The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday January 29th

Tar Heels Take Down Spartans

The Tar Heels blanked UNC-Greensboro 41-0 at Carmichael Auditorium, then headed west to defeat Appalachian State in Boone later that night.

The victories put North Carolina back at .500 with a 4-4 dual meet record (1-0 in the ACC).

At the start of the year, two matches in 24 hours looked very plausible to a talent-laden team. But recent injuries and defections caused concern about the doubleheader for Lam and the Tar Heels.

"I did it (the schedule) on purpose early in the year," Lam said after his team's win against the Spartans.

"But we've had some situations where Matt (Kenny) has just come back, Brad (Byers) is still not at full strength and Chuckie (Connor) quit, so that makes it a real challenge with Appalachian State (Saturday).

"But we need that kind of competition to get better."

Lam said he was confident about his team's chances against UNC-G but not enough to foresee a shutout effort.

"We should be able to beat Greensboro, but I thought we did even better to shut them out," Lam said.

It didn't come without some close calls.

In the 141-pound bout, freshman Mike Booth faced a 1-0 deficit late in the third period before scoring a reversal and near fall.

Booth sneaked behind and on top of Spartan Corey Williams to get the eventual winning points and put UNC up

11-0 after three bouts.

Despite being down to a senior wrestler, Booth said he never thought he was going to lose.

"I was still pretty confident going into the final period," Booth said. "I've been in that position before, and I knew what I needed to do. At the end, it was actually a bonus to get the near fall, so I just went for it."

Lam said, "That's probably one of the better guys on their team and, coming in as a freshman, (Booth has) been getting a little better but hasn't put together his wins yet, so I was proud of him."

Lam gave another freshman, Jake Reynolds, a chance to win in the match's 165-pound bout.

Reynolds responded strongly in the opening periods, posting a 6-2 lead heading into the final seconds of the third until a slip-up occurred.

Spartan Nate Parmenter noticed Reynolds pulling away late and took charge. He scored a takedown and two back points to tie the score at 6-6 with two seconds remaining in regulation.

"I relaxed too much," Reynolds said. "I shouldn't have relaxed and just waited until it was all over, but he caught me.

"But I had to keep my head cool and not get upset about it, because if I did, then my wrestling would've been a lot poorer than it was at the very end."

A cooler head did help Reynolds prevail as he notched a reversal in the second sudden-death overtime session to gain a 8-6 win and push UNC's lead to 24-0.

Nick Richmond tallied UNC's only pin of the afternoon, placing UNC-G's Josh Bocks' shoulders to the mat in 3:29 in the 184-pound division.

Redshirt freshman Chris Collins, starting for Chuckie Connor, set the tone in the opening bout of the 125-pound match, beating Spartan Tony Stewart via technical fall, 16-0, to give UNC a 5-0 start to the match.

North Carolina's wrestling program announced Thursday that Connor, a senior, left the program for personal reasons.

JohnMark Bentley added to his win streak, as UNC-G's Anthony Warren (medical forfeit) and Appalachian State's Davey Blake lost to the 149-pound junior, giving Bentley 12 straight wins on the season.

Corey Bell earned a 7-3 decision against Spartan Terry Garbis in the 174-pound match while in the heavyweight division, UNC's Ryan Adams grabbed a major decision from 12-2 from John Kimble.

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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