For Scotton, the chance of beating Luvsandorj was always in the back of his mind.
“It’s definitely a motivation,” said Scotton, who ultimately lost Wednesday’s match 3-1. “Especially this being my very last match ever here in Carmichael. If anything I wanted to win for that.”
Scotton came out hand-wrestling and took the first shot that locked up the two wrestlers. About two minutes into the bout, Scotton tried a shot at the edge of the mat near the Citadel bench, but was blocked by Luvsandorj and found himself out of bounds.
As typical of Scotton’s slow and methodical approach to his matches, the first period ended tied at zero.
Scotton started on the bottom to start the second period and fought to his feet but went out of bounds before escaping the hold. On the restart, he successfully peeled the hands of the Bulldog to score the first point of the match and lead 1-0.
Later in the period, Scotton blocked a leg sweep attempt and protected his slim lead by stopping Luvsandorj from scoring.
The final two minutes began with Scotton taking the top position where he quickly gave up the escape, tying the match at one. With 1:20 left, Scotton took an injury time-out after Luvsandorj’s finger found its way into Scotton’s left eye.
After the time-out, the neutral restart set the stage for the deciding moments of the bout. Luvsandorj took the first shot, but to no avail.
Scotton made his move with 35 seconds left but was blocked. Luvsandorj returned a shot taking control of Scotton’s left foot in what would be the decisive move of the bout.
Scotton could not escape the hold, and Luvsandorj scored the takedown with only 13 seconds left in the match.
“It was a crazy scramble,” Scotton said. “I just remember shooting and next thing you know he’s on my leg.”
Luvsandorj is the last in the long list of top-ranked opponents that Scotton has faced this year.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve competed against the best from my freshman year to where I am now,” Scotton said.
Scotton said he is glad to have had these kinds of matches in the regular season so they can prepare him for the upcoming tournament season.
“I would like him to be coming into the ACC Championships with a little more confidence,” UNC Coach C.D. Mock said.
“If Thomas can get his confidence back here at the end of the year, everything that’s happened all year long is nothing more than a memory.”
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