North Surry took the conference team title with four top finishes, and Surry Central’s Wes Brown was voted wrestler of the year.
The coaches voted Brown to the top honor, then he went out and beat Mount Airy’s Isaiah King in the 285-pound final of the Northwest Conference Tournament held at North Surry Saturday.
The Greyhounds’ five seniors took four first places and a narrow finals loss for second place in amassing 223 team points.
East Surry won three weight classes and nearly made a last-second jump up to second, but fell five points behind Mount Airy at 147.5 to 142.5.
Surry Central was fourth with 125 as the four local teams put on a strong showing all day.
Bishop McGuinness was fifth at 116.5, and South Stokes was sixth at 112.
Farther back, North Stokes scored 35 points and West Stokes 31.
Brown came into the tournament 41-2 on the year and won all three matches Saturday to improve to 44-2. Last season, he split the player of the year award with North Surry’s Logan Younger. Then, he went on to win the 220 state 2A title.
His closest competition for the award likely came from North’s Austin Collins (42-2 at 152) and South Stokes’ Evan Scott (43-5 at 220).
The Cinderella story of the tournament was North senior Dalton Golden winning the 170 title with three straight pins.
“Dalton had the day of his life,” said a proud Coach Eric Jessup.
In his first year as a full-time starter, Golden went 18-18 in the regular season.
In the first round, he pinned East Surry’s Mitchell Flynt in the second period. Then he faced North Stokes’ Cody Bennett who beat him a week earlier 4-3.
In the finals he went against Bishop’s Frank LaDew, who beat Mount Airy’s Landon Mumford in the semifinals. Golden again won by fall, then stood in the center of the ring for a moment soaking in the feeling.
The championship round began with East Surry taking two wins.
At 106, Eddie Nunez edged Central’s Nathon Bautista 12-10.
At 113, Timmy Norman jumped out to a 5-0 lead on North’s Jacob Humphries. The Greyhound came back to take a 9-7 lead, but Norman scored the last seven points for a 14-9 win.
At 120, two very familiar opponents squared off. This was the third year in a row that North’s Austin McMillian and Central’s Kevin Pack have met in the finals of their weight.
McMillian took Pack down several times in a 12-3 win.
At 126, Bishop’s Alexander Preudhomme, a former state champion, defeated North’s Tristen Brannock 4-1.
Brannock gave up one point by backing out of the circle to avoid a takedown attempt. Then he gave up another point for failing to get back to the center promptly enough on a restart.
At 132, North’s Austin Rozier got a nearfall on South Stokes’ Morgan Bagley and went up 5-2. Bagley reversed Rozier and earned back-time points for a 7-6 win.
At 138, Mount Airy’s Shay Wilson pulled away in the third period for a 12-4 win over North’s Caleb Lowe.
At 145, East Surry got its third title as Jimmy Speer pinned Mount Airy’s Triston Mabry, the first fall of the final round.
North Surry’s Devyn Green might have challenged for that title, but he was out with a shoulder injury suffered against Mount Airy earlier in the week. Zacch Gregory stepped in for North and earned a fourth-place finish.
At 152, North’s Austin Collins and East’s Keanu Love met again in a finals. The two faced off twice in the regular season in tournament finals.
The 160 title went to Surry Central’s Zack Martin by injury forfeit. North Stokes’ Matt Chesnet was hurt in his semifinal win over South Stokes’ T.J. Whaley.
An assistant coach said Whaley picked Chesnet up and brought him down to the mat, but Chesnet’s head struck the mat first. Chesnet was unable to continue, and the referees gave the win to the injured wrestler.
After Golden’s run at 170, Bishop’s Nick Castellano outpointed South Stokes’ Christian Artis 11-3.
North’s Levi Slate and East’s Cody Gaskell went toe-to-toe until the final buzzer at 195.
Gaskell gave up a point by locking hands, then each wrestler got an escape after starting on bottom in the 2-1 decision to Slate.
The Sauras’ Scott pinned North’s Cody Slate at 220. Then Brown finished the night with his pin of King.
Next up is the start of the state dual-team playoffs on Tuesday. The News will have a breakdown of who is playing and where in Tuesday’s morning edition.