Elijah Acosta has preserved through a senior season where he batted illness and injury to win a conference championship. Last Saturday in the 220-pound championship mach of the Central Carolina Conference tournament, Acosta wrestled Northwood’s Jake Dunning for the sixth time in two years. Acosta’s grip proved to be a strong one as he defeated Dunning 3-0 to take the title, his first individual championship this year. Acosta got an escape point in the second period. Late in the frame, Acosta made a rush at Dunning and scored a takedown with three seconds remaining. Dunning couldn’t get an escape point in the third period. Last year, Acosta qualified for the 3A State Championships and finished 3rd in the Mideast Regionals. This Saturday, Acosta and the rest of the Panthers will start action in the 3A State Dual Tournament. The 32-team field for the tournament will be released Thursday. Orange was the Central Carolina Conference regular season champion and will be the #1 seed in the 3A State Dual Tournament from the CCC.

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