SIMPSONVILLE — Despite having to forfeit one weight class, the ninth-ranked Fort Mill Yellow Jackets wresting team almost pulled off an upset of fourth-ranked Hillcrest Rams, but came up just short, 33-28, in the 4A S.C. state 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 facedRock Hill in the Upper State championship Monday.
Although disappointed, Fort Mill coach Chris Brock said it was a good season despite being short-handed for most of it.
“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 a good draw to start at 113 pounds. Some of the team’s better wrestlers are stationed 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 against 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 against seventh-ranked Sean Horgan. The Jackets won also won 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, 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 grip tightened as the Rams won four matches to take a 24-16 lead.
Third-ranked senior BJ Hurst got Fort Mill back in the match by getting a pin at 195 pounds, which made it 24-22. But the Jackets forfeited at 220, which pushed the score to 30-22 in Hillcrest’s favor.
At that point, the Jackets needed a win at heavyweight to force the final match of the evening at 106 pounds, but that didn’t happen. Hillcrest was able to 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.