High School Sports

Seven Midlands teams open 4A wrestling playoffs on Monday

The Class 4A state wrestling playoffs begin Monday with eight matches in the Lower and Upper State brackets. Midlands entries Dutch Fork, Lexington and Sumter host first-round matches.

Class 4A state wrestling playoffs

First round, Lower State

West Ashley at Dutch Fork; Carolina Forest at Wando; Richland Northeast at Fort Dorchester; Goose Creek at Hartsville; Conway at Stratford; Beaufort at Lexington; Irmo at Sumter; White Knoll at Summerville.

First round, Upper State

Byrnes at Westside; Blythewood at York; Laurens at Hillcrest; Gaffney at South Pointe; Lancaster at Fort Mill; Dorman at Greenwood; Northwestern at Rock Hill; Wren at Boiling Springs.

Here is a look at the local first-round match-ups:

Irmo at Sumter

In the only all-Midlands clash, Irmo, the fourth seed out of Region 5, travels to face Region 6 champion Sumter. The host Gamecocks went 28-6 in dual matches during the regular season, including a 3-0 run through region competition.

“We are excited about our chances in the playoffs,” said Sumter coach Matt Love. “The season to date has been one of surprising success. The kids have worked extremely hard and really dedicated their time and efforts into being good. We are looking forward to hosting our first-round match at home, and hopefully we can make a run.”

Sumter’s tentative starting lineup features: Peter Hackett (28-13 at 103); Korey Paige (20-22 at 112); Josh Anderson (27-16 at 119); Matt Devine (32-10 at 125); Peyton Chappell (3-5 at 130); Ross Watson (17-7 at 135); Andrew Lovice (36-9 at 140); Josh Sullivan (39-6 at 145); Hayden Raabe (27-13 at 152); Eric Portee (23-14 at 160); Kendell Pringle (11-4 at 171); Shawn Armstrong (36-2 at 189); Trevor Jahnke (25-8 at 215); Mike Miller (33-3 at 285).

Individually, Rabbe is ranked No. 4 at 145 pounds, Sullivan is No. 4 at 152, Armstrong is No. 5 at 189 and Miller is No. 4 at heavyweight. Rabbe and Sullivan have swapped lineup spots throughout the season, and the trend could continue in the playoffs.

Irmo’s Top 5 ranked men are Kyle Manross (4th at 125), freshman T.J. Dudley (3rd at 171) and Jimmy Carson (2nd at heavyweight). Senior Devin Gosnell is 6th at 160 pounds.

Sumter is 13th in the most recent scmat.com big-school team rankings, while Irmo is 22nd. The teams did not meet during the regular season, and Monday marks the first playoff meeting of the schools.

The Gamecocks are 5-9 in the state playoffs since the dual-match format was instituted in 1993. Sumter has won four straight first-round matches, but has never made it past the second round. Irmo sports a 20-16 playoff duals record. The Yellow Jackets have had three straight early exits – losing in the first round in 2007 and in the second round in 2008 and 2006.

Manross was the lone Yellow Jacket to win a region title at the 5-4A tournament Friday at Dutch Fork. Blane Bryant (135), Daniel Mecca (189), Gosnell, Dudley and Carson all finished second.

Sumter will take part in the Region 6-4A tournament on Saturday at Conway.

West Ashley at Dutch Fork

The Silver Foxes went undefeated on the way to the Region 5-4A championship this season, and sport a 31-13 state playoff record though the years at the 3A and 4A levels. Only Summerville (52) and Rock Hill (48) have more state dual wins on the books.

West Ashley, the No. 4 seed out of Region 8, is a decided long shot against the 5th-ranked Silver Foxes. The Wildcats from Charleston, 1-2 in state matters, made the cut for the third time in the school’s 10-year history.

Dutch Fork dominated the region tournament it hosted on Friday. A.J. Finley (112), Matt Dherckers (119), George Holstead (135), Corey Koon (189), T.J. Cayruth (189) and Marshall Williams (285) all picked up individual region titles, while John Brannigan (125) and Z. Bregovi (145) claimed runner-up honors.

Cayruth and Williams scored upset wins in their respective title bouts. Cayruth, ranked 4th at 215, defeated top-ranked Brandon Proveaux, while Williams, 6th in the heavyweight class, beat second-ranked Jimmy Carson of Irmo.

Beaufort at Lexington

The Wildcats are 17-for-17 in playoff qualifying since Class 4A went to a dual match format to determine a state champion in 1993. Lexington has been a virtual lock as a first-round winner though the years, going 12-2 in playoff openers at home. Monday’s match will mark the ‘Cats’ debut in the Lower State bracket.

Lexington, ranked sixth in 4A by scmat.com, enters as the No. 2 seed out of Region 5, while Beaufort made the cut as the No. 3 seed in Region 8. The Eagles are 0-5 in the playoffs.

Steven Steinbacher (103), Zach Howerton (152) Alex Morales (160) and Kraig Crawford (171) emerged as region champions on Friday at the 5-4A tournament at Dutch Fork.

Steinbacher and Howerton are ranked No. 2 at his weight by scmat.com, Morales is 3rd and Crawford is 2nd at 189, both will wrestle down a weight in the individual phase of the postseason.

White Knoll at Summerville

The Timberwolves (16-9), obviously, have a tough first-round draw.

Summerville, after all, is the defending Class 4A champion, is currently ranked No. 2 in the most recent scmat.com poll and ranks as one of the two best programs in South Carolina mat annals. The Green Wave claimed their 12th state championship last season, and are two behind all-time leader Rock Hill. But Summerville boasts the best record (52-8) in the playoffs since 4A switched to a dual-match format to determine a champion in 1993. Rock Hill is 48-10 since the change.

White Knoll is 4-7 in playoff matters, and has won three straight first-round matches – all three triumphs coming in the Upper State bracket. Monday marks the Timberwolves Lower State debut.

Brandon Proveaux (215), Chad Lee (140) and Patrick Speers (160) were the only WK finalists at the Region 5-4A tournament Friday at Dutch Fork. All three lost in the titles bouts. The biggest surprise was Proveaux’s loss to Dutch Fork’s T.J. Cayruth. Proveaux entered the region tournament with a 34-1 record and the No.1 ranking in the weight class.

Richland Northeast at Fort Dorchester

The Cavaliers have made the state playoff cut for the third year in a row, but RNE has never tasted playoff success – losing all five previous state outings.

The host Patriots, 20-1 and ranked No. 1, have become a power since former Irmo and Dutch Fork coach B.D. LaPrad moved to the Lowcountry after leading the Silver Foxes to the 4A state championship in 2003.

RNE’s Shawn White (140) and James Bethel (145) claimed championships at the Region 5-4A tournament Friday at Dutch Fork.

Blythewood at York

Blythewood is the only Midlands team to qualify in the Upper State. The Bengals did so by finishing third behind mighty Rock Hill and on-the-rise South Pointe in Region 4-4A. Blythewood lost to powerhouse Eastside in Class 3A a year ago in their first-ever state playoff appearance.

Keith Harding was the only wrestler to crash the Rock Hill-South Pointe party at the region tournament on Friday. Harding claimed the 145-pound championship, emerging as the only winner from the four “other” teams at the event.

Tyler Mason (3rd at 103), Sergeo Fair (3rd at 112), Shawn Day (3rd at 119) Jerrad Woosley (3rd at 130), Javanta Simmons (3rd at 135) Cody Dettlaff (4th at 140) Phillip Barber (4th at 152) and Camerron Queen (4th at 285) qualified to join Harding at the Upper State qualifier on Feb. 21 with spots in the state individual tournament up for grabs.