The Beaufort High and Eastside wrestling teams were on a collision course.
Each team took the mat Saturday morning at Battery Creek with unblemished records in the Coach Trap Memorial tournament, and a win would likely determine the overall champion.
Enter Beaufort's Tyler Wilson.
The heavyweight's second-period pin of Eastside's Tre Long helped send the Eagles to a 33-31 win and Beaufort's first-ever championship in the annual dual tournament. The Eagles would go on to sweep the field following their narrow victory over Eastside.
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"Our kids wrestled hard. They wrestled tough," Beaufort coach Bill DaMude said. "In the Eastside and West-Oak matches, some of our better kids beat ranked kids, defending state champs and that kind of stuff."
The Eagles felt as though they had something to prove, as Eastside and West-Oak came into the weekend as the tournament's premiere teams. Both schools entered ranked in the top six of scmat.com's Class 3-A rankings.
DaMude thought a 6-1 record on the weekend would be a success for the Eagles. But after Beaufort downed West-Oak 47-24 on Friday night, the team started to shoot for something bigger.
"I think our kids started to believe," DaMude said. "It just got that momentum going that carried us through."
That was never more true than against Eastside. Long, ranked as the No. 2 285-pounder in Class 3-A, had Wilson on his back before the heavyweight reversed Long and stuck him. That helped the Eagles rally from a 19-3 deficit en route to the 2-point win.
"Somehow, someway, I just flipped back over and pinned him," Wilson said.
Eastside and West-Oak would go on to finish second and third, respectively. Eastside edged the Warriors, 31-28, in the final match of the day to finish 6-1. The three other Beaufort County schools competing finished near the middle of the field, as Battery Creek went 3-4, Whale Branch 2-5 and Hilton Head High 1-6.
The Seahawks competed this weekend without several of their top performers, but coach Keith Massey declined to comment on the whereabouts of certain wrestlers.
Battery Creek, meanwhile, had an encouraging weekend thanks to a win over Whale Branch and a hard-fought loss to West-Oak. Heavyweight David Ratliff, the defending state champ in Class 3-A, went 7-0 to remain unbeaten on the season.
"We have a very thin lineup, we don't have a lot of reserves," Battery Creek assistant coach Jim Shuman said. "Our kids, wrestling five matches in one day, did a very good job. I'm very proud of all of them."
But in the end, the focus was on Beaufort. The Eagles improved to 17-3 overall and kick off their region schedule next Wednesday against Colleton County.
"These kids are starting to gel," DaMude said. "I'm hoping they can use what we accomplished here this weekend to kind of propel us going into the region race with Fort Dorchester and Summerville."
Coach Trap Memorial Wrestling Tournament
Friday-Saturday, at Battery Creek High School
1. Beaufort High 7-0
2. Eastside 6-1
3. West-Oak 5-2
4. Bamberg-Ehrhardt 4-3
5. Battery Creek 3-4
6. Whale Branch 2-5
7. Hilton Head High 1-6
8. Colleton County 0-7
Beaufort 33, Eastside 31
West-Oak 35, Bamberg-Ehrhardt 34
Whale Branch 48, Hilton Head 36
Battery Creek 60, Colleton County 24
Eastside 64, Hilton Head 15
West-Oak 69, Whale Branch 9
Beaufort 46, Battery Creek 27
Bamberg-Ehrhardt 66, Colleton County 12
Eastside 53, Battery Creek 12
West-Oak 63, Hilton Head 18
Bamberg-Ehrhardt 63, Whale Branch 18
Beaufort 57, Colleton County 12
Eastside 69, Whale Branch 12
Beaufort 53, Hilton Head 24
Bamberg-Ehrhardt 45, Battery Creek 30
West-Oak 73, Colleton County 9
Eastside 31, West-Oak 28
Beaufort 45, Bamberg-Ehrhardt 33
Battery Creek 48, Hilton Head 21
Whale Branch 52, Colleton County 24