Kent pins loss on Elkton; Merritt gets 1st-ever varsity win

ELKTON — The Trojans had more than a fighting chance Friday night when they traveled to Elkton because, for the first time all season, they were as close to full strength as is likely possible. Welcoming back two wrestlers who had been out of the lineup for nearly a month due to injury, the Trojans filled 12 of the 14 weight classes and are no longer winless.
Kent County (1-4) scored a commanding 51-21 victory, getting pins from Landon Merritt (120), Scottie Ford (138), Brady Sutton (144), Ethan Clark (157) and Anthony Wilson (190).
Ford improved to 20-1.
Noah Iacona (126) won by decision in overtime — against Elkton’s captain — by scoring the first takedown.
Three other Trojans — Rhi Ashley-Pinder (106), Alayna Brown (113) and Cody Cummings (150) — each picked up six team points courtesy of forfeits.
Elkton won four bouts — two by pin, one by decision and one by forfeit.
The other match, at 165, was a double-forfeit.
The Trojans never trailed as they won the first four bouts in succession — Pinder and Brown by forfeit, Merritt (freshman) by pin for his first-ever varsity win and Iacona (sophomore) in extra time — for a 21-0 lead.
This was Iacona’s first win of the season.
He suffered an injury in the Dec. 6 season-opening tri-meet with Queen Anne’s and North Caroline, where he went 0-2, and attempted to wrestle in the Andy Perez Memorial Tournament at Cambridge-South Dorchester High School two days later when after one match he was medically forfeited.
He’d been out of the lineup ever since until Friday, Jan. 12 at Elkton.
Clark had been out since the first day of the Kent Holiday Tournament (Dec. 15-16) and Sutton pulled out of the Battle at the Bridge invitational (Jan. 5-6), after winning his first two bouts, because of injury.
Kent County coach Chris Yiannakis said it had been “a struggle” to keep Iacona and Clark off the mat for so long; they were constantly trying to drill and wrestle live.
“They have hopefully been an inspiration to the new guys through their desire to want to compete and be a part of practice despite the injuries,” Yiannakis told The Evening Enterprise.
Friday’s team win came at a very opportune time. Weather permitting, road-weary Kent County will host its first dual meet of the season Wednesday, Jan. 17 against James Bennett.
Kent County also is home Jan. 19 (Senior Night) against Snow Hill and Jan. 22 (Junior League Night) against Perryville.
Home matches start at 5 p.m.
Looking ahead, Yiannakis said in an email: “We started out with a good deal of holes in the lineup and now with the 13 wrestlers we have we can maneuver to fill 13 spots, which paid off Friday night” at Elkton.

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