Ellis wrestling outlasts South

Published 1:42 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

How about the improvement from Ellis’ wrestling team. Last year the Jaguars sputtered to 3-6 during a trying season that included two head coaches, with Charles Compton taking over after the season began.

This season has been a different story, with Ellis surpassing last year’s win total during a 57-46 road win over South Davie on Nov. 6.

It was the Jaguars’ fourth straight win, and it was their first win over South since January 2019.

Ellis collected 10 pins from Taylor White, Slayt Means, Eli Walker, Jaxon Gay, Austin Eggers, Daniel Hennessey, Luke Hannah, Carter Hoots, Henry Butler and Brodie Newman. Garrett Whitaker won a decision.

South got seven pins from Anthony Ciancimino (76), KJ McClelland (106), Dreighton Lunnerman (132), Xander Proctor (152), Jason Voss (160), Caleb Edwards (170) and Brandon Paster (195). Elijah Tatum won a major decision at 98.

Whitaker’s decision over South’s Zion Lyons was a 10-9 slobberknocker. Compton said it was one of those terrific matches where there really wasn’t a loser.

“Garrett was down 7-5 going into third,” Compton said. “We chose down and gave up two near fall, making it a 9-5 deficit. Garrett has heart and never gives up. He kept moving and improving his position. He got the reversal and put Lyons on his back for three near fall. When the buzzer went off, both wrestlers just laid on the mat for a few seconds. What an absolute great performance from these guys. Anytime a middle school match goes five minutes without a pin, it’s a great match.”

Ayden Davis wasn’t among Ellis’ 13 victors – he lost a major decision to South’s Tatum – but no one made Compton prouder than this first-year wrestler.

“With only 20 days of practice, Ayden is a sponge and wants to learn everything,” Compton said. “He’s going to be a problem for some kids.”

While Ellis improved to 4-2 and stopped a six-match losing streak to South, it was another gut-wrenching loss for the 1-5 Tigers. It’s been one of those years where it feels like it’s just not meant to be.

“I was missing Rico Evans (the 90-pounder who was out sick),” coach Russell Hilton said. “Colten Beck is really my 83, but I had to bump him to 90. If Rico is there, he probably pins at 90 and I keep Colten at 83, and who knows what happens at 83?”

ND 59, Moor 42

North Davie survived a tough test at Mooresville on Nov. 6.

The Wildcats bolted to leads of 17-0 and 23-6, but the Red Devils came storming back and took a 30-23 lead after the match at 132.

North did not flinch. It buried the hosts with a 36-6 onslaught down the stretch.

“They were good from 98-132, but we weathered the storm,” coach Jamey Holt said.

North’s seven pinners were Dominic Ishuin (83), Charlie Mitchell (90), Graylan Anderson (106), Taylor Shenberger (138), Isaac O’Toole (145), Jaden Dillard (170) and Nathan Smith (220). Chris Gonzalez (76) won by technical fall.

“Gonzalez had him on his back three different times,” Holt said. “Graylan was down and took the guy to his back for a huge pin. Jaden put the match away with his pin. He was very patient and let the match come to him; didn’t rush anything.”

ND 78, Selma 27

One day later, the Wildcats didn’t have any trouble at home against Selma Burke.

Gonzalez (76), Ishuin (83), Anderson (106), Preston Young (113), Jacob Sides (120), Kolby Long (126), Jack Greer (145), O’Toole (152) and Peyton Jordan (170) recorded pins, and the Bears gifted four forfeits as North (5-1) pushed its winning streak to four.

Gonzalez, Ishuin, O’Toole and Dillard are all 6-0 on the season.

WR 56, Ellis 40

Ellis’ winning streak was stopped at West Rowan on Nov. 8.

Hennessey, Allen Moxley, Angelina Salas, Butler, Tristan Lash and Finn Sink produced pins, and Hoots and Aiden Mock won decisions.