North Carroll wrestling coach David Dodson couldn't pick out any one wrestler who proved decisive in the No. 4 Panthers' 45-25 win over visiting South Carroll last night.
But a good start would be with the team's talented middle weights.
Trailing 15-6 early, the Panthers won six straight bouts to pull away from their Carroll County rival in front of a packed gym. During the pivotal stretch, pins came from Jeremy Seipp (130 pounds), Bryan Hoff (135) and Chris Stout (152), while Kyle Lemmon (125) got things started with a 3-1 decision over South Carroll's Rion Rieter.
"We knew going in we had to win through the middle," said Dodson, who also got tough decisions from Ben Smearman and David Stout during the key stretch. "If we wanted to have a chance to win this dual meet, they had to step up, and they pulled through."
The Panthers (7-1, 3-0 in Carroll) were coming off a tough loss at Urbana last week, and the No. 12 Cavaliers weren't sympathetic early.
Pins from Chris Wampler and John Gaunt at 103 and 112 pounds, respectively, helped South Carroll build the 15-6 lead before the Panthers started to pull away.
After Chris Stout decked Matt Willingham to give the Panthers a 33-15 lead, the Cavaliers cut the advantage to 33-25 with a major decision from Zac Stavish (160) and a pin from Tyler Mullin (171). But North Carroll's Kyle Forbes (189) clinched the match in decisive fashion, catching Devon Tober in a headlock to earn a second-period pin.
"Tonight is a perfect example of a team effort," Dodson said. "We were down after our match against Urbana, Our kids were devastated after that loss. I was a little concerned after that loss - whether we'd rebound - and those kids just stepped up and took it to them tonight.
"It's just a good group of kids with great character."