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Thrilling finish lifts Virginia Tech past No. 3 North Carolina State and into ACC lead

Sometimes, the difference between winning and losing comes down to a single point or a single move on the wrestling mat.

Virginia Tech freshman Sam Latona got a two-point takedown and a two-point near fall in the final five seconds to stun North Carolina State sophomore Jakob Camacho, 7-4 in their bout at 125 pounds, Friday night in Blacksburg, Va.

Since it was the final bout of the evening, No. 8 Latona’s win over No. 4 Camacho lifted the No. 8 Hokies to a stunning 17-16 win by criteria over No. 3 North Carolina State.

Latona’s victory over Camacho tied the match at 16-16 but Latona’s four points in the final 10 seconds gave Virginia Tech at 49-48 edge in total points. The match was decided on total points scored by each team in the match.

Trailing by one point in the waning seconds of his bout, Latona scooped up a single leg and was trying to get a takedown to win the match. Camacho appeared to try and roll away but Latona, a redshirt freshman from Alabaster, Alabama, stuck him to the mat for the takedown and near fall.

The win puts Virginia Tech (8-0, 4-0 ACC) in command of their own destiny in their quest win the ACC championship with one league bout remaining. The Wolfpack (5-1, 3-1 ACC) had their 21-match winning streak, the longest in the nation, snapped.

Virginia Tech can win the ACC title with a win over Pitt next week while the Wolfpack close out their ACC season by facing Duke next Friday night.

It was a tense match throughout. There were 15 ranked wrestlers among the 20 athletes in the meet. Eight of the 10 matches were decisions with Virginia Tech’s No. 2 Hunter Bolen (184) outdueling No. 4 Trent Hidlay, 2-1 and N.C. State’s Deconte Wilson (285) getting past Hokie John Borst, 3-1.

It was the first defeat of the season for Camacho, a sophomore from Danbury. He is now 6-1 on the season.

Virginia Tech 17, North Carolina State 16, criteria
At Blacksburg, Va.
133: #8 Korbin Myers (VT) major dec.  #13 Jarrett Trombley, 13-5
141: #10 Tariq Wilson (NCS) dec. Sam Hillegas, 5-1
149: #11 Bryce Andonian (VT) dec. Ed Scott, 9-5
157: #2 Hayden Hidlay (NCSU) dec. Connor Brady, 9-4
165: #1 Mekhi Lewis (VT) dec. #15 Thomas Bullard, 5-0
174: #7 Daniel Bullard (NCSU) major dec. Dakota Howard, 10-2
184: #2 Hunter Bolen (VT) dec. #4 Trent Hidlay, 2-1
197: #16 Isaac Trumble (NCSU) dec. Stan Smeltzer, 6-5
285: #19 Deonte Wilson (NCSU) dec. #17 John Borst, 3-1
125: #8 Sam Latona (VT) dec. #4 Jakob Camacho, 7-4
VT wins on critera on total points scored, 49-48
Records: Virginia Tech 8-0, 4-0 ACC; North Carolina State 5-1, 3-1 ACC

Connecticut Wrestling Online has been covering the sport of wrestling in Connecticut and New England since 2001.

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