Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
BETHEL — Fike High senior wrestler Aaron Bancroft claimed a weight-class championship for the fourth straight year at the 28th Pierce-Davis Memorial Tournament on Saturday at North Pitt High.
Bancroft was joined by junior teammate Jayleen Bullock as individual champions in the tournament, which attracted 23 teams, to help the Golden Demons to a runner-up finish behind Oscar Smith High, a Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Association 6-A powerhouse program from Chesapeake, Virginia.
Bancroft, won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A championship at 160 pounds last year, won all three of his matches by fall to improve to 12-0 on the season. He was selected the tourney's Most Outstanding Wrestler for the third time
Fike head coach Brad Watson said he told Bancroft before the tournament to just enjoy the moment in a career that will be over in a little more than two months. The only negative for Bancroft was that he didn’t get a rematch against Oscar Smith’s Jaden Bullock, the VIAA 6-A 160-pound champion last year who handed Bancroft his only loss in 53 matches last season. Bullock was reportedly taking his college entrance exam Saturday and didn’t make the trip to Wilson.
Fike’s Bullock raised his record to 11-0 as he won three matches to capture the 195-pound crown. Bullock pinned August Basco of Peninsula Catholic, another Virginia school, in 1:33 in the final.
Fike senior Jahmez Settles, now 11-2, settled for runner-up at 106 pounds after losing a 6-3 decision to Oscar Smith’s Trevon Gray in the final. Three other Demons placed in the top four. Senior Garrett Weaver (10-1) placed third at 132 pounds, losing for the first time this season in the semifinals to Oscar Smith’s Jaheid Lucas, the Virginia 6-A runner-up at 120 pounds last season. Fike junior Cam McCullen tied for third at 145 and sophomore Antwan Macedo was fourth at 126.
Oscar Smith scored 188 points to win, followed by Fike at 176.5. North Johnston finished 15th with 56 points while SouthWest Edgecombe was 22nd with 17 points.
Leading the Panthers were seniors Parker Hayes and Alton Pratt, each of whom finished fourth at 220 and 285 pounds, respectively.
Fike will wrestle in a quad match Thursday at J.H. Rose in Greenville with Hunt and North East Carolina Prep participating.
CBA’s Hughes, Decatur take Swiss Bear titles
NEW BERN — Led by seniors Tyler Hughes and Christian Decatur, C.B. Aycock had five wrestlers place in the top four of their respective weight classes as the Golden Falcons finished sixth out of 15 teams at the Swiss Bear Class on Saturday at New Bern High.
Decatur was proclaimed the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler as he won three matches to improve to 14-0 on the season in winning the 120-pound division. His 11-second pin of Topsail’s Ben Baker in the final also earned Decatur the tournament’s fastest pin honor.
Hughes rose to 15-0 with a trio of technical fall decisions to claim the 152-pound title.
Junior Omar Tucker was the 132-pound runner-up while junior Turner Bass took second at 195 pounds. Junior Johnathan Parks tied for third at 113 pounds.
In the junior varsity tournament, CBA freshman Rusty Davis took second at 126 pounds while Jaden Bevell was third at 113 and Veronika Quinn placed fifth at 120.
Host New Bern edged Croatan to claim the team win in the varsity tournament.
Rosas paces Firebirds at Green Hope Grapple
CARY — Despite having just five wrestlers on hand Saturday, Southern Nash placed 15th out of 22 teams at the Green Hope Grapple.
Junior Tristan Rosas was the only Southern Nash wrestler to place in the top four in his weight division at the tournament, hosted by Green Hope High.
Rosas went 4-1 on the day in the 220-pound division, tying for third place with Chason Bryant of Fayetteville Cape Fear after both wrestlers had reached the five-match limit for the day. Rosas pinned his first opponent before losing to Eastern Guilford’s Jacob Vickers in the semifinals. Rosas then won three matches, two by fall, to reach the consolation final.
Firebirds Jonathan Salazar (113 pounds) and Noah Fulghum (152) each went 2-1, losing in the consolation semifinals. Heavyweight Tariq McCargo lost his opening match but reeled off two consolation wins before also falling in the consolation semis.
Knights rally past Leesville Road at Millbrook Showcase
RALEIGH — Greenfield School varsity boys basketball coach Rob Salter had seen enough by halftime of his team’s game against Leesville Road of Raleigh on Saturday in the Millbrook High Showcase.
The Knights, the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A champions last season, had trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half and were behind 35-23 at the half.
“That was the worst first half a team of mine has ever played!” Salter said, ticking off the Knights’ 13 turnovers and 5-of-15 shooting at the foul line as main reasons for the deficit.
Greenfield rallied in the third quarter and finally took the lead with about three minutes to play in the fourth, holding on for a 69-65 victory.
“We had a little heart-to-heart at the half,” Salter said. “I told them I didn’t know what team that was but we’ve come back and won games against good teams.
“I think our senior leadership came through for us in the second half. ... We started sharing the ball and playing a bit like we were supposed to.”
The Knights (8-2) also started making free throws, going 26 of 29 at the stripe in the second half.
Greenfield also held Leesville Road star junior point guard Carter Whitt, who has been offered by N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts, to one point in the fourth quarter after watching Whitt pump in 25 points in the first three quarters.
The Pride, which won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A Cap 7 Conference tournament last season, dropped to 3-2.
The Knights were led by seniors Dji Bailey with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Trey Pittman with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Classmate Creighton Lebo bucketed a team-high 16 points while another senior, Collin Guilford, added 13 points.
The Knights head to Erwin on Tuesday to face Cape Fear Christian.
Guilford 13, Lynch 8, Bailey 14, Pittman 13, Lebo 16, Evans 5, Holland, Sessoms.
LEESVILLE ROAD (65)
Hakeram, G. Whitt 2, C. Whitt 26, Martin 16, D. Daniels 9, McKenzie 2, Zemonek 10.