All three area teams took the mat against each other last week for the Moore Festival. Held at Southmoore High, Moore came out on top as they defeated both Westmoore and Southmoore in three three-team dual.
The Jaguar were 1-1 on the day while the SaberCats finished 0-2. As a program, they have yet to beat either rival in a dual setting.
The Cats had a chance in the first match of the afternoon when it faced Westmoore. Southmoore held a 29-12 lead heading into the final five matches. However, the Jaguars swept all of them. That included earning three consecutive pins by Soloman Vanover, John Finn and Kyle Factor to win 36-29.
“Most of my kids wrestled well,” Southmoore coach Gregory George said. “My upper weights are still pretty young and inexperienced. That’s the last three weights where we struggled a little bit. We get rid of that and don’t get pinned there, we win the dual.”
George said all it took was for one of his wrestlers to not get pinned and they would have beaten the Jaguars for the first time.
“I was hoping my 220-pounder (Cody Hatton), who is a senior, would not go out there and get beat by an underclassmen,” George said. “That’s kind of disappointing. If you are going to get beat, don’t give up a fall. Those are the kind of things we talk about. If we just don’t get pin in any one of those matches, we win the dual. We could have loss all those matches, and not got pinned, and we would have won the dual.”
Southmoore stayed on the mat and faced the Lions next. Once again the Cats build a big lead only to see it evaporate late. This time it was Moore’s Brandon Eddins, Derek Silvertson, Taylor Lewis and Bradley Rivera who strung together four straight wins to claim the 36-21 victory.
However, the most watched watch of the day took place between Southmoore’s Zac Damico and Moore’s Josh Lindsey. The two-faced off as freshman for the 103-pound state championship two years ago, which Damico won. Now as 113-pounders, they may see each other again down in the postseason.
But in their first encounter of the season, Damico landed the opening blow with a 4-3 win.
The festival title was on line when the Jaguars and Lions took to them at in the final match of the night. Moore stormed out to a commanding lead when it won six of the first eight matches. McKale Washington pinned Raul Ruiz to put MHS up 32-6.
The Jaguars fought back to win five of the final six matches. But it wasn’t enough as the Lions claimed a 35-30 win.
Westmoore will be back in action Dec. 28-29 when it travels to Shreveport, La. for the Evangel Holiday Classic Tournament.