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RALEIGH — Junior Aaron Bancroft and senior Joseph Speight each finished second in their respective weight classes to lead the Fike High wrestling team to a seventh-place finish out of 31 teams at the WRAL Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 23.
Five other Golden Demons placed in the top eight of their respective divisions, led by sophomore Jayleen Bullock in third place at 195 pounds. Also earning places were sixth-place Saulo Rodriguez (285 pounds) along with Taylor Gay (126), Noah Gullet (152) and Zametrie Bagley (220), all of whom finished eighth.
Bancroft pinned his first two opponents in less than 30 seconds each before winning a 5-3 decision against Ricardo Harrington of Cave Spring (Roanoke, Virginia) in the 160-pound semifinals. Bancroft was defeated in a 7-5 decision in the final by Jaden Bullock of Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Virginia), which won the team competition.
After receiving two byes at 182 pounds, Speight claimed a win by fall and then by technical fall, setting a semifinals showdown with Bryan Aragao of North Brunswick. Speight prevailed 3-2 but was pinned in the championship match by Holden Cypher of Raleigh Millbrook.
Bullock ended up 4-1 on the day, losing a 10-7 decision in the 195-pound semifinals before bouncing back with two wins in the consolation bracket.
Fike will compete in the four-team Big Horn Duals on Friday and Saturday at Havelock.
SWE falls in Nash Co. tournament final
ROCKY MOUNT — A big second-half run by Rocky Mount sunk Southwest Edgecombe’s chances at winning the girls basketball Nash County Christmas Tournament on Saturday, 51-36.
The 2-A Eastern Plains Conference Lady Cougars (7-1) took a 22-20 lead at halftime, but the 3-A Big East Conference Lady Gryphons (5-2) came out and won the third quarter 16-9 on their way to a 51-36 victory. It was the first loss in eight games for SouthWest while Rocky Mount rose to 5-2.
Southwest Edgecombe was led by a pair of sophomores — Alonee Smallwood with 15 points and Jada Battle with 11 points, seven assists and five steals.
To get to the championship game, Southwest defeated East Wake of the 3-A Greater Neuse River Conference 59-52 in the semifinals Friday after dispatching Northern Nash of the 3-A Big East 46-42 in the first round Thursday.
Bailey Davis led the way against the Lady Warriors (7-4) with 21 points. Battle also finished with 14 points, 11 assists and five steals. Smallwood tallied nine points.
Davis also led the way against the Lady Knights (1-7) with 17 points in the first round. Smallwood grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go with her 11 points. Kenasja Dunn added seven points as well.
The Cougars will next be in action on Friday in the Edgecombe County Holiday Classic at 3:30 p.m. against Southeast Halifax (0-8) at Tarboro High.
SW EDGECOMBE (36)
Smallwood 15, Battle 11, Davis 5, Moody 3, Thigpen 2
ROCKY MOUNT (51)
Pittman 18, Moore 16, Morris 8, Wiggins 3, Barnes 3, Coleman 2, Young 1, Wilkins
Score by quarters:
SW Edgecombe 11 11 9 5 — 36
Rocky Mount 9 11 16 15 — 51
Cougars take 7th in Nash Christmas tourney
ROCKY MOUNT — Keishon Porter scored 24 points as the SouthWest Edgecombe varsity boys basketball team salvaged seventh place in the Nash County Christmas Tournament with a 64-59 win over Nash Central on Saturday.
The Cougars trailed 46-44 their 2-A Eastern Plains Conference rivals heading into the fourth quarter before rallying to even their record at 4-4 after losing their first two games of the tournament. Freshman Zay Mayo added 18 points in the victory while senior Jayden Lewis tallied 10 points as well.
The Bulldogs dropped to 1-7 with their fourth straight loss.
East Wake handed SouthWest Edgecombe a 66-51 loss in the consolation semifinals after 3-A Big East Conference Northern Nash blasted the Cougars 74-50 in the first round.
Porter again led SWE with 17 points while Lewis and May had 12 and nine points respectively against the 3-A Greater Neuse River Conference Warriors, now 6-3. Porter averaged 16 points a game in the tourney.
The Knights, No. 12 in the Maxpreps.com 3-A rankings, eventually won the tournament, beating fellow Big East foes Southern Nash and Rocky Mount.
Freshman Jaquan Wilkins and junior Dorian Ruffin led the Cougars in scoring with eight points each.
The Cougars will next be in action on Friday in the Edgecombe County Holiday Classic against Southeast Halifax (0-7) at Tarboro High.