ROCKINGHAM — There were several reasons why the Richmond Senior wrestling team needed to pick up the win against Purnell Swett.
The major one was it would allow the Raiders to avoid their second loss in Southeastern Conference play.
The victory didn’t come easy, but Richmond pulled out a 42-36 win over Purnell Swett Wednesday night at Raider Gymnasium.
“Every win is big,” Richmond coach Earl Nicholson said. “Only two teams from the conference make the playoffs so having two losses is pretty big, especially since the conference tournament doesn’t count for anything.”
After the Raiders took a 36-18 lead on Josh Conrad’s pinfall victory against Josh Singletary, the Rams ripped off three straight pinfall wins of their own to tie the score. Tristan Jacobs defeated Gerald Bethea, Wakiyan Dial stopped David Watkins and Makayla Oxendine knocked off Jordan Jenkins.
Richmond earned the victory as Purnell Swett was forced to forfeit in the 113-pound contest when Steve Bullard was unable to compete.
“Tonight we only had half our team…we were half JV tonight,” Purnell Swett coach Nicky Barnes said. “One of our biggest contributors (Austin Oxendine) was out with bruised ribs. The match came down to 113 and our wrestler missed weight.”
Earlier this season, the Rams defeated the Raiders 48-30. In that contest, Austin Oxendine downed Luke Souder by pinfall at 170. In Wednesday’s match, Richmond was able to pick up a pinfall win at that weight as Dalton Faurot defeated Sam Hunt, Austin Oxendine’s replacement.
“Our early match guys wrestling way better tonight, even the ones that got beat,” Nicholson said. “In the last match they got pinned in the first minute. We’re in better shape now.”
The victory evened the Raiders’ record at 5-5 on the season and 1-1 in the SEC. The Rams fall to 5-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Richmond will return to action Saturday morning in the Cat Fight in Anson County meet at Anson High School.
Reach Civitas Media writer Shawn Stinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.