Cavs on the mat

Published 9:12 pm Friday, December 25, 2009

Lakeland made the most of hosting the first annual Mike Duman “Toys 4 Tots” Wrestling Invitational on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Cavaliers had six wrestlers earn their way into the final match of their respective weight classes. Lakeland’s Alex Sari won the 152-pound division and was named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

The Cavaliers placed second in the 17-team field. Nansemond River finished sixth in the team standings. King’s Fork finished 15th. Fellow Southeastern District school Oscar Smith won the tournament.

Along with prevailing in their final matches, Sari and Howell made for two of the most dramatic matches of Wednesday’s action.

Sari trailed in his final match against Oscar Smith’s Anthony Copeland throughout. At the start of the third period, Sari suddenly reversed a hold by Copeland and, at least according to the Cavalier fans in attendance, nearly scored a pin about eight seconds into the period. Sari kept being the aggressor and finished the match less than 30 seconds later.

Justin Howell, at 215, made it two individual champions for the Cavs with a 6-5 victory over Calvin Davis of Lee-Davis. Davis escaped Howell to take a 3-2 lead with 1:26 left in the third period. With the clock going under 0:15 left, Howell threw Davis to the mat for a takedown and a near fall for four points. Davis reversed Howell with 0:02 left, but the clock ran out leaving Howell with the narrow win.

Colin Rice (119), Trey Freeman (125), Lance Smith (140) and Cory Beale (171) finished second in their divisions for the Cavaliers.

Terrance Hardy (160) was the top wrestler for Nansemond River. Hardy won four straight matches on Wednesday to finish 5-1 and third place in his class.