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WILMINGTON—West Brunswick High School’s wrestling team ended the regular season on high note Saturday with a runner-up finish at the Mideastern 3A/4A Conference Tournament.
The Trojans had one first-place finisher, three seconds, three thirds and four fourths and compiled 132 points in the seven-team tournament at Hoggard High School.
Laney, the regular-season conference champion, set the pace in the league tournament as well. The Buccaneers had five individual champions and won the tournament with a whopping 205 points.
Following West Brunswick in the team standings were White Oak with 130 points, Hoggard with 97, Jacksonville with 81, Ashley with 72.5 and New Hanover with 54.
“I thought we wrestled really well. With the exception of two people, we had everybody place in the top four. I felt good about that,” said West Brunswick coach Jimmy Caraway.
“Beating White Oak by two points was a victory for us. We’re high right now. We’re riding a big wave.”
West Brunswick’s only conference champion was senior Josh Sergent in the 119-pound weight class. He won a 5-2 decision against Laney’s Anthony Colon in the championship match.
“It was a close match,” Caraway said. “I think Josh was a little worn out from practice all week. He did just enough to win the match. It happens sometimes. You can’t dominate all the time.”
Sergent has been dominant most of the season. He owns a 30-1 record and is ranked third in the state in his weight class.
“He’s had a great senior season. He’s done everything he’s needed to do to get to this point. The kid has worked so hard,” Caraway said.
“I don’t know if West has had a conference champion in a long time in any individual sport. He’s the kind of kid that every coach wants to coach. You tell him to do it and he does it.”
West Brunswick’s three runners-up at the conference tournament were Dylan Bernier at 103 pounds, Joey Moreno at 171 and Brian Conness at 189.
Placing third were Brian Dillman at 125, Deven Ruane at 152 and Dixon Floyd at heavyweight. All three recorded pins in the consolation finals.
Caraway said Dillman and Floyd both wrestled well in the semifinals, losing close decisions to Jacksonville’s Jonathan Langholtz and Hoggard’s Jonathan Cooper, respectively.
“We got hosed at a few weight classes, like Dixon wrestling Cooper in the semis instead of the finals. Dixon did a good job. He only lost 3-0. He came back and got third place, which I knew he would,” Caraway said.
“Brian Dillman wrestled a great match against Langholtz, a two-time state qualifier. Then he came back and got third.”
Finishing fourth for the Trojans were Troy Ruane at 112, Jake Boudreau at 130, Tyquan Ash at 140 and Dylan Bowman at 215.
Based on its regular-season record, West Brunswick qualified for the state dual team playoffs for the first time since 2003. The Trojans (15-5) made it as a wild card team based on their overall winning percentage.
West Brunswick was scheduled to wrestle Coastal 3A Conference champion Havelock in a first-round match Tuesday at C.B. Aycock High School. Aycock and Eastern Alamance made up the other half of the district bracket.
“I’m not going to say we’re just happy to be there, but we are glad to be there and whatever happens happens,” Caraway said. “Havelock is a good team. They’ve been a state champ before.”
West Brunswick, White Oak and Jacksonville finished in a three-way tie for second place in the conference during the regular season. Jacksonville won a drawing for the league’s automatic playoff berth.
Caraway said he never expected a state playoff berth at the start of the season.
“They exceeded my expectations 10-fold. I figured we’d be young with a good individual team and four or five guys who could place high. These guys have come together and worked hard and shown heart,” he said.
“I think our conditioning level has helped us out a lot this year. I think we’re in better shape than most teams.
“It’s been a great season. It’s not over by any means. But if it would end today, it’s been one of the best seasons I’ve ever had as a coach.”
1. Laney 205
2. West Brunswick 132
3. White Oak 130
4. Hoggard 97
5. Jacksonville 81
6. Ashley 72.5
7. New Hanover 54
Weight Wrestler School
103 Boomer Boyd Laney
112 Jake Martin Laney
119 Josh Sergent West Brunswick
125 Jonathan Langholtz Jacksonville
130 J.C. Wagner Laney
135 Adam Albrecht Hoggard
140 Adam Wagner Laney
145 Frank Hickman Laney
152 Terrence Zaleski White Oak
160 Tyler Marva White Oak
171 Matt Ochoa Jacksonville
189 H.L. Temoney Ashley
215 Eric Norvell White Oak
285 Jonathan Cooper Hoggard
103: Baltazar (A) pin Vaughn (NH), 1:11; 112: Goldsmith (WO) pin T. Ruane (WB), 2:27; 119: Rose (WO) pin Hurd (J), 2:17; 125: Dillman (WB) pin Rolden (NH), 1:56; 130: Spaulding (H) pin Boudreau (WB), 2:02; 135: McLeod (NH) dec. Rudder (WO), 6-3; 140: Griggs (A) pin Ash (WB), :59; 145: Mask (A) dec. Hoover (WO), 8-4; 152: D. Ruane (WB) pin Shelton (NH), 3:40; 160: Ortiz (NH) pin Leagan (L), 2:24; 171: Eggeling (H) dec. Thurman (L), 5-0; 189: Miller (WO) pin Wooten (L), 4:19; 215: Wilson (J) dec. Bowman (WB), 9-8; 285: Floyd (WB) pin Cardwell (A), 2:11.
103: Boyd (L) pin Bernier (WB), 4:37; 112: Martin (L) pin Leonard (NH), 3:55; 119: Sergent (WB) dec. Colon (L), 5-2; 125: Langholtz (J) dec. Miller (L), 9-5; 130: J. Wagner (L) pin Burris (WO), 3:01; 135: Albrecht (H) dec. Lewis (L), 7-2; 140: A. Wagner (L) maj. dec. Walker (H), 20-7; 145: Hickman (L) def. Colon (J) by default, 1:30; 152: Zaleski (WO) dec. Hoke (L), 7-6; 160: Marva (WO) pin Armstrong (A), :41; 171: Ochoa (J) pin Moreno (WB), 1:22; 189: Temoney (A) pin Conness (WB), 1:30; 215: Norvell (WO) dec. Leonard (H), 7-5; 285: Cooper (H) pin Phillips (L), 2:50.