Camden scored a 42-28 win over visiting Myrtle Beach Wednesday in the first round of the Class 3A state wrestling playoffs. It was only the third state win for the Bulldogs (15-9) since 3A changed over to a dual-match format in the playoffs in 1994.
“I was a little worried because Myrtle Beach was a formidable opponent and they have wrestled well all year,” said Camden coach Stephen Sutusky. “However, credit our kids, they were ready and wrestled with intensity throughout the lineup. I was really impressed with a few of our guys who took the mats fighting some illness.”
Myrtle Beach won the opening match by pin at 135 before Camden reeled off three straight wins via a pin by Will Long at 140, a major decision from Shane Grigsby at 145, and a 13-11 gutsy performance from Ryan Brazell at 152.
“Will set the tone, Shane maintained some momentum and Ryan laid everything on the line for us to get those three victories,” said Sutusky. “Ryan didn’t even practice on Tuesday because he has been so sick. Those three guys set the tone for everyone tonight.”
Myrtle Beach would then win by major decision at 160 and a forfeit at 171 before Camden won five of the next six bouts.
“We actually moved our lineup around, bumped two of our kids up a weight class to get better match-ups,” said Sutusky.
The gambles paid big dividends as Davis Partin earned a technical fall at 189 and JeDarius Hayes won by pin at 215.
Roland Matthews won by forfeit at heavyweight and Camden would give away six points at 103 with starter Travis Jordan out of the lineup. Nick Benson and Robert Joyner then teamed for two wins to put the Bulldogs on top for good.
In the finale, state qualifiers Brandon Salters of Myrtle Beach and Horus Madrid of Camden clashed at 130. Madrid prevailed 7-1 for his third victory over Salters this season.
“I was really proud of the kids tonight, especially for our seniors to get a win in what was probably the last time they will compete at home,” said Sutusky.
The Bulldogs will take on the winner of Thursday’s Hilton Head-Darlington first-round match On Monday. Camden will be on the road if Hilton Head wins, at home if Darlington pulls off a major upset.
Long improved to 30-1 on the season, Madrid upped his record to 27-1, Partin improved to 26-3 and Matthews now stands at 25-6.