APEX — The scorecard from this match wouldn’t be indicative of Panther Creek’s woes.
Panther Creek was down three wrestlers due to the flu and injuries and had to put younger guys in the lineup, but the team outlasted an under-manned and under-matched Apex team to take home a 46-18 win in a Tri-9 Conference matchup.
Apex forfeited four of its 14 matches in the 106, 285, 220 and 182 weight classes.
The Cougars won their first two matches of the night with Chance Davis’ 8-2 decision over Kendall Heller in the 113-pound weight class and a Mark Crider 8-3 victory against Shoven Bhatta at 120.
Crider’s match ended in dramatic fashion. The match was tied 3-3 with 26.4 seconds left in the third period and Bhatta in the down position. Crider was able to score a takedown with less than eight seconds left to win the match.
Panther Creek’s comeback began after Adonis Atkins picked up a dominating 14-3 win against Ryan Whitehouse, putting the overall score at 6-4 with Apex still in the lead. Miles Kent followed Atkins’ performance with a decisive 23-8 decision that gave the Catamounts the overall lead, 10-6.
Kent’s performance was a record-breaking one for the Catamounts. He broke the Panther Creek record for most takedowns in a match with 10 as a freshman.
“He’s continuing to improve and stay humble,” Catamounts head coach Jon Armfield said.
Despite losing the lead early in the match, Apex made a valiant effort to stay in it. Evan Arredendo picked up nine points for the Cougars and brought the overall score to within one point, 10-9. Daniel Krakawski followed it up with an 8-7 win against Brandon Morgan on a takedown in the third period to give Apex a 12-10 lead.
After playing from behind, Panther Creek was able to regain control and keep it for the remainder of the match. Brady Bethers won his match for the Catamounts on a pin and allowed Panther Creek to take the lead, 16-12.
“We’ve got an inexperienced team,” Apex head coach Ross Little said. “(For) a lot of these guys, it’s their first time in the varsity lineup. We’ll have our growing pains.”
Apex went on to win two of the three final matches. Bryson Bethers won in an 8-6 decision against Spencer Cain, and Cameron Shafer took down Jackson Woterman, 7-2. Apex’s Jake Castagnero took home the last match of the evening in a pin decision against Sean Kerr.