Starmount bests Cardinals in back-and-forth affair

				                                Ian Jones attempts to pin East Wilkes’ Alan Lopez in the 113-pound of Starmount’s win on Thursday night. Jones won the match via an 8-0 major decision.

Ian Jones attempts to pin East Wilkes’ Alan Lopez in the 113-pound of Starmount’s win on Thursday night. Jones won the match via an 8-0 major decision.

BOONVILLE — Thursday night’s wrestling match between Starmount and East Wilkes very much resembled an old grandfather clock where the pendulum of momentum swung back and forth multiple times.

In the end, it was the Rams closing out their regular dual season schedule on a positive note with a thrilling 40-36 win.

The key Northwest 1A Conference tussle had four lead changes, and no match personified that back-and-forth affair more than the one at 195 pounds.

Raul Lopez, of East Wilkes, and Starmount’s Ronald Gray locked up in what turned out to be a grueling, eight-minute bout.

Lopez led 2-1 after the first period and was tied 4-4 after two. Gray took a 6-5 advantage late in the third period before the sophomore tied the match after six minutes of regulation with an escape.

Neither grappler could get the necessary takedown to claim sudden victory in the one-minute overtime, which meant the bout went to a pair of two 30-second extra sessions.

In the first 30 seconds, Lopez scored an escape and a takedown and then held on in the second 30 seconds for a 9-6 decision that gave the Cardinals a five-point lead (33-38).

Grayson Sebastian followed suit for East Wilkes at 220 pounds as he earned a 3-1 decision over Mason Anthony to go up 36-28 with two bouts left in the match.

With the Cardinals knowing that it would forfeit at 106 pounds, the 285-pound bout between Starmount’s Johnatan Argueta and East Wilkes’ Peyton Mahan would determine the winner of the match.

Argueta took a 2-0 advantage after one period and it grew to 5-1 after two. The junior took an 8-1 lead with a takedown in the third period and ultimately claimed the pin with 12 seconds left in the third to gain the match-clinching points for his team.

The Rams drew first blood in the match as Ian Jones claimed an 8-0 major decision in the 113-pound bout over Alan Lopez.

East Wilkes (22-7, 1-2) took control with a trio of pinfall victories, including first-period pins from Robert Craft and Collin White at 120 and 126 pounds, respectively.

In a match with so many lead changes, surprisingly, both teams held at least a 10-point advantage at separate points in the match.

Jake Borders with the pin at 132 pounds gave the Cardinals a 14-point lead at 18-4.

The Rams, who closed out the conference slate at 3-2 (16-6 overall), responded with 24 unanswered points and took a 28-18 lead after Tristan Blevins’ pin at 160 pounds.

Drew Livadaras (138 pounds), Cole Nixon (145 pounds) and Alexis Echavarria (152 pounds) also collected victories by pin during the run.

Following the Cardinals’ tri-match with Elkin and Mount Airy, all four teams (along with South Stokes, Alleghany and North Stokes) will compete in the individual conference tournament this coming Saturday at East Wilkes.

Starmount 40, East Wilkes 36

106: George Neal (ST) forfeit

113: Ian Jones (ST) major d. Alan Lopez 8-0

120: Robert Craft (EW) p. Dominic Adams 0:44

126: Collin White (EW) p. Jacob Palsrock 0:57

132: Jake Borders (EW) p. Jacob Shore 2:33

138: Drew Livadaras (ST) p. Tylor White 3:18

145: Cole Nixon (ST) p. Wesley Willey 2:57

152: Alexis Echavarria (ST) p. Braylon Walker 5:13

160: Tristan Blevins (ST) p. Rhett Hudson 1:29

170: Bryson Shumate (EW) p. Evan Shore 1:56

182: Tristan Alkire (EW) p. Cade Abernathy 4:34

195: Raul Lopez (EW) SV Ronald Gray 9-6

220: Grayson Sebastian (EW) d. Mason Anthony 3-1

285: Johnatan Argueta (ST) p. Tristan Mahan 5:48

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