Published: 12:00 AM, Wed Feb 08, 2012
Jack Britt wrestling team rallies to advance in state playoffs
Jack Britt's Mark McRae is used to sparking the Buccaneer football team to victory from his quarterback position. Tuesday night he took his talents indoors and did the same thing for the Britt wrestling team.
McRae's pin in the 285-pound weight class ignited a string of six consecutive wins to end the match as Britt rallied from a 19-point deficit against Raleigh Sanderson to score a 33-24 win in the state 4-A dual team wrestling playoffs at Britt.
The match was the second of the evening for both Britt and Sanderson, as they scored comfortable wins in their opening matches at Britt's gym.
Sanderson knocked off Hoke County, 54-21, while Britt eliminated West Johnston, 46-21.
With the final match starting at the 138-pound weight class, Britt coach John DeWeese knew his team would likely fall behind early.
"We're real strong at 106, 113, 120,'' DeWeese said. "That's our bread and butter.''
"This feels awesome,'' McRae said of his 40 second pin of Sanderson's Pablo Guido. McRae was pinned in Britt's first match of the night against West Johnston.
DeWeese had confidence McRae could come back from the defeat. "Mark steps up sometimes,'' DeWeese said. "It's awesome to have him in the lineup.''
Britt's K.C. Hunt scored one of the biggest wins in the rally, knocking off Sanderson's Bradley Tharrington 7-5 in their 120-pound match.
Tharrington entered the match as the No. 7 ranked 4-A wrestler in his class according to Retro Rankings.
"I didn't even know who he was,'' Hunt said. "It was a long, drawn out match and I'm just glad I won. The only time I ever felt in control was at the very end when I got the takedown."
"I knew if we could get him to the third period the guy would gas,'' DeWeese said. "They (Sanderson) had cut a lot of weight and my guys don't do that.''
Hunt's win tied the team score at 24-all. Cory Maxwell followed with a 5-0 win over Marshall Bass that pushed Britt into a 27-24 lead.
That left the outcome in the hands of Michael Palmer, who needed to avoid defeat and just get a win over Alonzo Adams at 132 pounds.
Palmer made it no doubt as he pinned Adams at 1:03, boosting Britt to a nine-point win.
"I didn't know much about him, but I knew I had a desire to pin him and that's what I wanted to do,'' Palmer said.
He admitted he had his doubts about Britt rallying from the 24-5 deficit. "After K.C.'s match, I saw we had a chance,'' Palmer said.
DeWeese said he told Palmer he could win. "Just go out and get the first takedown and do what you can to get us some points,'' DeWeese said. "He did, he really did.''
Britt will join Pinecrest, New Bern and Cary in the next round of the dual team playoffs Thursday. The N.C. High School Athletic Association will decide today which school will host Thursday's matches. DeWeese said he had put in a request for Britt to be a host team for the next round.
Scholastic sports editor Earl Vaughan Jr. can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3519.