In the final bout on the first day of the Big Horn Duals, Havelock and New Bern went down to the wire in a team match between the Craven County rivals.
Corbin Simmons won in triple overtime to push the Rams past the Bears 39-36 on Friday evening.
Ten teams competed, all wrestling each other once, at the two-day dual team tournament. Four matches were held on Friday and the final five concluded on Saturday at Havelock High School.
Havelock went 7-2 with wins over Jacksonville (63-12), South Central (56-22), New Bern (39-36), First Flight (48-24), Southwest Onslow (48-27), West Carteret (45-29) and East Carteret (76-6). The Rams lost to Croatan (42-29) and Jack Britt (73-6).
“We know we have some things to work on. Everybody wrestled hard. The matches we thought were tough were tough,” Havelock coach Tommy Andrew said.
“The Jack Britt match, we kind of saw that coming. The Croatan match, there were some things we needed to work on. We felt like we could have won that match.”
New Bern won three of its nine dual matches. The Bears took down East Carteret (67-12), South Central (39-35) and Jacksonville (51-18).
They lost three other matches by a combined 12 points.
“Hopefully they learned that they have to compete every second they are on the mat,” New Bern coach Jamie Yezarski said. “From whistle to whistle, they have to compete. Every match is important.
“You compete individually, but it’s a team sport. Every guy matters.”
Ben Dixon, wrestling at 182 pounds, had the best day for the Rams. He finished 8-1. John Ellis was 7-2, Kendall Frazier was 7-2 and Lamonte Frazier was 6-3.
“They had a couple tough matches, but they fought through it,” Andrews said. “They worked real hard for it and never gave up and that’s all we ask of them.”
Last year’s state runner-up, Ryan Davis, won six of his nine matches with three pins and a tech fall.
“Ryan had a tough weekend,” Andrews said. “We threw him in some toss-up matches. We were trying to minimize point losses. He fought hard. He knows what he needs to do to get better.”
Ramone Lawson, Javar Godette, Michael Hutchinson, Tyler Bullock, Howie Baldree, Chandler Day, Zachariah Drysdale, Jace Dedmon, Destin Floyd, Dominick Madden and Corey Paley won at least one match for the Rams.
New Bern’s DeAndre Jones, at 195 pounds, won all eight of his matches. The senior, who was a state runner-up last year, is unbeaten on the season and has yet to be taken to the mat.
“DeAndre is having an incredible year,” Yezarski said. “He beat the kid from Jack Britt who was third in the state last year.
“He does everything we ask him to do. He is a hard worker, great person and is having a great year.”
Drew Thome, at 220 pounds, won five matches and Garrett Phifer won four.
Jacob Smith, Eric Cabingas, Cedric Boyd, Daquan Green, Wilson Bunn, Antonio Creigo, Josh Pace, Nick Morris, Jurant Graham, Patrick Laureigh, Tyquan Baucom, Jeremy Simpson and Josh Hawkins won individual matches for the Bears.
“I was disappointed in our effort (on Friday), but (Saturday) I was pleased with our effort,” Yezarski said. “Attitude and effort is what I preach to this team and I think we are learning how to compete.
“With a team this young, we have to learn how to focus, learn how to get prepared and learn how to practice.”
Havelock, New Bern and Washington will compete in a tri-match on Tuesday at Havelock High.