What was a close match-up early quickly shifted to a lopsided 44-30 victory for the second ranked Rock Hill Bearcats over 10th ranked Fort Mill Yellow Jackets in an important Region IV-5A wrestling dual.
The contest between the two rivals Thursday night went back and forth about midway through the 14 matches until Rock Hill rattled off four wins in a row and won six of the last eight weight classes for the victory. With the loss, Fort Mill dropped to 12-6 on the season.
“We struggled a little bit,” said Fort Mill head coach Chris Brock. “We needed to keep tight with them between 138 and 152. They are just better than us. We are still hoping to get the little pieces put together.”
Stating at 220 pounds, Fort Mill came out of the gate taking the first match with Jack Kelley getting a second period pin to put the Jackets up 6-0. Rock Hill got penalized one team point after the match, which would put them in the red for a while.The Bearcats came back to win the second match of the evening with Devan Rice getting the victory at heavyweight.
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Fort Mill’s Ethan Johnson would grab a first period pin to put the Jackets up 12-5, but again Rock Hill rallied as Justin Beck picked up a second period pin at 113 pounds. Rock Hill would get its first lead of the match as Danny Love took 4-1 decision over Jacob Sturgeon, but again the tide would flip in the Jackets’ favor with Zach Hornbrook getting a third period pin at 126 to put Fort Mill back on top 18-14.
It was at that point Rock Hill started its streak of winning four straight matches, two by pin fall, to go up 32-18 with the Bearcats getting wins from Andrew Simpson (132), Bailey Wilkins (138), Michael Ramirez (145) and Tristen Beldesoe (152).
Fort Mill would get back in the win column as Jake Hart earned a second period pin over Alex English at 160 pounds. Despite the win, the Jackets couldn’t keep the momentum going as Noah Reynolds clinched the match for Rock Hill winning at 170 to make it 38-24. Brandon Mills won for Rock Hill at 182 pounds and Triston Morris got a win for Fort Mill at 195 to close out the dual.
The Jackets traveled to their last tournament of the regular season Jan. 12-13 in Johnson City, Tenn., and take on Clover on the road and Northwestern at home this coming week to continue their region schedule.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM