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Dogs can’t chop down West-Oak

Posted: February 11, 2016 9:13 a.m.
Updated: February 12, 2016 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I photo/

DONOVAN ENGRAM won by a pin in Camden’s AAA Upper State semifinal loss to West-Oak on Monday.

Trailing 24-23 with four matches remaining to be wrestled, Camden was on the brink of possibly pulling off a major upset over top-ranked West-Oak.

But the defending AAA state champion Warriors scored four pins in that final quartet of matches to come away with a 48-23 victory over visiting Camden in Monday’s AAA Upper State semifinal contest held in Westminster.

The setback ended one of the most successful seasons in recent memory for the Bulldog program.

The evening started off a good note for Joey Hendrix’s visitors as 126-pound junior Caid Cokley jumped to a quick 5-1 lead in the first period of the opening match against Zach Elliott. Cokley scored two points on a takedown and three more with a near fall and never looked back in what was a 15-1 major decision victory which gave the Dogs a 4-0 lead.

W-O’s Ben Elliott got the hosts on the board at 132 pounds rallying from a 2-0 first period deficit against Brice Nichols and then holding Nichols off for the 6-2 decision win. The Warriors went out to a 9-4 advantage with a pin from Ryan Butts at 138 pounds.

The Bulldogs regained the lead shortly thereafter thanks to junior Garrit Strunga’s pin of Austin Dobbs with six seconds remaining in the first period of their 145-pound match.

Trailing, 10-9, the Warriors sandwiched Tate Capps’ 9-2 decision victory over Camden’s Zach Phillips at 160 pounds with pins at 152 and 170 to take a 24-10 lead.

Camden bounced back in the thick of things starting at 182 pounds with Jamal Murphy using a 14-point second period outburst to carry a 21-10 lead into the final period of what was a 25-18 victory over Matt Honea. CHS Timmy King followed by jumping out to a 4-0 advantage after one period of his 195-pound encounter with Brandon Banks. The Bulldog senior put this one away with a 10-point third period and won a four-point major decision at 16-4 to close the gap to 24-20.

The Bulldogs’ final hurrah came at 220 pounds as junior Donovan Engram pinned Cameron Hamby in the final half minute of the match to cut the Warriors’ lead to 24-23 with four matches left to be wrestled.

West-Oak flexed its collective muscle down the stretch with four straight pins to seal the victory while earning a slot in the AAA Upper State finals against Eastside on Wednesday.

With its dual match season over, Camden will send 14 wrestlers into the AAA Upper State individual tournament at Eastside High on Feb. 19-20.


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