The Rock Hill Bearcats earned another trip to the state wrestling finals, while the South Pointe Stallions came up short in their bid to go to the next round Wednesday night.
Rock Hill (Class 5A) earned a solid 44-18 victory over the Byrnes Rebels in Duncan, while South Pointe (Class 4A) dropped a 50-22 decision to Eastside in Taylors.
The Bearcats advance to meet Fort Dorchester at 5 p.m. Saturday at Airport High School in Columbia. The Bearcats will be seeking their 19th state title.
“This team really responded well tonight,” said Rock Hill coach Cain Beard. “We came out ready to go, and getting a big lead really helped us and gave us some confidence.”
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Danny Love opened the match at 120 and scored a decision for 3-0 Rock Hill lead. Eli Rhodes (126) upped the count to 6-0 with a decision and Bailey Wilkins (132) got a technical fall to push the lead to 11-0.
Andrew Simpson (138) and Michael Ramirez (145) both got pins and Rock Hill was in command at 23-0. Noah Reynolds added a pin at 170 for the Bearcats.
Brandon Mills (182) scored a major decision to make it 33-6, and Chris Ceja’s decision at 220 pushed it to 36-12. Devan Rice (285) got a major decision, and Justin Beck (113) put the finishing touch on the win with a major decision.
“We bumped up quite a few wrestlers tonight, and everyone of them responded,” Beard said. “That is part of what gave us the big lead early.”
The Bearcats are no strangers to the state finals. It is their eighth finals appearance in the last 11 years.
“We have been here before, and we know what to do,” said Beard. “We continue to improve and stay focused on what we are doing.”
The South Pointe Stallions got a good start, but Eastside rallied to claim the win and move to the finals on Saturday against Chapin.
Isaac Ekonem (170) got the Stallions a 4-0 lead with a major decision. After Eastside got a pin to take a 6-4 lead, Jai Davis of South Pointe countered with a pin at 195, and the Stallions had a 10-6 lead.
Eastside got a pin at 220, but Ernie Greenwood (285) countered with a pin for South Pointe, and the Stallions were back in front 16-12. When Kemari Reaves (106) got a pin it was 22-12, but that was all the Stallions would get.
Eastside won by technical fall at 113 and South Pointe led 22-17 at the midway point. It was all Eastside in the last half. They got three pins, a technical fall, a major decision, and a decision.
Great Falls 60, McBee 50
The Great Falls Red Devils put four players in double figures, led by Kelton Talford’s 24 points, and never trailed in defeating the McBee Panthers 60-50 Tuesday night at Great Falls.
The win flipped the script on the first result between the two teams this year, when the Panthers got a 21-point win at their place. The two teams are tied with Lewisville at 7-2 for first place in Region 2-A. The Red Devils play at the Governor’s School on Thursday and Lewisville travels to McBee. If Great Falls wins, the Red Devils will share the region title with the winner of the other game.
The Red Devils scored the first 10 and the last 10 points of the first period to lead 22-10 headed to the second. Talford had eight points in the period. Donnell Adams and Tommy Belk started the game with back-to-back three-pointers to set the tone.
Talford had nine more in the second period and Great Falls led 39-20 at the half.
Another 9-0 run pushed the advantage out that far. Talford had seven of those nine.
The Red Devils, led by the smooth ball-handling of Adams and ZyDerrick Jordan, relentlessly pushed the pace all night long and Talford dominated inside. Belk took three more charges for Great Falls to put him at 60 for the season.
“Their half-court defense was really good the first game,” Great Falls coach Jimmy Duncan said. “So we tried to push it up before they could get set.”
The home team led by as much as 24 at 44-20 early in the second half. McBee answered with eight straight to cut it to 16. The Panthers finished on a 12-2 spurt. Tyrece Wright had nine of his 14 in the fourth for McBee.
Fort Mill 73, Northwestern 72 (2OT)
Fort Mill edged Northwestern 73-72 in double overtime in a Region 4-5A game at Northwestern Tuesday night.
Fort Mill led 28-27 at halftime, and took a one point lead into the final session. Both teams scored six points in the first overtime period, and Fort Mill won the second overtime 6-5 to claim the win.
Fort Mill was led by Josh Amigo with 23 points. Ryan Heriot added 21, and Carson Morton scored 11. Chris Leach paced Northwestern with 22 points. Zay Martin added 17, Ge-Cari Caldwell scored 11, and Jaywen Westbrook chipped in 10.
Fort Mill is 14-7 overall and 6-1 in the region. Northwestern is 9-13 in all games and 2-5 in the region.
Rock Hill 44, Clover 43
Rock Hill edged Clover 44-43 in a Region 4-5A game at Clover Tuesday night.
Clover led 25-22 at halftime and was in front 36-32 after three periods. Rock Hill outscored Clover 12-7 in the final period for the win.
Rock Hill is 5-15 overall and 1-6 in the region. Clover is 12-11 in all games and 2-6 in region play.
Ridge View 76, York 72
Ridge View edged York 76-72 in a Region 3-4A game at York Tuesday night.
York is 10-12 overall and 3-5 in the region.
Westwood 62, South Pointe 53
Westwood topped South Pointe 62-53 in a Region 3-4A game at South Pointe Tuesday night.
South Pointe is 10-12 in all games and 3-6 in region action.
Chester 95, Fairfield Central 39
Chester bolted to a 20-6 lead after one period and routed Fairfield Central 95-39 in a Region 4-3A game at Chester Tuesday night.
Chester completed the regular season with a record of 15-5 overall and 6-2 in the region.
Camden 58, Indian Land 50
Camden topped Indian Land 58-50 in a Region 4-3A game at Indian Land Tuesday night.
Indian Land is 9-13 overall and 3-4 in the region.
Coaches Release Rankings
The South Carolina Basketball Coaches have announced its latest rankings and four area teams are on the list.
1. Blythewood, 2. Conway, 3. Dorman, 4. West Ashley, 5. Wade Hampton (G) , 6. Sumter, 7. Nation Ford, 8. Westside, 9. Gaffney, 10. Spring Valley.
1. Wilson, 2. Greenville, 3. Aiken, 4. Berkeley, 5. Westwood, 6. A C. Flora, 7. Ridge View, 8. Travelers Rest, 9. North Augusta, 10. Orangeburg-Wilkinson.
1. Southside, 2. Ridgeland-Hardeeville, 3. Loris, 4. Newberry, 5. Manning, 6. Chester, 7. Wade Hampton (H) , 8. Clinton, 9. Bluffton, 10. Chapman.
1. Gray Collegiate, 2. Carvers Bay, 3. Lee Central, 4. Keenan, 5. Calhoun County, 6. Landrum, 7. Greenville Tech, 8. Silver Bluff, 9. Marion, 10. Cheraw.
1. Hemingway, 2. Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, 3. Williston-Elko, 4. High Point Academy, 5. Great Falls, 6. Lewisville, 7. Ridge Spring-Monetta, 8. McBee, 9. McCormick, 10. Lowcountry Leadership.
Coaches Release Rankings
The South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association has announced its latest poll and Rock Hill and Nation Ford are on the list.
1. Spring Valley, 2. Goose Creek, 3. Woodmont, 4. Rock Hill, 5. Carolina Forest, 6. Wade Hampton (G), 7. Fort Dorchester, 8. Sumter, 9. Nation Ford, 10. Irmo.
1. North Augusta, 2. Richland Northeast, 3. Westwood, 4. Crestwood, 5. Orangeburg-Wilkinson, 6. Myrtle Beach, 7. Wilson, 8. Hartsville, 9. Greenville, 10. North Myrtle Beach.
1. Emerald, 2. Newberry, 3. Ridgeland-Hardeeville, 4. Pendleton, 5. Bishop England, 6. Swansea, 7. Loris, 8. Dillon, 9. Manning, 10. Battery Creek.
1. Marion, 2. Mullins, 3. Barnwell, 4. Andrew Jackson, 5. Christ Church, 6. Landrum, 7. Blacksburg, 8. Brashier Middle College, 9. North Charleston, 10. Batesburg-Leesville.
1. East Clarendon, 2. Green-Sea Floyds, 3. Lamar, 4. Ridge Spring-Monetta, 5. Blackville-Hilda, 6. Denmark-Olar, 7. C. E. Murray, 8. Palmetto Scholars Academy, 9. Charleston Math & Science, 10. Estill.