Cape wrestling battled Sussex Central Feb. 8 at Smyrna in the quarterfinal round of the DIAA Dual Meet championships and fell 43-23 after leading 23-18 with just five bouts remaining.
The match started at 132, where a weakened-by-flu Anthony Caruso lost a 3-1 decision to Jevon Saffold. Saffold is a tough matchup at full strength and Caruso offered no excuse after his loss.
Central’s Cole Jester (138) pinned Finbar Rishko in 5:01, while Brandon Greenlee (145) followed with a pin of Juan Lares in 1:55, as the Golden Knights jumped out to a 15-0 lead.
Cape’s Andre Currie (152), back from the flu, was trailing Devin Pearsall, but caught him for a quick-six pin. However, the team was penalized a point for his celebration.
A win by Cape’s Jackson Handlin (160) over Jaden Savage 10-6 followed by a Tarryl Sturgis 7-6 win over Cape’s Roy Jones made the score 18-9.
Eduardo Saez (182) pinned Central’s Luis Perez in 3:53, Cape’s Billy Ott (195) decisioned Michael Wright 3-2 and the Vikings’ Christopher Handlin (220), all the way up from 182, pinned Hiram Lasher in 2:39.
Cape had come back to lead 24-18, and the Cape house was rocking.
Tyler Karr (285) of Central caught freshman Lucas Ruppert in 3:46 to tie the match at 24, but the one point team deduction made it 24-23. Cape forfeited 106 and 113, giving Central a 36-23 lead with two bouts remaining. The drama was done and the Knights had mathematically won.
Mason Ankrom (120) majored Cape’s Carson Kammerer 10-0 and Tyler Hudson closed the match with an overtime takedown of Cape’s Mikey Frederick for a 7-5 win.
The Golden Knights moved on to face Smyrna in the quarterfinals Feb. 9 and got whacked by the Eagles 60-12.
The Eagles then beat Caesar Rodney in the finals 35-33. The Riders reached the finals with a 33-31 comeback win over Salesianum.
Milford won the Division II state crown by beating Caravel 37-30 in the finals. Milford forfeited the final three matches after victory was assured but the outcome of those matches was not.
The Henlopen Conference Individual Championships are slated for Friday, Feb. 15 and Saturday, Feb. 16 at Sussex Central High School.
The DIAA Individual Championships are at Cape Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23.