SIMPSONVILLE — Despite having to forfeit one weight class, the ninth-ranked Fort Mill Yellow Jackets almost pulled off the upset of fourth-ranked Hillcrest Rams, falling 33-28 in the 4A wrestling playoff quarterfinals.
Down 30-22 with two weight classes to go, Fort Mill needed to win at heavyweight to stay alive, but lost 1-0 allowing Hillcrest to clinch the win.
Hillcrest will now travel to Rock Hill to face the Bearcats in the Upper State championship, which is schedule for Wednesday, but that date may change due to impending bad weather.
A disappointed Fort Mill head coach Chris Brock said his team didn’t have anything to be upset about especially after the season they had.
“I can’t complain with the season we had, especially with all the setbacks we had,” he said. “It is disappointing to lose.”
Fort Mill got good draw to start at 113-pounds where some of their better wrestlers are stationed at in the lower weights at 106 through 126-pounds.
The Jackets jumped out to a 4-0 win with fifth-ranked freshman AJ Leitten getting an 11-3 victory over sixth-ranked senior Nathan Roberts at 113-pounds. That win was followed by a win from top ranked senior Eddie Byrams by pin fall at 120-pounds to put the Jackets up 10-0.
Fort Mill then went up 13-0 with a 7-6 win from third-ranked junior Jake Strong over seventh-ranked Sean Horgan. But after that win, the Jackets won just two more weight classes at 145 and 195-pounds.
Hillcrest got its first win at 132-pounds as fourth-ranked Jeremy Higgins beat junior Nick Gray 12-5. From there, the Rams chipped away at Fort Mill.
At 145-pounds, the Jackets got some breathing room as sixth-ranked senior Nigel Bostick beat Patrick Meyer 5-3 in overtime, which made the score 16-8. However, Hillcrest’s anaconda grip tighten in the next four matches as they would win all four and take a 24-16 lead.
Third-ranked senior BJ Hurst would get Fort Mill back in the match by getting a pin at 195-pounds, which made it 24-22, but after that the Jackets had to forfeit at 220, which pushed the score to 30-22 in Hillcrest favor.
From there the Jackets needed a win at heavyweight to force the final match of the evening at 106-pounds, but that didn’t happen. Hillcrest would then forfeit at 106-pounds after clinching the match at heavyweight.
Hillcrest 33, Fort Mill 28
113: AJ Leitten (FM) major dec. Nathan Roberts (H) 11-3; 120: Eddie Byrams (FM) pinned Payton Lance (H); 126: Jake Strong (FM) dec. Sean Horgan (H) 7-6; 132: Jeremy Higgins (H) dec. Nick Gray (FM) 12-5; 138: Grant Snyder (H) tech. fall Steven Hamilton (FM) 15-0; 145: Nigel Bostick dec. Patrick Meyer (H) 5-3; 152: John Michael Sweeney (H) major dec. Evan Stankovits (FM) 13-4; 160: Asa Kelley (H) dec. Jack Debbout (FM) 6-1; 170: Isaish Sayegh (H) pinned Ian Baird (FM); 182: Nygel Witherspoon (H) dec Gray Hinson (FM) 9-2; 195: BJ Hurst (FM) pinned Niegel Kilgore (H); 220: Landon Sayegh (H) forfeit; 285: Connor Best (H) dec. Matt Neill (FM) 1-0; 106: John Brotemarkle (FM) forfeit.
Records: Fort Mill 17-4, Hillcrest 21-1.