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.
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.