FORT MILL — In a three-way dual meet at Nation Ford High at Wednesday night, the Rock Hill Bearcats reigned supreme, exacting some revenge over the Lexington Wildcats with a 45-27 win.
Lexington beat Rock Hill last year for the Class AAAA state dual championship, but Bearcats coach Cain Beard said it wasn’t as much about getting revenge as it was about getting to see them.
“It’s always good to wrestle those guys,” he said. “It’s a great program. We could easily see them again. We are going to change some things and I am sure they will change some things. I at least like to see everybody once.”
Rock Hill led from the opening match against Lexington as Logan Sexton pinned Jared Elliott with 15 seconds left in the third period to give the Bearcats a 6-0 lead at 113 pounds.
The Bearcats then went up 12-0 with a pin from Nick Steinberg at 120 pounds in the second period. Then after Tyler Wilkins won by a 7-4 decision at 132 pounds to give Rock Hill the 15-4 lead, Lexington came back taking the next two matches to make it 15-12.
The teams then traded wins as Kris Hughes and Cody Childers each won by pin fall in the second periods to extend the Rock Hill lead back to 27-12.
From there Lexington made another push and made a match out of things by winning the next three weight classes to tie the match at 27-27.
Rock Hill then got a huge win at 220 pounds from Cameron Bell as he pinned Aaron Austin in the second period to put the Bearcats up 33-27. Lexington then forfeited at heavyweight and Rock Hill closed things out as Devon Faile won at 106 pounds pinning Dylan Monoro in the first period.
Lexington coach Derek Strobel said he wasn’t disappointed in the loss because he knew things would be different in the future with his lineup if the two teams meet again.
“We gave up too many pins and bonus points,” Strobel said. “That is things that can be fixed. We still aren’t at full strength, but we are headed in the right direction.”
Rock Hill also tore through Nation Ford 66-3. The Bearcats won all but one match. The only bright spot coming for Nation Ford was an 11-6 win for Michael Allen at 138 pounds.
Bearcats getting wins against Nation Ford included Noah Mead (126), Wilkins (132), Muldrow Rigby (145), Hughes (152), Childers (160), Ben Demarest (170), Stephen Chesney (182), Jordan Webster (195), Josh English (220), Travis Strait (285), Faile (106), Sexton (113) and Kendrick Mackey (120).
Nation Ford wrestled Lexington close, but still lost to them 41-27. Falcons coach Leon Boulware said he was happy with how they wrestled the Wildcats, but was disappointed in the team that wrestled Rock Hill.
“We have got to get guys to understand you can’t wrestle the name of the school,” Boulware said. “We have to bounce back after a tough loss. We have to get over the mental aspects of things.”
Nation Ford had the lead on Lexington twice, before the Wildcats would pull away. Lexington went up 7-0 to start before the Falcons’ Buck Barfield got a pin at 132 pounds, followed by a 7-0 decision by Allen to give them a 9-7 lead.
Lexington would regain the lead at 145 pounds, but Nation Ford would take it right back with a pin by Houston Vandiver in the first period at 152 pounds to make it 15-11 in favor of the Falcons. Lexington would regain the lead at 160 pounds and never give it up winning five of the next six matches.
The only two other Falcons getting wins against Lexington were Justin Ettell, by forfeit at 182 pounds, and Jeremy Kishbaugh at 106 pounds by pin fall in the second period.