Panthers reach third round of playoffs
Piedmont High's wrestling team advanced to the 2A state quarterfinals in wrestling with a 39-13 victory over Pisgah in the second round Tuesday night.
The Panthers (31-5) reeled off five straight victories to start the match and grab a 21-0 lead. Hours earlier, Piedmont jumped on TW Andrews 33-0 in the opening round of the dual team playoffs.
Seniors Dylan Nelson (41-1) and Parker Von Egidy (50-0) picked up quick pins in the first three matches at 160 and 182, respectively.
"First match, I felt some of the younger guys — it was at home with a lot of people screaming — I think they were a little bit shell shocked," Panthers head coach Todd Stokes said. "The second match, I think we did much better. We didn't get pinned at all. Our bigger guys, the guys that we count on, Parker (Von Egidy) and Dylan (Nelson) picked up their bonus points. (Kris) Rookard got us a big win and Dalton Graybill picked up a win that I thought was key.
"Probably the biggest match of the night was Brett Underwood beating their state qualifier (Jeff Henson), who was 27-3. Brett, if he wants to and he listens and isn't a hard head, he can qualify for states as a freshman, which is a pretty big thing. He did a real good job tonight."
Piedmont dropped two of three matches between heavyweight and 113 pounds (the match started at the 160-pound weight class) with Reid Kiser picking up a decision at 106.
The Panthers, though, put the match out of reach with three straight victories from Underwood at 120, Daylan Conner at 126 and Dustin Baucom at 132. The run gave Piedmont a 33-7 lead.
Junior Lucas Smith ended the match at 152 pounds with a pin.
The Panthers decided to play out the second round match revealing one of the youngest lower weight class lineups with three freshmen, two sophomores and two seniors at the seven lowest weights. It has been even younger throughout the season with another freshman, Austin Purser, stepping in for Conner before he made his return to the team.
Stokes expects the freshmen to gain from this experience.
"I think it's like cracking the seal on it," Stokes said. "I think we've cracked the seal. They wrestled better in the second match than they did in the first. There's a reason that we go to South Carolina and wrestle in that dual tournament. There's a reason at the Bob Mauldin we have the teams that we have. They have confidence they can wrestle with the best teams in the state. It's just a matter of everybody doing their job. That's kind of what we try to hammer into the freshmen and they're starting to get it."
Senior Bryce Braswell (182/195), who won each of his two playoff matches, likes what he sees from the freshmen.
Braswell understands the Panthers will need some veteran-like performances from the young guys to repeat as 2A state champions.
"It's encouraging," Braswell said. "They fight hard, which is good because they know they can't get pinned. It's going to take everybody doing their job. The meat of our lineup has to get bonus points. Everybody knows their role, either it's to go six minutes or go out there and win if you can."
2A dual team wrestling
playoffs, 2nd round
Piedmont 39, Pisgah 13
106: Reid Kiser (PM) d. Justin Smith 4-0
113: Drew Singleton (PGH) md. Austin Bagley 13-0
120: Brett Underwood (PM) d. Jeff Henson 7-6
126: Daylan Conner (PM) d. Garrett Bailey 11-5
132: Dustin Baucom (PM) d. Dillon O'Neil 7-4
138: Hunter Mease (PGH) d. Thomas Flitz 6-2
145: Thomas Mattingly (PGH) d. Rhett Byrum 7-5
152: Lucas Smith (PM) p. Aidan Rodgers 3:42
*160: Dylan Nelson (PM) p. Austin Browning 0:30
170: Dalton Graybill (PM) d. Ashton Rhinehart 5-2
182: Parker Von Egidy (PM) p. Harry Massie 0:38
195: Bryce Braswell (PM) d. Blake Anderson 4-2
220: Kris Rookard (PM) d. Kyle Terell 5-2
285: Cody Lamb (PGH) d. Will Groves 4-1
Panthers jump out to big lead in openerPiedmont advanced to the second round of the 2A state playoffs with an easy 46-30 victory over TW Andrews in the first match Tuesday night.
The Panthers (30-5) exploded out of the gate with seven straight victories to grab a virtually insurmountable 36-0 lead.
Nelson earned a pin in 3:36 at 160.
Following Nelson was senior Dalton Graybill at 170.
Graybill fell behind 6-2 and needed a huge third period to win. Graybill chipped away until he was down just one with less than a minute remaining.
With 10 seconds left, Graybill took one last shot.
After not being able to finish three previous attempts, Graybill got Christian Armstrong to drop his hip near the out-of-bounds line for the take down and a one-point lead with just eight seconds remaining, giving the Panthers a big momentum boost.
Braswell (182) and Rookard (220) won by pin and Von Egidy took a forfeit at 195.
Will Groves finished the run with a 3-1 victory by decision.
The Panthers gave up a forfeit at 106 and Austin Bagley was not able to fight off the top-ranked 2A 113 Quan Le, allowing the Red Raiders (6-7) to cut the deficit to 36-12.
Underwood needed a victory to end the match and was able to outwork Andrews' Justin Johnson.
The Panthers were content to forfeit matches to stay rested for the second round.
Forest Hills also got past the first round of the 2A state playoffs with a 38-33 victory over host Chase High.
First Round 2A dual team wrestling match
Piedmont 46, TW Andrews 30
106: Alphonso Martin (TWA) FF
113: Quan Le (TWA) p. Austin Bagley 1:12
120: Brett Underwood (PM) md. Justin Johnson 12-4
126: Nicouzi Mitchell (TWA) FF
132: Dustin Baucom (PM) FF
138: Juan Ruiz (TWA) FF
145: Saconney Hill (TWA) FF
*152: Lucas Smith (PM) FF
160: Dylan Nelson (PM) p. Travis Watson 3:36
170: Dalton Graybill (PM) d. Christian Armstrong 7-6
182: Bryce Braswell (PM) p. James Rucker 3:33
195: Parker Von Egidy (PM) FF
220: Kris Rookard (PM) p. Xavier Lovett 3:15
285: Will Groves (PM) d. Jaqwain Hamlin 3-1