ahead early on his opponent and finished the deal in the second period with a pin and a 36-21 advantage.
Owen Valley got a decision at 125, but Broc Potter earned a big second period pin at 130 followed by a forfeit win by Conor Strain at 135.
The Patriots got their own forfeit win at 140 and pins at 145 and 155 to narrow the gap back to 48-39.
From there however, Tommy Holifield got a takedown and two nearfall points early before pinning his opponent at 165 and Brad Powell was able to clinch the match for the Knights when he put his competitor on his back. The margin from there was too much for Owen Valley to make up despite pins at 215 and 275.
In exhibition action, Cole Dickison got a pin for North Clay.
The Knights improve to 6-2 overall this season and will be back in action on Saturday at Southmont beginning at 9 a.m.
Junior High Wrestling
North Clay 60, Owen Valley 54
At North Clay
70 -- Caleb Nicosin 7-3 win
75 -- Austin Bell FF
80 -- Skyler Hall loss by pin
85 -- Trent Montague 9-2 loss
90 -- Austin Sciotto FF
95 -- Luke Pingleton 21-3 tech fall win
100 -- Carson Craft 13-2 win
105 -- Frank Beasley loss by pin
110 -- Eric Hamblen 9-4 win
115 -- Levi Stearley win by pin
120 -- Brandon Mikesell win by pin
125 -- Chris Payne 7-0 loss
130 -- Broc Potter win by pin
135 -- Conor Strain FF
140 -- NC loss by FF
145 -- Kody Brattain loss by pin
155 -- Jordan Nelson loss by pin
165 -- Tommy Holifield win by pin
180 -- Brad Powell win by pin
215 -- Daniel Pleake loss by pin
275 -- Beau Judd loss by pin