North Surry wrestling reached 30 wins with a 61-12 showing over South Stokes Tuesday.
The Greyhounds (30-2) improved to 5-0 in the Northwest Conference, essentially locking up a share of first place with two matches left.
South Stokes had beaten North Stokes, West Stokes and Surry Central, but gave up four weights and could only win two matches against the Hounds.
The Sauras have eight wrestlers with 23 or more wins, and four of those have at least 33 wins, so Coach Eric Jessup knew this had the potential to be a very close match.
“Rozier and Bagley was the first match of the night at 132,” said Jessup.
North’s Austin Rozier was 35-8 coming in, while Morgan Bagley was 34-7 and ranked fifth in the state for 1A.
“They battled right out of the chute,” the coach said. Rozier came out on top of a 12-9 decision.
At 138, Caleb Lowe took a forfeit win. Dalton Golden (170), Saige Wolfe (106) and Jacob Humphries (113) also received forfeits.
The next match at 145 was another good showing with Devyn Green (34-9) going against Keegan Ross (29-13).
Green beat Ross Dec. 1 in a narrow 8-6 decision, and this one was close, too, before Green won 7-4. Only six times in this season has an opponent held Green to a minor decision, and Ross now has two of those.
“Ross never gives up,” said Jessup. “He can be down two or three points, and he keeps coming. It was a really good match.”
Green is now ranked seventh in the state for 2A, according to Retro Rankings. The Hounds have five players on the list, but the other four are seniors while Green is a sophomore.
Austin McMillian is ranked third at 120. Tristen Brannock third at 126. Austin Collins is fourth at 152, and Levi Slate is fourth at 195.
McMillian pinned Kevin John, and Brannock pinned Dre Bonner. Collins pinned Matt Poss, and Levi Slate earned a major decision 13-3 over Corbin Tackett.
At 160, Austin McBride pinned T.J. Whaley.
Corbin Bullins (25-11), wrestling up at 182, battled Christian Artis (33-11) to a 9-3 decision.
That was a closely contested match, said Jessup. Bullins got five of his nine points on one move, getting Artis down and earning back time. Other than that, it was just four to three on the scorebook, he noted.
At 220, sophomore Cody Slate faced senior Evan Scott, who had the best winning percentage on the Sauras with his 37-5 record.
Slate was up 2-0 late in the second period, and restarted in the down position, said Jessup. With about 15 seconds left in the period, Slate got to his feet, but didn’t pull back to get separation and earn his point, the coach said. If he had, that would have made the score 3-0 going into the final period.
Instead, Scott never let Slate free and managed to take Slate down. He earned three points on a near-fall to take the lead 3-2 going into the third.
That was a huge difference because it meant that Slate had to attack and try to score rather than playing defense and stifling Scott, according to Jessup.
Slate went for a move and was countered and pinned by Scott.
Slate wrestled great, but he just made two small mistakes that Scott capitalized on, said Jessup.
At heavyweight, Austin Akers was out with a stomach bug, so Blake Dollyhite took his place and pinned Ben Tuttle.
The Hounds host North Stokes on Friday in what was meant to be Senior Night. However, with the recent weather changes, North Surry will hold Senior Night next Tuesday against Mount Airy.
That won’t be the last home appearance for the seniors, however, as North Surry hosts the conference tournament the following Saturday.