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Braves set for NHC tourney challenge

January 19, 2012

NO BUTS ABOUT IT! — Bellmont senior Landon Baker flattens his Homestead foe in a recent meet. Baker is unseeded but expected to score for the Braves in the NHC tourney. (Jim Hopkins Photo)

    A year ago, East Noble finished sixth in the NHC Wrestling Tourney at New Haven. Saturday, the Knights will host the meet and if they live up to their seedings, the hosts will challenge for the crown.
    Of course, perennial NHC mat king Bellmont will have something to say about that. The Braves, rated No. 14 in the coaches poll, went through the regular-season NHC slate with a perfect 7-0 mark, but needed the eighth criteria (most first points in matches) to defeat the Knights by a point. East Noble has never beaten Bellmont in a dual, though the Knights won the 1990 and first NHC mat tourney, held at Bellmont.
    That was the last year that Bellmont did not earn at least a share of the crown, and the Braves have won all but two tourneys since that year.
    East Noble has three top seeds and 11 seeded in the tourney, set for a 9 a.m. start. DeKalb, which beat East Noble at Bellmont in the dual, has 10 seeds and two No. 1s, while Bellmont has 10 seeds. No other team should challenge.
    "It could be that all three beat up on each other and see who survives," said Bellmont coach Brent Faurote.
    "We secured the dual portion, and we'd like to get in there and win the tournament because we didn't do that last year."
    Carroll won the tourney a year ago with 240 points to the 228.5 of Bellmont. DeKalb was fourth with 167 points and East Noble managed 122.5 points.
    The coach is counting on all of his wrestlers scoring Saturday.

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