Third-ranked Chapin defeated No. 1 St. James in the Class 3A Lower State championship match on Tuesday to earn a state wrestling title shot for the second year in a row.
The Eagles (37-7) will square off against Belton-Honea Path for 3A honors at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Dreher High. The second-ranked BHP Bears (31-2) eliminated defending state champion West-Oak, 34-30, in the Upper State final.
Chapin emerged with a 33-32 triumph over the Sharks, but the outcome was not nearly as dramatic as the final score might indicate. In fact, Chapin jumped out to a 33-3 lead and had the verdict so much in hand it handed away 12 points via forfeits in the final two bouts of the night.
Scott Swindell started it off with a pin at 160 points. Devin Lawrence upped the lead to 9-0 with a decision at 170. The Eagles then won four of the next five bouts via fall to make it 33-3. The pins were courtesy of Cody Brundage (182), Ryan Moore (195), Adam Taylor (285) and George Dreher (106). That was it for the Eagles, but it was more than enough.
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Chapin is 0-2 in state title matches in the dual-meet playoff format. The Eagles lost to Eastside in 2005 and 31-27 to West-Oak last year.
Chapin has four state championships in the books – taking 2A honors in the old tradition state tournament format in 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998.