FORT MILL — The Rock Hill Bearcats wrestling team was dominant in a 41-21 win over rivals Fort Mill High, potentially clinching the Region III-AAAA title and dethroning Fort Mill, who had won its past seven region titles in both 3A and 4A.
Usually a back-and-forth battle between the schools when it comes to wrestling almost always comes down to the last match or two, but Thursday evening it was nearly all Rock Hill.
“We were able to come up with some close wins,” said Rock Hill coach Cain Beard. “There were some great matches.”
Fort Mill, ranked 12th in the state, had already had a down year by its own standards, coming into the match with a 17-5 record, while Rock Hill was sitting atop the state polls at number one with a 25-1 record. The Bearcats came in undefeated in the region, while Fort Mill dropped a close match last week to York for its only region loss.
Rock Hill still has to face Northwestern, while Fort Mill still has region matches against Lancaster, South Pointe and Nation Ford.
For the second time in the past three matches, Fort Mill coach Chris Brock was upset at how his team performed.
“It wasn’t about technique or anything like that,” he said. “We wrestled without heart or guts. We had no fire. We have to focus on getting mentally and physically tougher.”
The entire match’s momentum came in the first three weight classes.
“Those first three matches were the turning point because we were able to find a way to win,” Beard said.
“There was three close matches to start that could have gone either way and we didn’t win a one of them,” Brock said.
The match started at 126 pounds with Fort Mill’s Jake Strong going against Rock Hill’s Noah Mead.
Strong went up 7-1 after the first period. Mead fought back to cut the lead and then tied things in the third period at 9 with about 30 seconds left. Mead got the two points he needed for the win in overtime to put Rock Hill up 3-0 early.
At 132 pounds, Rock Hill’s Christen Moore went up early on the Jackets’ Danny Angel 3-2. An escape in the second period tied things for Fort Mill. Moore then got a takedown before the end of the second period to retake the lead and hold on for a 6-3 win.
Fort Mill’s Nigel Bostick and Rock Hill’s Samuel Swoope wrestled to a 0-0 tie after the first period at 138 pounds. Bostick got an escape to start the second period and went up 1-0.
Swoope got the point he needed to tie it at 1 30 seconds into the third period. With less than six seconds left in the match, Swoope got the only takedown to get the win.
At 145 pounds, Fort Mill’s Nick Leitten was given a point to start the third period after a 0-0 tie through two periods. That was all he needed to stay undefeated and give the Jackets its first points of the match and make the score 9-3.
Rock Hill’s Robert Mills went up 5-2 after the first period at 152 pounds. He would push that lead to 7-3 after the second period and then finish it with a pin to push the Bearcats lead to 15-3.
The Bearcats’ Keon Boulware picked up Rock Hill’s second straight win by pin, beating the Jackets’ Brandon Mayer in the first period at 160-pounds.
Rock Hill continued to dominate the match with wins at 170-pounds by Cody Childers and 182-pounds by Afton Walker to go up 31-3.
Fort Mill was able to bounce back with a pin at 195-pounds as Kaleb Cisco pinned Ben Demarest to put some life back into the Jackets.
At 220-pounds, Fort Mill’s BJ Hurst and Rock Hill’s Cameron Bell had a back and forth match, with Bell hold a 6-4 lead entering the final period. Bell extended his lead to get the win 10-8.
That win put things out of reach for Fort Mill despite having four matches left as the Bearcats went up 34-9 to secure the dual win.
Rock Hill finished with wins at heavyweight in Travis Strait and at 106 with Devon Faile, while Fort Mill got a quick win from Eddie Byrams at 113-pounds and Tyler Turner won by forfeit at 120-pounds.
Rock Hill 41, Fort Mill 21
126: Noah Mead (RH) dec. Jake Strong (FM), 11-9 OT; 132: Christen Moore (RH) dec. Danny Angel (FM), 6-3; 138: Samuel Swoope (RH) dec. Nigel Bostick (FM), 3-2; 145: Nick Leitten (FM) dec. Bishop Ashley (RH), 1-0; 152: Robert Mills (RH) pinned Malik Long (FM), 2nd period; 160: Keon Boulware (RH) pinned Brandon Mayer (FM), 1st period; 170: Cody Childers (RH) major dec. Will Hooker (FM), 14-6; 182: Afton Walker (RH) pinned Brock Kerr (FM), 2nd period; 195: Kaleb Cisco (FM) pinned Ben Demarest (RH), 3rd period; 220: Cameron Bell (RH) dec. BJ Hurst (FM), 10-8; Hwt.: Travis Strait (RH) major dec. Sam Smith (FM), 9-0; 106: Devon Faile (RH) dec. John Brotemarkle (FM), 6-0; 113: Eddie Byrams (FM) pinned Logan Sexton (RH) 1st period; 120: Tyler Turner (FM) forfeit win.
Records: Rock Hill 26-1, 6-0 Region III-AAAA; Fort Mill 17-6, 2-2 Region III-AAAA.
SOUTH POINTE 38, LANCASTER 38
The South Pointe Stallions won in the third tie-breaker after the two Region 3-AAAA teams battled to a tie Thursday night in Rock Hill.
Trailing 38-35 entering the final match, South Pointe’s Ricky Blackmon came back from an early deficit to earn a 10-8 decision over Jeff Reed, who took the early lead.
Reed was in front 8-3 after two periods, but Blackmon tied the count at 8 with 41 seconds remaining. He won in the overtime period.
That put the two teams even, and South Pointe won on technical falls after they tied on total pins. The technical fall came when Cameron Pike recorded one against Jordan Ribelin.
Starting in the 182 weight class, the Bruins took an 18-6 lead after four matches. South Point got a pin from Nathan Stratford and a forfeit win to tie it at 18.
Matt Brazzell’s major decision and Tyki Braun-Washing’s pin gave Lancaster a 28-18 lead. Bryce Stone and Mike Miller recorded back-to-back pins and South Pointe was back in front 30-28.
Pike’s technical fall win gave the Stallions a 35-28 lead, but Desmond Hood recorded a pin to cut it to 35-34. Raheem Chambers’ 12-4 major decision put the Bruins up 38-35 heading to the final event of the night.
“We really needed this win,” said South Pointe coach Eddie Cook. “This was a great comeback for us tonight.”
Cook added that his team has lost several players during the year and had to overcome a lot of adversity.
“This win came at the right time for us,” added Cook. “We had some wins in close matches. We needed that heading into the region tournament.”
SOUTH POINTE 38, LANCASTER 38
106 - Marvin Galette (SP) forfeit, 113 - Nathan Stratford (SP) pinned Jonathan Reid, 120 - Matt Brazzell (L) maj. dec. Triston Wheeler 17-5, 126 - Tyki Braun-Washin (L) pinned Sean Qjuaiel, 132- Bryce Stone (SP) pinned Scottie Walker, 138 - Mike Miller (SP) pinned Brandon Mosier, 145 - Cameron Pike (SP) tech. fall Jordan Ribelin, 152 - Desmond Hood (L) pinned Michael Grubb, 160 - Raheem Chambers (L) maj. dec. Andrew Swinger 12-4, 170 - Ricky Blackmon (SP) dec. Jeff Reed 10-8, 182 - Quishon Evans (L) pinned Zack Morgan, 195 - Corey Morgan (SP) pinned Vonis Garris, 220 - John Bush (L) pinned John Foote, HWT - Donte Spates (L) pinned Rob Lancaster.
NORTHWESTERN 45, NATION FORD 19
The Trojans won nine weight classes and topped Nation Ford in a Region 3-AAAA match in Fort Mill.
Michael Chumsawang, Brandon Hughes, Patrick Robles, and Jamison Humburg all won for the Trojans with pins. Naychon won in a decision for Northwestern, while the other four wins came by forfeit.
Northwestern improved to 4-2 in Region 3-AAAA action and 20-4 overall with the victory over the Falcons.
106 - Michael Chumsawang (N) pinned Harrison Vandiver, 113 - Joshua Bell (N) forfeit, 120 - Whitney Dye (N) forfeit, 126 - Brandon Hughes (N) pinned Collin Godbout, 132 - Michael Allen (N) forfeit, 138 - Patrick Robles (N) pinned Elliot Wallace, 145 - Houston Vandiver (NF) dec. Hunter Allen 2-1, 152 - Nick Raniszewski (NF) dec. Desmond Leak 6-1, 160 - Jamison Humburg (N) pinned Cody Carter, 170 - Brady Hensley (NF) maj. dec. Kobe Tate 15-7, 182 - Naychon Gregory (N) dec. Tyler Godbout 8-6, 195 - Eli Judd (N) forfeit, 220 - double forfeit, 285 - Josh Driscoll (NF) dec. Josh Miller 3-1.
8th GRADE GIRLS BASKETBALL
GOLD HILL 33, OAKRIDGE 28