For the second straight year, Payton Wilson will go for a state championship at 22o pounds. He’ll have company.
Josiah Ramirez will wrestle for the 170 pound state championship at the Greensboro Coliseum. Both Orange High wrestlers won their matches on Saturday in the 3A state championships.
Wilson scored two more pins to improve to 45-0 on Friday to advance to the state championship match. He defeated Ravon Kirkland of Anson County in the quarterfinals in 2:58. In the semifinals, Wilson scored another pin, beating Eastern Regional Champion Jason McDonald of West Craven in 2:23. Wilson now has 27 pins this season.
On Saturday evening at 5, Wilson faces Dan Louba of Hickory Ridge for the state title. Louba, who won the Midwest Regional Championship last weekend, pinned Chapel Hill’s Joseph Cannon in 4:37 to advance to the championship match.
In 2016, Wilson lost to Latham Bumgarner of North Gaston 10-4 in the state championship match.
Wilson’s state championship match may determine which team takes the individual championship. Orange goes into the final day of the state tournament with 74.5 points. Hickory Ridge is in 2nd with 69.5. North Henderson is 3rd with 56.
At 170 pounds, Ramirez edged Jacary Bethel of West Brunswick in the semfinals 3-2. In the quarterfinals, Ramirez knocked off Jonathan Hilton of North Lincoln 4-2. Ramirez, a junior, is now 53-4. He will face Midwest Regional Champion J.C. Ciaramella of Marvin Ridge for the state championship. Ciaramella is 44-3 after pinning Austin Mosly of King’s Mountian in 4:00.
At 182, junior Braden Homsey defeated Joel Kanagay of Sun Valley 8-4 to advance to the semifinals. However, Tyrie Houguton of Weddington pinned Homsey in 5:20. Homsey will start competing in the consolation rounds on Saturday morning.
Several Panthers hold out hopes of placing in the top five in their respective weight classes. At 106, Mitchell Askew is still alive in the consolation round after beating North Henderson’s Kyle Randall 9-7. After advancing to the quarterfinals on Thursday, Askew lost to Southern Guilford’s Jalen White 11-1 on Friday morning.
At heavyweight, Havelock’s Destin Flloyd defeated Orange’s Daylan Alston 13-6. Alston bounced back in the consolation rounds to beat Concord’s Isaac Cochran 8-4.
Since dropping his opener at 145, Avery Jenkins has won two straight. He pinne Andrew Capul of Marvin Ridge in 2:00, edged Josh King of Northern Guilford 6-2.