Orange Wrestling Opens with Gray’s Creek in State Dual Playoffs Tuesday Night

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Updated: January 29, 2018

Orange Wrestling’s 16 consecutive Big 8 Conference Championship will direct them to an opening round matchup against a familiar face on Tuesday night.

The Panthers will face Grey’s Creek in the opening round of the 32-team 3A state dual team playoffs on Tuesday night at Orange High starting at 6. Orange defeated Gray’s Creek last February in Hope Mills to win the Eastern Regional Championship. This season, the Bears are 11-7.

If Orange wins over Grey’s Creek on Tuesday, they will face either Eden Morehead or Franklinton in the 2nd round that same night. In 2016, Morehead and Orange had a classic match in the 2nd round of the state playoffs which saw Morehead rally from a 12-0 deficit to defeat the Panthers 31-29. The entire match boiled down to the final bout at heavyweight, where Morehead’s George Blackstone defeated Orange’s Daylan Alston 13-3 to advance to the round of 8. Four days later, Morehead claimed the state championship by beating Enka 39-30.

The entire bracket can be viewed here. 

If Orange and Morehead (also nicknamed the Panthers) do meet, it will be the sixth time in seven years they’ve squared off in the state playoffs.

Orange is the defending Eastern Regional Champion. They fell to Piedmont last season in Monroe in another dramatic final which came to the final bout. Piedmont (32-1) is the top seed from the Southern Carolina Conference.

The regional semifinals and finals will take place on Thursday at a location to be determined. This year, the state championship meet will take place at the Greensboro Coliseum Fieldhouse, the home of the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA Gatorade League. In recent years, the state championship has been held at a host team’s gymnasium. In 2017, the 3A final was held at Piedmont High.

Orange will go into the state playoffs with a 18-0 record. This year, the East Region appears much deeper than in year’s past, complete with undefeated Cape Fear (13-0) and Western Harnett (20-0). In the West Region, Southwest Guilford is 19-1, with its only loss coming in November against Orange. It was the closest OHS has come to tasting defeat this season.

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