Prep mats see 'Clones top DC, lose to Boone

By Marvin Birchfield

   JONESBOROUGH--The Elizabethton High wrestling team enjoyed a close victory in their battle with David Crockett Tuesday, but was no match for Daniel Boone as the Cyclones went 1-1 on the night.
   It was a hard-fought victory for the Cyclones against the Pioneers, as the contest wasn't decided until the final match of the evening.
   "Some of our young kids stepped up, and some of our older kids struggled a little, but I'm proud of the overall effort," said Elizabethton coach Bill Potter.
   Both teams had 30 points apiece heading into the final event, then the Cyclones' Jared Taylor came away with a pin-fall in the last minute of the second period.
   "We didn't get our heads down and kept them up, so then we just went with it," said Taylor.
   Taylor jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the first period over Adam Copas by connecting on several takedowns and making a reversal.
   Copas came back after trailing by nine points to close within four, as the fatigue factor seem to be setting in for Taylor midway through the second period.
   "I figured out I need to be a little bit better conditioned in my match, and we just need to work a little harder in our practices," said Taylor. "I was getting pretty tired and just gave everything I had then."
   Taylor managed to catch a second wind and was able to score on another reverse before capturing the Cyclone win on a pin-fall with 44 seconds left.
   Elizabethon had to come back from a 12-point deficit to start the match, after posting forfeits in a couple of weight classes.
   Tyler Ross was the first Cyclone to score, pinning Stevie Elswick in the 119 weight class with 25 seconds left in the first period.
   Elizabethton tied the contest when John Ross managed to outscore Jamie Devault 12-1 in the 130 weight class.
   The Cyclones grabbed their first lead of the night after a dominated first period by Patrick Jenkins resulted in a win over Matt Bowling in the 145 class.
   Elizabethton stretched its advantage to 12 points when Mitch Cornett made another pin-fall on Adam Depew, as it seemed that the Cyclones might acquire the win before the final event.
   Crockett came back to post two straight victories, with two pinfalls coming from Michael Gardner and Adam Depew.
   That set up the last match of the event, with Taylor helping the Cyclones get victory in the closing minute of the second period.
   "That was a tough way to lose going into the final match, but the thing is I think we can have a good season if we can avoid injury and illness," said Crockett coach Roger Hill. "We just couldn't compete with some of the guys they had, and Elizabethon really took it to us and it was a heartbreaking way to lose."
   Things didn't go so well for Elizabethton in its head-to-head competition with Daniel Boone, as it fell victim to a 53-12 loss in team play.
   "We're real young and things will be changing in a few weeks with our weight classes. We have one guy that has transferred and will be eligible next week for us," said Potter. "We'll be a much better team, and I think we'll be able to compete with Boone before the end of the season."
   The Trailblazers enjoyed a 12-0 early lead after the first two weight classes were ruled as a forfeit. Ryan McGraw showed why he was the third-place finisher in the state last season with a second round pin-fall over Heath Honeycutt.
   "Our team has been working out and we've gotten better with our conditioning," said McGraw. "I've went up in weight since last year and it's a big weight difference, but I think I'll do good."
   Boone continued to dominate with a victory by submission from Casey Baker over Chris Hubbard.
   It was 36-0 in team points before the Cyclones finally scored in the 145 weight class, with Jenkins pinning Tanner Cagle with 36 seconds left in the first round.
   "Tonight we were overmatched and were no match for them," said Potter. "Chris Hubbard did a good job by wrestling one of Boone's better wrestlers, and I thought Heath Honeycutt also did a good job by taking on one of their state medalists."
   The only other victory the Cyclones could muster was a pin-fall in the 189 class, with Zack Potter defeating Matt Stout with just over a minute into the action.
   Daniel Boone was the bigger winner on the night, as it also defeated Crockett, by a team final of 52-27.
   "We've worked hard all year and in the off season, and tonight we wanted to come out here and show we're ready to compete for a regional championship," said Daniel Boone coach Reid Ratliff. "We're not there yet but I think we took a big step tonight."