No. 3 high school sports story of 2017-18 | Area wrestlers win regionals

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Currituck's Albert Harris (right) lifts Pasquotank's Darrien Stutz during a match this past season. Both later won at regional championships.


By David Gough
Sports Writer

Sunday, July 15, 2018

There were several outstanding individual performances in the area’s high school sports scene this year.

That certainly was true in wrestling. Four local athletes earned their way to gold at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association East Regional championships in February.

Two of the four both came from Pasquotank County High School.

Darrien Stutz was one of them and even though it was the senior’s first year as a Panther, he did have wrestling experience before his move to North Carolina.

Even then, his junior year at Stevens High School in South Dakota was only the first year he ever wrestled. Yet, he still was absolutely dominant on the mat this past winter.

The 195-pound wrestler, named the Daily Advance’s Wrestler of the Year, won 36 of his 41 matches leading to an eventual state championship.

Stutz defeated Northeastern’s Dylan Herman 3-2 to win the east regional and played a big part Pasquotank’s repeat season of being Northeastern Coastal Conference champions along the way.

Javiaughn Basnight was the other Panther to win at the east regional. His win in the 132-pound weight class led him to be seeded No. 1 for the state tournament.

The senior crushed the competition in his regional championship by defeating Croatan’s Clay Sanders 14-2 after initially winning the NCC individual championship as well.

Basnight finished his high school career with more than a hundred wins as a Pasquotank Panther.

The other two wrestlers in the area to accomplish the east regional feat came from Currituck and Northeastern.

It was Albert Harris who shined for Currituck. The junior won the 220-pound NCC individual championship before inevitably winning at regionals.

He won the regional championship with little problem, pinning Washington’s Logan Nichols for gold. The Knight finished fifth at states after unfortunately suffering an injury in his semifinal match.

For Northeastern, it was Jonathan Ward who won at the NCHSAA East Regional championship.

Ward won the NCC individual championships at 138 pounds and didn’t stop on the way to his regional crown.

There, he won 11-5 in the regional championship against Dixon’s Joey Marker. The junior eventually finished sixth at states.