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Demons cruise past ACF, Stags

CHS, NC knocked out of playoffs

Posted: February 7, 2018 12:03 p.m.
Updated: February 6, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Just how easy a day was it for the Lugoff-Elgin wrestling team following its two wins in Saturday’s first and second round of the 4A Lower State tournament? Well, after the Demon manhandled Berkeley, 74-3, to advance to Monday’s third round, L-E head coach Ted Monroe kept his team inside the Demons Den gym for an early afternoon, 90-minute practice session.

The impromptu workout was triggered by the Demons’ blowing out an undermanned A.C. Flora entry in round one, 78-0, and then disposing of Berkeley and its nine-man contingent, 74-3, to bring the day to an early close.

In other action involving county wrestling teams on Saturday, Camden lost to Emerald in the opening round of the AAA Upper State tourney while North Central fell to tournament host Liberty in the third round of the AA Upper State event.

L-E’s two wins capped an unusual morning in which St. James, the third-place finisher from Region 7, did not have enough available wrestlers, never made the trip to the West Wateree and forfeited its opening round pairing with Berkeley. The Stags were hardly at full strength themselves with only nine wrestlers having made their way to the competition.

It was a similar situation with A.C. Flora, which has had a difficult time in filling out the 14 weight divisions. The Falcons, the fourth-place entry from Region 5, weighed in only six wrestlers and spotted the Demons 48 points --- which was help the hosts hardly needed --- en route to the rout. Given a similar scenario, the Demons were leading Berkeley, 30-0, before the first match took to the mat.

L-E (30-3) hosted defending 4A Lower State champion Chapin, which received a first round by on Saturday before punishing Hilton Head, 64-9, in Monday’s third round. The winner of that rematch of last year’s 4A Lower State championship pairing will wrestle the winner between North Myrtle Beach and Cane Bay.

Should the Demons have gotten past Chapin last night, they will host Wednesday’s pairing in a 6:30 p.m. start inside the Demons Den. The 4A state title match is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. inside the Airport High School gym.

After what amounted to being a quick day at the office, L-E head coach Ted Monroe said the biggest biggest obstacle which his team was forced to overcome on Saturday did not come from on the mat.

“I’ll tell you what we got,” Monroe said when asked what his team got out of the two pairings, “we have a healthy group of guys back. We’ve had three or four guys with the flu and Jacob Carron came back from a concussion. Believe it or not, those guys looked pretty good in practice coming back from a concussion, sickness and things like that.

“Obviously, you never want stuff like that to happen to your kids but if it is going to hit, right before the playoffs is as good a time as any. You want to be healthy going into the playoffs. Maybe, (the flu and injury bugs) hit us at the right time.”

Given the obvious difference in skill level between the two sides, Monroe gave several of his regulars the morning off in the opening round thumping of A.C. Flora.

“We wrestled some backups against Flora,” he said, “for the most part, though, I felt really good about things. Our effort was good but we were a little sloppy in some areas.”

The Demons received pins from Klay Crossway (152 pounds), Jacob Carron (160), Brett Carder (182) and heayweight Drake Davis in the victory over A.C. Flora. Caleb McDonald won a 7-5 decision at 145 while Caiman Welch won, 11-8, at 220 pounds to go along with the eight forfeits.

Berkeley, which took one decision win from the Demons in round two, had several wrestlers who did not bother to show up to meet the team bus which made for a predictable ending.

Jay Willson won by a pin at 106 pounds as did Brice Carron (113), Devin Wilson (132), Eli McGee (145) and Jay Murray (170). Jacob Vincent won by a 9-0 major decision at 120 while Hunter Mathis followed with a 12-3 major decision victory at 126. Lorenzo McGee scored an 8-6 win at 138 in one of the nine matches wrestled.

Given what amounted to a pair of public workouts, Monroe said what he did not want was for his team to regress as they looked ahead to Monday’s rematch with Chapin.

“It was a momentum thing,” he said of his approach to Saturday. “This biggest thing is that we did not want our team to take a step backward. We wanted to make sure that we were still doing the right things not only today but you have to think about (this) week, as well, and keep doing the right things. We’re definitely taking steps in the right direction.”

Upstate unkind to Bulldogs and Knights: Camden, which finished third in Region 4-AAA, lost to Emerald, 50-27, in Saturday’s first round 3A Upper State match held at West-Oak High School.

The hosts, the top-ranked team in AAA, then defeated Emerald in round two, 48-27.

In the AA Upper State tournament held at Liberty High School, North Central received a first round bye before defeating Region 4-AA rival Buford in the second round, 39-27.

The Knights saw their dual match season come to a close in a 51-30 loss to host Liberty which will face Andrew Jackson for the AA Upper State championship.

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