NEWBERRY — The No. 4 Newberry Wolves and No. 18 UNC Pembroke Braves each won five bouts in their dual Thursday night in Eleazer Arena, with Jeff Vesta’s pin at 125-pounds providing the deciding points in a 19-16 Newberry win.
Newberry moves to 18-2 on the season entering the regular season finale against Anderson at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Eleazer Arena.
Fifth-ranked Vesta was unveiled as Division II’s national leader in pinfalls earlier in the day and added to his total, opening the dual with a pin of Jake Smith at the 5:26 mark, earning his 11th pin of a Division II opponent this season and 14th pin of the year overall.
Nick Lankford pushed the Wolves’ lead to 9-0 after a 12-6 win by decision over Dontae Brown at 133-pounds.
No. 8 B.J. Young faced off with No. 1 Daniel Ownbey at 14-pounds in one of the night’s premier battles. Neither wrestler scored in the opening two periods, and Ownbey conceded an escape to open the third period to give Young a 1-0 lead. The Newberry junior fended off the Brave’s offense for most of the period before Ownbey took Young down with just over 10 seconds left to earn a 2-1 decision and cut Newberry’s lead to 9-3.
No. 7 Deral Brown moved up to second all-time in career wins in the Newberry record books with his 133rd career victory with a 14-5 major decision over Reggie Allen at 149-pounds, giving the scarlet and gray a 13-3 advantage.
The Braves came back to tie the dual with three straight wins. Seiji Borjalost a 12-4 major decision to Justin Pencook at 157-pounds, No. 5 Blake Ridenour dropped a 7-2 decision to Blaze Shade at 165-pounds and Joe Pittman was on the wrong end of a 6-1 decision to No. 1 Mike Williams at 174-pounds The Wolves and Braves were then drawn at 13-all with three bouts remaining.
The Wolves reclaimed the lead at 184-pounds, when Mitch Brown took an 11-4 decision over Stuart Nadeau and Joey Grisko pushed Newberry’s advantage to 19-13 when his takedown just before the third period buzzer gave him a 3-1 win by decision over Brach Walker. UNCP needed a pin at heavyweight to force a tie with criteria deciding, but Chris Giddens Jr., only won by decision over Matt Wade, 8-7.