Sussex Central knocks off defending champ Cape Henlopen

Benny MitchellHeadlines, Sports

Sussex Central’s Evan Cordrey holds Holt Baker to his back in the closing seconds of their match at 126 pounds. Cordrey won 6-2, photos by Frank Payton

Georgetown – To be the champs you have to beat the champs and the Sussex Central wrestling team took a big step in that direction Wednesday night handing defending state champion Cape Henlopen a 36-30 loss in front of a capacity crowd.

The Golden Knights took a 33-30 lead into the final match of the night featuring #4 ranked Holt Baker of Cape Henlopen and #5 ranked Evan Cordrey at 126 pounds. Baker scored a takedown in the first period and then rode out Cordrey in the second period taking a 2-0 lead into the third period.

Baker chose bottom to start the period. Cordrey worked in a leg and then torqued Baker’s torso to his back scoring two sets of nearfall points to earn the 6-2 decision giving Sussex Central the 36-30 victory.

“I knew I was down two to nothing and needed to score, I am comfortable with legs and tried to get them in and once I did I knew I got something there,” Cordrey said.

Sussex Central head coach Shane Miller said the match did not go as he had envisioned, but his team stayed tough and Cordrey came up big for the Golden Knights at the end.

“That is tough to do being down two points and needing to get a turn to win, but Evan showed resiliency there and got the win,” Miller said.

The match began at 132 pounds where the Knights Talon Savage won a 7-0 decision over Nick Walker, but the Vikings responded with a pair of wins. Josh Wright pinned Justin Craig in 2:48 at 138 pounds and Andrew Schaen followed with a 11-4 decision over Andrew Long to give Cape Henlopen a 9-3 lead.

Sussex Central responded with a pair of wins as Jayden Drummond won an 8-7 decision over Braydon Cole at 144 pounds and Cody Layfield recorded a pin over Hayden Wheeler in 32 seconds at 157 pounds giving the Golden Knights a 12-9 lead.

Luke Bender answered for the Vikings with a pin over Jadyn Craig in 3:01 at 165 pounds followed by C.J. Fritchman’s 9-3 decision over Gabe Cannon at 175 pounds as Cape Henlopen jumped back out into the lead at 18-12.

Ivan Neal (190) and Ryder Robinson (215) recorded back to back pins for Sussex Central. Neal pinned Luke Arnold-Decyk in 1:26 and Robinson ignited the home crowd with an 8 second pin over Patrick Donahue as the Golden Knights took the lead back 24-18.

The Vikings responded with a pair of pins as Sean Costello pinned Michael Harmon in 3:51 at 285 pounds and Tripp Gannon (106) pinned Austen Decker in 1:54 giving Cape Henlopen a 30-24 lead with three bouts left.

“I definitely had the match going a different way. Obviously we had to overcome some matches that we thought might have gone our way, but went the other way. The boys stayed in there,” Miler said.

Malachi Stratton (113) tied the match for Sussex Central with a pin over Rony Perez-Mejia in 2:54 seconds and Chase Murray won a 7-2 decision over Max Meadows at 120 pounds as the Golden Knights took a 33-30 lead setting up the final bout at 126 pounds.

“This was our first big test and the boys pulled through so we got over the first hurdle and hope we can build something from here,” Miller said.

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