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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC wrestling meet defined by close matches

Carolina defeated Duke 30-5 in Monday night's home match in Carmichael Arena.

For the North Carolina wrestling team, Monday night’s dual meet against Duke was a meet of inches.

All but two of the matches were decided with a regular decision, and the 30-5 victory for the Tar Heels was wrestled much closer than the final result showed.

UNC’s Brian Bokoski started off the meet with a low-scoring contest against Duke’s Peter Terrezza, which was indicative of the entire meet. Despite the slow start, Bokoski was unfazed.

“I knew that the match was going to be close,” Bokoski said.

“My coaches told me to go out there and handfight with him a lot, so I wanted to try and tire him out because I knew he would be quick in the beginning.”

Bokoski eventually seized control of the match with a crucial reversal midway through the second period, and from there, it was his match to lose.

“It was big for me, getting off of the bottom, because (Terrezza) is good with legs,” Bokoski said.

“It felt like he got tired after the reversal, and I just wanted to try and score as much as I could after that.”

UNC also saw freshman Evan Henderson squeeze out a 5-2 win in his match against Tanner Hough after securing a key reversal early in the third period.

But Duke’s A.J. Guardado won a 10-4 decision against Tar Heel Nick Heilmann to bring the dual meet score to 12-3. At that point, the meet was still in the balance, and again, UNC needed one of its wrestlers to take control of it.

Jon Burns, who was bumped up a weight class to wrestle at 157 pounds, was able to deliver that breakthrough performance. Although undersized at 149 pounds, Burns said he didn’t feel like he was at a disadvantage.

“The only thing that I thought was a disadvantage was that I didn’t expect to get bumped up at all,” Burns said. “It was right before my match, and I was a little frustrated, so I had to get my mind together, go out there and just wrestle.”

He quickly settled into his match and made the most important move of the night. He baited Duke’s Immanuel Kerr-Brown into a shot and countered it with one of his trademark throws.

“I’ve done them my whole wrestling career,” Burns said. “Once he took that shot in, I knew I was going to be able to pin him.”

After Burns recorded the fall in just more than a minute into the first period of his match, UNC took a commanding 18-3 lead in the meet and never looked back.

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