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Demons set sights on Region 4-4A crown following Thursday sweep

L-E goes to Westwood on Wednesday to wrestle for conference title

Posted: January 25, 2016 1:55 p.m.
Updated: January 26, 2016 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I photo/

DUTCH FORK’S RAMON ROGERS struggles to get out of bounds while being in the clutches of Lugoff-Elgin’s Lorenzo McGee in their 132-pound pairing last Thursday night in a Region 4-4A match contested inside the Demons Den.

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What is the difference between the seventh- and eighth-ranked wrestling programs in the state’s 4A classification?

Last Thursday night, it was a whopping 33 points. And the gap actually seemed wider than that.

On the strength of six consecutive victories --- with five coming via pin --- seventh-ranked Lugoff-Elgin broke open what was a 6-0 deficit against visiting Dutch Fork to grab a 39-6 lead which turned into a 51-18 romp over the eighth-ranked Silver Foxes.

Later in the evening, the Demons clubbed Blythewood, 57-24, to improve to 4-0 in Region 4-4A action. Ted Monroe and company will head to ninth-ranked Westwood on Wednesday to compete for the conference crown and hosting a first and, possibly, second round home state playoff match which comes with the conference title.

As for Thursday’s tri-match, L-E gave up more points to unranked Blythewood in the nightcap than it did to DF. Monroe said his team went up against a Silver Fox squad which was not hitting on all cylinders.

“Dutch Fork has some injuries,” Monroe said of Kyle Kimrey’s charges. “They have a couple studs who are out of their lineup and that is not a true picture of who they are. But we have some guys who are out, too; our 106-pounder has been out all year. We still have some little issues but not as bad as it has been with our own lineup. 

“We’re just glad to get out of here with a win and set up a region championship match against Westwood.”

The opening match of the evening, pitting the two top 10 ranked foes, started at 106 pounds in which DF’s Harrison Ginn scored a second period pin to give the guests a quick 6-0 advantage. Things would go downhill quickly for the Silver Foxes who forfeited the 113-pound weight class to Bryan Robinson which evened things at six.

The pins came at a fast and furious pace for the hosts starting with Devin Wilson as the top-rated 120-pounder in the 4A ranks pinned Dillan Barnhart with 16.5 seconds left in the first period. After leading, 4-1, following the opening stanza of his 126-pound encounter with DF’s Ramon Rogers, L-E’s Lorenzo McGee needed a little more than a minute of the second period to score a pin which put the hosts on top, 18-6.

Senior Jacob Power needed all of 90 seconds before putting Crosby Jones on his back at 132 pounds to hike the lead to 24-6. L-E junior Taylor Catoe made even quicker work of Andrew Porter, scoring a pin just 48 seconds into their 138-pound match. The fifth consecutive Demon pin was supplied by sophomore Jacob Carron who got the fall over Malik Brazile with 43 ticks left in the clock at 145 pounds.

Carron’s weighing in at 145 allowed Monroe to play around with his lineup and mix things up a bit starting at 152.

The lead grew to 39-6 when L-E’s Noah North, the top-rated 145-pounder in class 4A, was bumped up to 152 pounds to take on Matthew Weeks. The Demon junior scored all the points he would need with a first period takedown and tacked on three more points in the third period while recording a 5-0 shutout which put the Demons’ advantage at 39-6.

“Weeks is a good wrestler,” Monroe said of the Silver Foxes’ 152-pounder. “He’s a battler who’s going to give you everything he’s got and he’s going to stay off his back. He’s a battler who is not going to make anything easy for you.

“Noah pretty much controlled the match. I thought (Weeks) may have stalled a bit but he made things tough on Noah.”

Monroe said starting at 106 pounds was the perfect jumping-off point for his team.

“We, obviously, got off to a really good start,” he said. “I was kind of relieved that we started at 106 (pounds.) Our 106-pounder is a freshman and that would give him a chance to get out on the mat early. I figured we would be pretty good after that.”

The Silver Foxes snapped their skid when senior Tyler Carnes, ranked second in 4A at 160 pounds, built up a 6-3 lead after two periods before holding on for a 6-4 victory over L-E senior Evan McDonald.

“Evan McDonald is, arguably, the leader in our practice room every day,” Monroe said. “The kid’s got more heart than anybody on the team in a lot of ways and I’m telling you that he is not an easy opponent for anybody.”

Dutch Fork would get another win at 170 pounds with Omar Lozano outscoring L-E junior Noah Kleinholz, 7-1, with the entire match scoring coming in the final two periods as the Silver Foxes closed the gap to 39-12 with four matches left on the docket.

L-E senior Nick Payne righted the ship, scoring two first period points on a takedown of Russell Kibbe at 182 pounds and making that stand up in a 5-0 win. The Silver Foxes would forfeit the 195-pound match to top-ranked Demon senior Seth Ham.

Alex Register recorded the final points of the evening for the Demons when the junior 220-pounder scored three points in the first period on a takedown and an escape before adding three more in the third with a reverse in the closing 20 seconds for a 6-3 win over Zachary Beckham.

A Silver Fox pin at heavyweight closed the match.

In the Blythewood match, the Demons received victories from Robinson, Wilson, Power, Catoe, Carron, North, McDonald, Payne, Ham and Register.

Due to the inclement weather on Friday, the Demons did not wrestle in the scheduled Gamecock Duals at Sumter in which they were the tournament’s overall top seed. Not wrestling over the weekend took getting any of his wrestlers being injured out of the equation as L-E should be good to go Wednesday against the improved Redhawks.

Westwood finished fourth in the U.S. Military Duals held at Chapin earlier this month. The event was won by Boiling Springs which defeated two-time defending 4A state champion Rock Hill in the finals. Westwood fell in the third-place match to Chapin, a team which owns two wins over L-E this season, 38-37.

“I’m going to tell you something about Westwood,” Monroe said when asked to analyze the match, “they are very well-coached. Coach (Jason) Powell is an excellent coach and they are going to be extremely athletic.

“There is going to be a tough match at every single weight class. They love to grab hands and they are really good in the neutral position. They’re going to move us around on the mat to try and create angles. We have to fight our butts off in neutral and make sure that we’re ready to wrestle from there.”

 

L-E at CHS match cancelled: Due to scheduling conflicts and other concerns, Friday’s scheduled wrestling match between Lugoff-Elgin and Camden, was cancelled.


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