Johnson Wins Dual Opener As Braves Breeze Past Belmont Abbey
PEMBROKE – No. 18 UNCP booked 20 takedowns and six near falls in its dual meet opener, but ultimately used the strength of four pins to slice through visiting Belmont Abbey and hand head coach Othello "O.T." Johnson a win in his dual meet coaching debut with a 47-6 rout of the Crusaders on Wednesday evening at the English E. Jones Center.
UNCP (1-0) extended its series lead out to 9-1 with its fourth-straight victory over Belmont Abbey (1-6) who mustered their only points on the scoreboard via a forfeit in the 133-pound bout. The Black & Gold is now 11-1 in season-opening dual meets since 1999.
"The guys went out there tonight and did something we have been talking about all season up to this point and that was to go out there and wrestle their style whether their opponent was stalling or whether he was coming after them," Johnson said. "The guys did a great job of just doing what they do best."
After trading forfeit victories in the opening two matches of the night, newcomer Daniel Ownbey used a second-period pin (4:25) in the 141-pound bout to give the Braves a lead they would not relinquish. Freshman Kristoff Thomas padded the team score out to nine points, 15-6, with a 7-1 decision over Abbey's Nick Sgroi. Three consecutive pins by Brendon Parker-Risk, all-American Mike Williams and senior Jake Ferguson would push the team advantage out to 33-6 heading into the final three matches of the night.
Shiheem Bryant edged out BAC's Jerami Bartley in the 184-pound bout by a 3-2 decision to set up Shane Nolan's forfeit win at 197 pounds. Exhibiting a bit of feistiness after getting kicked in the shin midway through his heavyweight matchup with Will Robinson, UNCP's Chris Giddens showed no mercy in finishing out the night with a bang by tallying a 24-9 technical fall victory.
UNCP will be back in action again on Saturday when the Braves take a partial squad to the Davidson Open. Wrestling action is set to get underway at 9 a.m. inside the Baker Sports Complex.
No. 18 UNCP 47, Belmont Abbey 6
125: Shon Topper (UNCP) forfeit No Entry (BAC)
133: Jake Nelson (BAC) forfeit No Entry (UNCP)
141: Daniel Ownbey (UNCP) pinned Trey Alley (BAC) F 4:25
149: Kristoff Thomas (UNCP) dec. Nick Sgroi (BAC) D 7-1
157: Brendon Parker-Risk (UNCP) pinned Brandon Wilkins (BAC) F 3:20
165: No. 3 Mike Williams (UNCP) pinned Joseph Maumoynier (BAC) F 2:46
174: Jake Ferguson (UNCP) pinned Kwame Seymour (BAC) F 3:44
184: Shiheem Bryant (UNCP) dec. Jerami Bartley (BAC) D 3-2
197: Shane Nolan (UNCP) forfeit No Entry (BAC)
285: Chris Giddens (UNCP) tech. fall Will Robinson (BAC) 24-9; 7:00
Starting Weight: 125
Records: Belmont Abbey 1-6; UNCP 1-0.
To watch the full match click HERE.