Bowman’s title leads Cavs in C’burg

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Carroll County finished an impressive third place in the Big Blue Invitational.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

CHRISTIANSBURG –– Carroll County had four wrestlers place among the top eight and finished an impressive third in the team standings Saturday at the Big Blue Invitational at Christiansburg High School.

The host Blue Demons made the 36-team tournament a chase for second place as Christiansburg, ranked eighth nationally in some polls, ran away with the team title, scoring 330.5 points. Five teams were lumped within four points of one another in second through sixth places. Louisa edged Carroll County by one point for second overall with 118 points. Likewise, the Cavaliers nipped Langley by a half-point, 117-116.5, for second. Brentsville was fifth with 115 and Matoaca sixth with 114.

Carroll County advanced two wrestlers to the championship finals, coming away with an individual title and a runner-up finish.

Blake Bowman went 4-0 to claim the 130-pound championship. The Cavalier sophomore opened the tournament with a first-period pin of Ryan Mash from Alleghany (N.C.), and followed with a second-period pin of Centerville’s Ricky Williams. Bowman reached the championship bout with a 9-5 semifinal win over Bluff City (Tenn.) Sullivan East’s Michael Bishop.

Bowman took the title by outscoring Christiansburg freshman Brady Epperly 5-2 in the championship match.

Carroll County heavyweight Drew McCraw reach another championship match against nemesis Andrew Miller of Bassett and took a close defeat, falling 3-2 in the finals to the Virginia Tech signee. McCraw advanced to the semifinals with a pair of pins, first over Nick Criner of Christiansburg B 3:19 into the match in the preliminary round, then in 1:22 over Sullivan East’s Kaleb Arnold. McCraw picked up his third pin of the event in the semifinals, running out to a 12-2 lead before recording a second-period pin of Patrick County’s Clint Womack.

Jared Hooper placed fifth in the 140-pound class for the Cavaliers with a 4-3 edging of Razul Ware of Massaponax. Aaron Willard picked up a seventh-place finish in the 160-pound weight class with a 4:08 pin of Louisa’s Logan Walls, and Jordan Lamb placed eighth at 135 pounds, falling to Skyline’s Zac Dick in the seventh-place match.

Nick Tobler finished the tournament 3-2 at 152 pounds while Kelly Yelton (171) and Mickey Quesenberry (215) both went 2-2.

Christiansburg had 13 of 14 wrestlers finish among the top eight, including five champions and three more with runner-up finishes.

The Cavaliers swept a tri-match last week in Hillsville with wins over Graham (49-27) and Abingdon (43-30). McCraw, Tobler and Bowman each won both their matches by pin, including a 17-second pin by McCraw over Graham’s Mike Garland.

Jared Cox (119), Jesse Pedrero (125), Lamb (135), Willard (160) and Quesenberry (215) all went 2-0.