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Grapplers finish second at Tunstall Duals

Johnny Thaxton went undefeated in taking home the medal for the 285-pound weight class, and Ethan Collie, Parth Patel, Gannon Griffin and Ezra Walker each went 4-1, as the Comets’ wrestling team finished in a tie for second-place at the Tunstall Duals on Saturday. The Comets (36 points) were 3-2 on the day, defeating Greensboro Day School (21), Bartlett Yancey (25), and host Tunstall (31), and losing to Carey Academy (39) and first-place Bassett High School (45).

Halifax County was capable of winning first-place at the duals, but came up short after catching some unlucky breaks, according to coach Brady Taylor, who noted the performance of Thaxton at the duals.

“Johnny had a great day. He won a couple by forfeits, but the matches he had he dominated,” said Taylor, who thought the team came out a little flat before picking it up as the day wore on.

“We were lucky against Greensboro, and we were a little flat that first match, but we wrestled better as the day went on.,” said Taylor.

“The Carey Academy match was definitely winnable, as was Bassett, but we just caught a couple unlucky breaks and lost them both.”

Taylor said he had to bump the lineup around all day to cover forfeits as well as get the best match ups, with mixed results.

“All the moves paid off against Tunstall, and we were able to get one back from them after Wednesday’s match,” he explained.

“Unfortunately, I made a move in the Bassett match at 145 (pounds) that ended up working against us.

“It happens, and we still had a good chance to beat them but we could have clinched it by then.”

Taylor was pleased with how some of his newer wrestlers fared at the duals.

“A lot of the new guys are really starting to come around,” he noted.

“Austin Wedenborn is starting to wrestle well, and he won a couple of big matches for us today.

“Ezra Walker had a pretty good day, too. He went 4-1 and his only loss was to a tough kid from Bartlett Yancey.

“Cody Womack had to wrestle at 145 and 152 throughout the day, after Lequandre Kinzy tweaked his knee, and he filled in well for us.

“Kinzy could have probably gone a few more matches, but Cody was there and we had confidence in him to do well.

“Ethan (120/126), Parth (126/132) and Gannon (145-152) all went 4-1 on the day at different weight classes and looked good.

“They all have some experience, and it’s starting to pay off, so we’re counting on them to continue wrestling well.”

The Comets host the first Western Valley District dual meet Wednesday, and Taylor already has a strategy in mind.

“We won’t be able to juggle the lineup, so we’ll have a couple more forfeits than usual, but Wednesday will be more about setting up seeding for individuals than it will be about a team record,” he explained.

“That said, we do expect to pick up a couple wins as a team Wednesday.”