FORT MILL — Fort Mill High head wrestling coach Chris Brock has become almost a master at tinkering with his lineup.
This time it worked just as he planned.
Fort Mill beat Mauldin 37-27 in the first round of the 4A playoffs, then beat Lugoff-Elgin 54-24 in the second round.
Both victories came Saturday at Lugoff-Elgin High School.
Ninth-ranked Fort Mill advanced to face fourth-ranked Hillcrest in the third round this week. (Results not available by press time, but read about the match at www.fortmilltimes.com).
Fort Mill never trailed during the first two rounds but came close a couple times. The Mauldin dual match came down to the last match, at 106 pounds, with the Jackets leading 31-27, but the Mavericks had to forfeit, sealing the win for Fort Mill.
“Mauldin has some good kids,” Brock said. “All season we have been trying to make pieces fit.”
Fort Mill started off with wins by A.J. Leitten (113), Eddie Byrams (120), and Malik Campbell (126) filling in for an injured Jake Strong. After a loss at 132 pounds, the Jackets picked up three straight wins from Austin Gard (138), Nigel Bostick (145) and Jack Debbout (152).
The Jackets then lost four straight, two by forfeit, and the scored narrowed to 28-24. Fort Mill then got a key 4-3 overtime win from BJ Hurst to go up 31-24 before Jarrod Kimball won by forfeit at 106 pounds to give the Yellow Jackets the win.
Things were a lot easier for Fort Mill against Lugoff-Elgin as the Yellow Jackets lost just four matches, two by forfeit.
Getting wins for the Jackets were Kimball (106), Leitten (113), Byrams (120), Nick Gray (132), Steven Hamilton (138), Bostick (145), Debbout (152), Gray Hinson (182), Hurst (220) and Matt Neill (285).
NaFo gets to second round
While Fort Mill was at Lugoff-Elgin for the first two rounds, Nation Ford was at Dorman taking on Westside in a first-round playoff match – the Falcons’ first-ever dual playoff match, and it didn’t disappoint Nation Ford fans.
With the Falcons trailing 36-31, the dual came down to the final match, with Michael Allen needing the pin fall win for Nation Ford to advance. Allen got the pin and the extra team points that came with it, giving the Falcons their first post-season wrestling victory.
The Falcons’ Houston Vandiver got the winning started for Nation Ford, followed by a decision for Robert Land and a pin fall victory for Justin Ettell.
Nation Ford’s Major Strait got a pin and Harrison Vandiver won by major decision for the Falcons.
In the second round, the Falcons ran into fifth-ranked Dorman, which won easily, 59-12.
Nation Ford finished its most successful wrestling season since the school opened in 2007, after posting a 17-12 record.