LAURINBURG — St. Andrews senior Jared Key picked up where he left off over the weekend, and his major decision win helped catapult the Knights to a much-needed victory Tuesday against visiting Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.)
The 197-pounder, who won his first individual title Saturday at the Washington and Lee Invitational tournament in Virginia, dominated Spartanburg Methodist’s Zorrie Green for a 15-1 major decision victory. The match was one of only three to count as both teams entered Tuesday’s action combating injuries or weight issues. St. Andrews survived the battle of attrition, winning 22-21.
“At the end of the day, we got the win,” St. Andrews head coach Joe Baranik said. “They’re tough, I like that team. I told our guys we need to be tough like that. They came after us and they weren’t afraid.”
Key improved to 10-8 overall on the year with the win and is hitting his stride as the Knights begin the stretch run of the season. Baranik said the senior started the year off slowly but has rounded into form in recent weeks.
“I think what happened was he realizes he’s a senior, and we only have five weeks left. That’s it,” Baranik said. “We’ve seen this in him. This sport is so much about you have to have confidence. Hopefully it continues to grow, and this definitely helps.”
Two Knights who earned victories by forfeit, junior Issac King and sophomore Tyler Evers, still took the mat for what turned out to be impressive exhibition wins. Baranik said Evers’ victory in the 285-pound heavyweight bout was particularly important because it can serve as a momentum-builder down the line.
“In overtime he tackled him for the takedown, I think he just wore the guy out. It was good for his psyche because it is his first year starting. He just needs confidence. He’s got the tools.”
The victory improved Evers’ record to 6-10, and the 157-pound King now wields a 13-3 mark.
At 125, sophomore Brennan Patton was awarded a forfeit victory, and at 133 Spartanburg Methodist’s Marvin Galette scored a forfeit win.
Spartanburg Methodist’s Maurice Williams followed with a pin of senior Dashon Eure at 141 pounds. There was no contest at 149 and 165, then Daquon Wilson won by forfeit at 174.
The Pioneers’ Austin Thompson battled for a 6-1 decision win over St. Andrews sophomore Argie Burnette in the 184-pound bout before Key and Evers capped the evening with a pair of victories.
St. Andrews improved to 4-7 overall this year and will return to action Friday when it renews its War on I-74 rivalry with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.