Strong showing for Southern's Blash at states

Feb. 22, 2014 @ 11:53 PM

Southern Vance’s Damonte Blash came up just short of a third-place finish in the state Saturday in Greensboro.

Blash was forced to injury default his third-place, 126-pound match with Carrboro’s Stephen Dreher at the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A State Championships.

Blash, the Mideast No. 2 seed, led Dreher 4-3 in the second period before the two knocked heads. Southern conceded the match rather than risk Blash potentially competing with a concussion. Dreher was the top seed in the Mideast and the top-ranked 126-pounder in 2-A entering the tournament.

Blash advanced by Thomasville’s Ahsan Butt, the Midwest No. 3, prior to the Dreher bout on Saturday.

Blash’s fourth-place finish marked the third consecutive top-four finish in the state for a Southern wrestler. Xavier Gregory finished third in 3-A last season at 195 pounds and fourth the season prior.

Southern’s Sikem Caceres was eliminated from the consolation round of the 113-pound competition on Friday and Kavoris Perry, a 152-pounder, lost in the first round Thursday and was eliminated on Friday.

The Raiders finished with 14 team points, which had them tied for 38th out of 64 teams after Blash was eliminated.