“We’re a very a young team and on top of that we still have some guys who are out with injuries,” redshirt senior Thomas Scotton said. “I think we wrestled well as a team. I hope our team keeps its head up and realizes that we had one bad match against Wisconsin. They’re a great team.”
In the dual match with the Badgers, Scotton was eager to take on No. 1 Howe, the defending national champion.
But tempers flared between the two wrestlers in the first period of the match after Howe registered a takedown and continued to attack Scotton out of bounds.
“I think that’s kind of his style — if he’s going out of bounds, he can push you and shove you, get in your head,” Scotton said. “But there was no way I was going to let him have his way with me out there. If he was going to beat me, he was going to earn it.”
The 165-pound Scotton pulled to within two points in the second period, but he was unable to close the gap as Howe secured an 8-2 defeat.
Still, Mock thought Scotton was able to hold his own.
“I think he wrestled him well,” Mock said. “I think he wrestled him hesitant, but it’s pretty tough to go out there against a two-time finalist and not be hesitant.”
Only 141-pound redshirt senior Danny Lopes was able to muster a match win against Wisconsin with his 4-0 score. And despite the Tar Heels going 2-1 overall, much of the post-meet emphasis was placed on the dual with the Badgers.
“When you bring guys like that in, you don’t want to wrestle not to lose,” Mock said. “You want your guys to wrestle to win.
“Not all the guys wrestled to win today.”
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