White Knoll’s Brandon Proveax was the only Midland entry to attain individual glory at the 27th Annual Bearcat Invitational wrestling tournament in Rock Hill.
Proveaux, ranked No. 2 at 215 pounds behind Dutch Fork’s T.J. Cayruth by scmat.com, pinned South Point’s Patrick Thompson in the title bout for his second tournament triumph of the season. The Timberwolves veteran standout was a winner at the Outback event in North Myrtle Beach last month.
The Beacat sweep capped an eventful week for the two-time state qualifying senior, who now sports a 25-1 record. Earlier last week, Proveaux beat Cayruth 2-0 in a dual meet. He has yet to lose to a South Carolina wrestler.
Teammate Skylar Walker was the only other WK entry to crack the top four in Rock Hill. Walker was fourth at 130.
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Lugoff-Elgin had the top area team finish, placing fifth with 151.5 points. White Knoll finished in seventh place with 125 points, while Irmo was eighth with 113 points.
Blake Tillman, Justin McClester and Max Fowler headlined the effort by the L-E Demons. Tillman advanced to the 130 title bout before falling to Brandon Feix of Fort Mill in a showdown between two top-ranked wrestlers. Tillman entered as No. 1 at the weight in Class 3A, while Feix stood at No. 1 in 4A. McClester and Fowler, meanwhile, came away with consolation honors at 125 and 189, respectively.
Irmo actually had more wrestlers place than either L-E with White Knoll. Lack of scoring, not quality, depth doomed the Yellow Jackets to a lower team score. Kyle Manross, Blane Bryant, and T.J. Dudley all finished second, while Jimmy Carson placed third.
Manross, a 4A state runner-up at 119 last year, dropped down a weight class and lost to Eastside’s Will Baker in the 125 final. Baker, a 3A state champion at 119 in 2007and a runner-up at 125 last season, came in ranked No. 2 in 3A. Manross earned the No. 1 ranking by scmat.com at 130 in December.
Bryant lost to Rock Hill’s Rashard Durham in the 135 finale, while Dudley dropped a major decision at 171 to another Rock Hill rep, Josh Tuck. Neither Durham nor Bryant are currently ranked, but Tuck entered the tournament No. 1 in his class in 4A.
Carson, the No. 1 heavyweight in 4A, bounce back from a semifinal upset loss to pin Gaffney’s J. Costillo in the consolation final.