'Betsy wrestlers defeat Vikings, lose to 'Toppers

By Marvin Birchfield

   JOHNSON CITY--The Elizabethton High wrestling team traveled to the Topper Palace, where they defeated Tennessee High in a close battle, 38-33, but was hammered by a dominate Science Hill club on Tuesday night.
   The Cyclones came from behind to win the last two matches of the contest against the Vikings, with Tyler Ross making a pin in the third period to defeat David Herzog in the 112-pound weight class.
   "It was a real hard-fought match between us and Tennessee High, and we moved David Hardy, who had a big win for us, up to heavyweight, and then the little man Tyler Ross came through for us at the end," said Elizabethton coach Bill Potter.
   Trailing 12-3 after the first three matches, Elizabethton bounced back to capture four straight wins, two of which came from pinfalls by Cory Henson and David Sayers.
   Tennessee High rallied to grab victories in the next four matches, with Will Prince getting a pin in the third period to defeat Jarrett Taylor, giving the Vikings a 33-26 advantage.
   "We had our team captain (Andy Ross) out tonight and that kind of hurt us. He would have probably scored, and we had to forfeit his weight class," said Potter.
   With two matches left, David Hardy defeated Cody Rouse in the heavyweight with 1:05 left in the contest to pull the Cyclones within one point.
   The final decision rested on the shoulders of Tyler Ross, and he was tied with David Herzog with two points apiece heading into the third period.
   Ross was able to make the pin with under a minute left to give the Cyclones their 11th victory on the season.
   "I just tried to get the win for the team. He came out a little stronger than me in the beginning, but I was able to over power him toward the end," said Ross.
   The Hilltoppers faced the Vikings in the next event, giving Elizabethton a chance to see what it would be up against later on.
   "We had a chance to win the match against Elizabethton, but we didn't capitalize when we needed to, and Science Hill their just that good," said Tennessee High coach Mike Mays.
   Science Hill won the first seven matches, all by pin fall and never reaching the final period of action.
   Finally in the 160-pound class, Cody Rouse was able to outscore Joel White 6-4 on a takedown in the last minute.
   This was all the points the Vikings captured, as Science Hill cruised to a 75-3 victory by making 10 pins in the 12 matches they competed in.
   "There were several matches that could have gone either way, because there's always three or four that are key, but we came out and won those matches," said Science Hill coach Jeff Price.
   The Hilltoppers continued their success when they paired up against the Cyclones.
   Elizabethton never captured a point as it was defeated in all 12 matches they competed in, with seven of them ending by a pinfall.
   "They're just dominate with everybody, and Dobyns-Bennett is the only team that remotely comes close this year. They're well-coached, they work hard, and it shows," said Potter.
   There were only a few close contest between the two schools, as Dustin Baggett came away with victory over David Sayers in the 140-pound class after scoring on a reversal and escape, winning 8-4.
   Hardy possessed some resistance against Andre Gillispe in the 215-pound class, but the Hilltopper managed to score in the final period to win the 9-2 decision.
   Luke Williams scored his second victory on the night by defeating Jon Ross in the 125-pound bracket, which pleased Coach Price.
   "We fought hard and did what we could do and what our coach told us," Williams. "We owe it all to Coach Price."
   Tyler Ross was able to elude a technical knockout by holding off Bo Usary in the final period in the last match of the night.
   "We had a hard month and went on the road and took a lot of tough beatings, and I think their confidence was down a little, but it seems their starting to come around again," said Price.