CR wrestlers top Dover 39-26, strengthen grip on North

Caesar Rodney’s Sam Ervin keeps pressure on Maniyah Crain of Dover and won the 170-pound bout by decision 8-2. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

CAMDEN — Caesar Rodney High checked off another box on its Henlopen Conference Northern Division slate.

The Riders remained unbeaten in the division with a 39-26 victory against Dover High at home on Wednesday night. CR improved to 4-0 in the Henlopen North and 9-1 overall.

Caesar Rodney now sits alone in first place in the Henlopen North standings after Smyrna dropped a match against Sussex Central Wednesday night. The Riders are the lone undefeated team left in the division, Smyrna and Sussex Central have one loss apiece.

Amir Pierce of the Senators scores back points against CR’s Kevin Bowne in the 120-pound match Wednesday night. Pierce won by major decision 12-4. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

The Riders travel to Smyrna Saturday night for a dual meet at 6:30 p.m. They already beat Sussex Central this year so a victory against the Eagles would clinch CR’s first Henlopen North title since 2012.

Caesar Rodney first had to concentrate on a Dover team who knocked the Riders out of the Division I state tournament a season ago.

Caesar Rodney’s Sam Ervin keeps pressure on Maniyah Crain of Dover and won the 170-pound bout by decision 8-2. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

“Dover’s tough they got us in the state tournament last year which was tough for us,” said CR coach Dan Rigby. “Our guys came out ready to wrestle but had a couple letdowns. We haven’t really put a good match together since we wrestled Milford (on Dec. 20) so we have to find a way to be consistent throughout the lineup.”

Dover led 12-6 after the first four matches until Brenden Holder recorded a third-period pin at heavyweight to tie. Andrew Enright won via forfeit at 106 pounds and Patrick Wisniewski (113) followed with a major-decision to give the Riders a lead it would not relinquish.

Wisniewski, who normally wrestles at 106 pounds, was one of a handful of Riders who moved weight classes on Wednesday.

Paul Hicks was another and he moved down to 182 pounds where he captured a thrilling victory. Hicks trailed by two points with five seconds left but got an escape point and a takedown right before the final buzzer for a 14-13 decision.

“Anytime you move some guys around it’s important,” Rigby said. “Paul Hicks went down to 182 and for him to score with one second left was big. Patrick Wisniewski bumped up and stepped up for the team.”

The Riders were also paced by a technical-fall by Cam Hayes (132) and a pin from Jackson Dean (145). Benedict Anderson won a six-pointer at 138 for CR after a disqualification and Dover was docked three team points.

Paul Hicks (right) of CR battles Dover’s Sam Arkuwoille in the 182-pound bout, winning by decision 14-13. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

Sam Ervin was the other winner for the Riders as he won an 8-2 decision in the opening match at 170 pounds.

Dover (3-3 Henlopen North, 11-4) was led by pins from Azim Opare (195), Hugo Harp (220) and Divine Watkins (160). Amir Pierce (120) and Tyshaun Cole (152) earned major-decisions for the Senators while Tykwan Joyner won via decision.

The Riders now shift their attention to Saturday’s matchup against Smyrna who CR has not beaten since Feb. 1, 2012. The Eagles have won the last five Henlopen North championships.

“Smyrna is the cream of the crop and everybody is chasing them,” Rigby said. “We hope to go up and put up a good fight and see what happens.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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