Split wins for Warriors

Published 8:39 pm Thursday, January 6, 2011

Nansemond River’s Demetrious Gray, in red, won both of his 152-pound matches by pins against Indian River and Oscar Smith Wednesday at Oscar Smith. The Warriors (9-4, 2-3) beat Indian River and lost to Oscar Smith.

CHESAPEAKE – Nansemond River split two Southeastern District wrestling dual matches Wednesday night at Oscar Smith, scoring six wins by pins in a 42-31 win over Indian River before falling 42-22 to Oscar Smith.

The Warriors rolled off all their pins and won seven of the eight matches in all between 112 pounds and 152 pounds against the Braves. Graeme Beaman at 130 pounds and Demetrious Gray at 152 led the Warriors going 2-0, each with a pair of pins, on the night.

While Oscar Smith made the night a split decision on the scoreboard for the Warriors, NR made it tougher than the final team score indicated. The Warriors allowed the Tigers three wins by pin, forcing seven of the 10 OS wins to go the distance.

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“The kids are really working hard every day in practice and it’s starting to show. We wrestled very well in both matches tonight,” said NR head coach James Seed.

“We have so many young kids right now. They’re making a lot of improvement but it’s still just taking some time,” Seed said.

Beating the Braves and the loss to the Tigers puts the Warriors at a 2-3 Southeastern District mark. NR’s success outside the district shows how tough life against the Southeastern’s wrestling programs truly is.

In early December the Warriors finished with a 4-1 team record and second of six squads at King’s Fork’s Battleground Duals. The following weekend Nansemond River placed second of 14 teams at the Denbigh Invitational. NR’s non-district record is 7-1.

Nick Garland, at 112 pounds, started Nansemond River’s big run of momentum over Indian River. Garland turned his escape directly into putting his Brave opponent on the mat for a pin 0:56 into the first period.

Jake Reichart led his 119-pound match 9-4 before winning with a pin with 0:46 left in the final period.

Jamie Meyer won with a pin 2:56 into his 125-pound match and Beaman made it four straight Warrior pins 1:36 into his match.

At 135, Demetrius Ortiz worked for the first 1:45 of the second period to escape and gain a 1-0 lead. With a 3-2 lead in the final seconds his opponent escaped, to the disagreement of the Warrior coaching staff, a second before the horn to force overtime. Ortiz scored with a takedown 0:11 into overtime giving NR a 27-6 team lead.

Saquan Branch, at 145, led 5-0 after one period and turned another takedown into a pin with 0:45 left in the second period. Gray dominated as well, nearly gaining a pin in the final seconds of the first period before completing the win shortly into the second period. NR led 38-12 at that point.

Tyrone Wilson won his 171-pound match 12-3 to gain a clinching lead for the Warriors with three classes left to go.

The Warriors must prepare quickly for another serious test of the strides they’re making. Nansemond River and Lakeland will wrestle in the 31st Annual Virginia Duals Friday and Saturday at the Hampton Coliseum.

The Suffolk rivals will meet in their second-round match if both win or both lose their opening duals Friday.

Nansemond River clashes against Grafton and Lakeland meets Ocean Lakes, the No. 1 seed in the Black and Blue Division, both at 5 p.m. The Warriors and Cavaliers competed in the same division last season. NR went 2-2 and Lakeland went 1-2.

Forty-eight high schools squads from all over the East compete in three 16-team divisions in the Duals. The tournament, including college and middle school divisions, starts Friday at 9 a.m.