High School Sports

Wrestling: One is the lonliest number

One is the loneliest number, as the long-ago Three Dog Night song implied. That is the case today in Midlands wrestling circles. There is just one area team left standings in the High School league state wrestling playoffs – Lexington.

The Wildcats advanced to the fourth round of the state playoff for only the second time since Class 4A changed over to a dual met playoff format in 1993.

Otherwise, Midlands teams went 0-5 on Monday, including White Knoll which fell 41-27 to neighboring Lexington in third-round action.

The biggest Monday surprise was Lugoff-Elgin’s loss at Riverside to the upstart Warriors. L-E, ranked No. 2 and looking forward to yet another showdown with Eastside in the Class 3A Upper State championship match, dropped a 33-32 decision and experienced its earliest playoff exit since 1996 when Dutch Fork expelled the Demons in the second round of the 3A playoffs. L-E’s 11-year run of advancing at least to the US finals is over.

Elsewhere, Camden and Airport were overwhelmed in 3A, and Gilbert’s team season came to an end in the third round of the 2A playoffs for the second year in a row.

Camden suffered a 55-18 loss at Hilton Head getting only three wins against the defending Lower State champion Seahawks – pins by Nick Benson (112), Horus Madrid (130) and Brayan Mendez (160). Will Long suffered his second loss of the season at 140. Long, ranked No. 1 at 140 by scmat.com, dropped a 6-3 decision to Ryan Sparks, ranked No. 2 at 135.

Battery Creek had eight pins and 10 wins on the way to dismantling Airport 53-19.

Gilbert jumped out to a 12-0 lead at Abbeville, but the host Panthers eventually rolled to a 55-15 win.

Expect for Lexington, the Midlands wrestling focus now turns to individual matters and the various Upper and Lower State qualifying tournaments scheduled for Feb. 21 around the state.

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