2017-12-06 / Sports

Rocket matmen fare well in Jim King Orange Invitational

Three Person wrestlers earn top-five finishes in deep field
BY KELLY SNOW
COURIER-TIMES SPORTS EDITOR

The Person High School wrestling team finished 10th overall in the Jim King Invitational this weekend at Orange High School.

The Rockets amassed 94 points in the 22-team field that was won by reigning 3A state champion Orange (259). The Panthers had six finalists in weight classes and four tournament champions.

Cary finished second with 239 points, followed by Leesville Road (144), Northern Durham (138) and Middle Creek (130.5) in the top-five.

Diego Jimenez was the Rockets’ best individual performer with a secondplace finish at 120 pounds. Jimenez opened up the tournament with a secondperiod pin of Northern Durham’s Troy Holloway in the opening round and followed that by pinning Johnny Rudd of Southern Alamance 43-seconds into the match.

Jimenez picked up an 11-3 major decision victory against Orange’s Noah Davis in the quarterfinals and earned a berth to finals with a 11-4 decision win against Caden Fields from Chatham Central. The Rocket grappler’s tournament ended with a pinfall loss to Kaleb Williams of Apex.

Person’s Noah Harris earned a third-place result at heavyweight. He opened the tournament by pinning Sam Mizell of Apex 1:36 into their first-round match. He lost to eventual tournament champion Daylen Alston in the first period of their semifinal match, but bounced back with consolation draw wins. Harris put away Preston Ferguson at the 3:19 mark of their match and ended his day with a 1-0 decision victory in the consolation finals.

Person’s Genuine Morris finished fourth in the 170-pound class after going 4-2 in the tournament.

Morris edged Justin Braswell, 6-2 in the opening round before falling to eventual champion Cary’s Ryan Wolfram in the quarterfinals. Morris made quick work of Southern Alamance’s Matt Nickerson with a 46-second pin in the first consolation match and followed with a secondperiod pin of Bartlett Yancey’s Zack Ricchini. Morris finished off Cole Rathke in the first-period of his consolation semifinals match before losing to Orange’s Trey Jones in the finals.

Person’s Francisco Mondragon (138) and Carter Clayton (145) each went 3-2 in the tournament, while Justin Breeze (152) finished 2-2. Ricky Powell (106), Thomas Frank (126), Gilberto Ceja (132) and Keith Thompson (220) each went 1-2.

The Rockets step back into Mid-State Conference competition today when they travel to Morehead.

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