PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Mount Airy Granite Bears slammed rival East Surry en route to a 51-26 victory.
Neither team had lost in conference play coming into Tuesday’s match. The Bears defeated Bishop McGuinness on January 5, while East Surry began conference play with a victory over South Stokes last week.
Austin Vernon began the match with a forfeit victory for East Surry in the 106-pound weight class. Mount Airy made up for lost ground when Barron Pilson earned a first-round pin over the Cardinals’ Jacob Haywood. An unsportsmanlike penalty on Haywood docked East a team point and gave the Bears a 6-5 lead.
The Cards fought back with a three-round thriller between Adam Rutledge and the Bears’ Aiden Horton. The 120-pound match saw Rutledge lead in points for the majority of the match. Horton nearly forced a pin with 20 seconds remaining in the third period, but Rutledge held on to win 16-7.
Rutledge’s victory put East back on top 9-6 heading into the 126-pound bout.
The next match featured East’s Kaleb Tilley taking on Luis Osorno in the night’s second three-round affair. Not waiting to be decided by points, Osorno pinned Tilley in the third period to put the Bears back on top 12-9.
Osorno’s victory was the first of eight consecutive Granite Bear victories. Mount Airy extended its lead to 51-8 before East Surry won another individual match.
The 132 and 138-pound weight classes sped by, with Mount Airy taking both with pins in the first period.
Triston Russell took Mount Airy’s Joan Ramirez to the limit in the only other match of the night to be decided by points. A late surge by Ramirez gave Mount Airy the victory.
Following Russell’s narrow defeat, East Surry failed to take a match beyond the second period.
Up next were brothers Austin and Jackson Tumbarello gaining victories for Mount Airy in the 160 and 170-pound classes. Austin’s opponent Zach Golding deducted another point from East Surry’s total with an unsportsmanlike penalty.
The final competitive match of the night actually saw East Surry with a 4-2 point advantage in the second period before falling victim to a pin. Stephen Creech was pinned with 22 seconds left in the second period, giving Mount Airy’s John Bennett the Bears’ final victory of the evening.
Having surpassed the winning amount of points, the Bears forfeited the remaining three matches. The forfeits gave East Surry their final 18 points. Mount Airy walked away with their second victory in conference play, 51-26.
East Surry’s next match takes place on January 12 when the Cardinals host Bishop McGuinness. Mount Airy’s next match is a dual tournament at Ragsdale on January 13.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith