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All five boys wrestling teams from Johnston County that qualified for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association dual-team wrestling playoffs were eliminated Jan. 29.
Of the five teams, Corinth Holders was the only team to win its first-round matchup. The Pirates, champions of the 4-A Northern Athletic Conference, took down Middle Creek, 37-31 before losing to host Cary in the second round of the four-team pod.
Also exiting Tuesday were North Johnston, Neuse Charter, Cleveland and Clayon.
Against Middle Creek of the 4-A South Wake Conference, the Pirates lost the first four matches for a 16-0 deficit before tying it up five matches later. The Mustangs would regain the lead, 31-26, heading into the last two matches but Hunter Hendricks and Aidan Tauszky of Corinth Holders pinned their opponents for a 37-31 win. Gray Stewart, Javari Wright, Jeffery Palmer, Cooper Carlson and Joseph Emde also picked up wins to help the Pirates advance.
In the second round against Cary, the Pirates fell behind early again as the Imps of the 4-A Triangle 6 Conference took the first three matches for a 15-0 lead. The Pirates led 19-18 five matches later, but the Imps took three of the next four matches to lead 34-25 and held on for the 34-31 win.
The closest North Johnston of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference got in its match with Currituck County of the 2-A Northeastern Coastal Conference was 18-9. The Panthers were only able to grab four of 14 matches against the Knights and lost, 60-18. Diego Santiago, Alton Pratt, Austin Lee, and Justin Richardson were the winners for the Panthers.
Neuse Charter’s results were unavailable in the loss to Pender of the 1-A/2-A Coastal 8 Conference.
Clayton of the 3-A Greater Neuse River would lose the first six matches against West Carteret of the 3-A Coastal Conference, but would fight back and win six of the next eight matches. But the Comets could not overcome the earlier deficit losing 48-33. Ahmayzin Taylor-McDowell, Christian Hopper, Noah Johns, Caleb Cash, Zach Winterstein and Logan Jones all won their matches for Clayton.
Cleveland, the 3-A Greater Neuse Conference champion, took an early 7-6 lead after three matches against Chapel Hill of the 3-A Big 8 Conference, but were only able to win two of the next 11 matches. Hunter Wiley, Dakota Marquess, Nathan Erickson and Jackson Desaulniers all won their matches.