Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot third in Conway

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers continue their impressive run through the wrestling season. On Saturday, the Panthers finished third in the 27-team meet at the Conway Expo Center, hosted by Greenbrier High School.

Rogers High won the meet with 218 team points while Springdale Har-Ber took second with 204.5. Cabot compiled 152 points while Catholic had 149.5 and Greenwood 147.5 to round out the top five.

The Panthers have not lost a dual or tri-match this season, and have also won two tournaments and finished second and third in two others. The Cabot team didn’t win any first-place medals at Conway, but did send 11 wrestlers beyond preliminaries into the championship rounds, and garnered two second-place performances.

Dillan Friesner lost for just the second time in 31 matches this season in the championship match of the 126-pound division. Michael Morgan ran his season record to 30-3 by advancing to the final of the 138-pound division.

In the championship round one on Saturday, Morgan defeated Patterson Abon of Springdale by fall at the 1:28 mark. He also took little time in pinning North Little Rock’s Gabe Curlin 2:22 into the match. That advanced Morgan into the quarterfinal round where he pinned Tanner Collins of Springdale Har-Ber. In the semifinals, he won a decision over Rogers’ Heath Henman.

In the championship match, Morgan lost by technical fall to Pulaski Academy’s Nick Noel, who improved his season record to 40-2 with the win.

Friesner pinned Fayetteville’s Noah Logan in round one on Saturday, then pinned Catholic High’s Kevin Roach in round two. In the quarterfinals, he won by technical fall over Central Arkansas Christian’s Cody Reynolds, and then advanced to the championship when Caleb Royal of Rogers Heritage forfeited his semifinal match.

There he faced undefeated Pulaski Academy Bruin Michael Crockett, and gave Crockett one of his toughest matches of the season. But the 33-0 Bruin pulled off a hard-fought 6-4 decision for the first-place medal.

Cabot’s Tyler Giorgini took third place in the 220-pound division and improved to 30-6 this season. He lost his quarterfinal match to Max Wester of Rogers after winning in the first two rounds. He then pinned CAC’s Jackson Kirby at the 1:24 mark. Further along in the consolation bracket, Giorgini made it three pins in a row, winning by fall over Conway’s Hunter Bogard and Sheridan’s Maleek Caton. He then won the third-place match by an 8-6 decision over Bobby Hill of Bentonville.

Other medal winners for Cabot included Clayton and Cameron Pitchford, who finished fifth in the 106- and 120-pound divisions, respectively. Clayton Pitchford is now 23-7 on the season and Cameron Pitchford is 20-5. Erik Cooley took fifth in the 145-pound division and ran his season record to 15-3.

Cabot’s next competition will be at Catholic High on Friday in a tri-match with the Rockets and Mountain Home. The next home match will be next Tuesday with North Little Rock, Benton and Sheridan.