Thyrik Legree knew he was the better wrestler and did not want to drag things out.
Beaufort High School's 182-pounder met Fort Dorchester's Michael Schuster in the final of the Region 8-AAAA individual tournament Wednesday night at Beaufort High. Legree had won two previous meetings with Schuster in close matches that went three periods.
"I did not want to go three periods -- at all," Legree said. "I was trying to go up there and be as aggressive as possible, but staying under control. Nothing crazy."
After a scoreless first, Legree went on the attack, pinning Schuster in the second period to earn the region's top seed going into Lower State.
Four of Beaufort High's five region champions Wednesday won by pin, igniting the home crowd. The Eagles qualified nine wrestlers for the Class 4-A individual Lower State meet, which will be held Feb. 17-18 at Fort Dorchester.
Representing Beaufort High as the top seeds from Region 8 will be Forrest Kimbrell (145), Trey Arant (160), Legree (182), Clint Wright (195) and Maliek Maldonado (220). The five region champions bests the four from the previous season. Eagles coach Bill DaMude hoped to qualify 10 wrestlers for Lower State, but settled for nine after illness kept Tommy Collins from wrestling at 113.
The Eagles' heavier weights -- Legree, Wright and Maldonado -- pinned wrestlers they had previously only defeated by points this season. The extra fire Wednesday could be attributed to DaMude's pep talk during a break after the semifinal matches. The coach felt the Eagles' wrestling lacked energy.
"We had a little come-to-Jesus meeting back in the small gym," DaMude said. "They seemed to pick it up after that."
At 145, Kimbrell drew motivation from his seeding. Fort Dorchester's Austin Ziliak wrestled down from his normal weight of 152 and was granted the top seed. Kimbrell, the No. 4-ranked wrestler in Class 4-A at 145, said he wanted an early takedown and then to rely on his skill on top.
"As long as I got first takedown, I knew I could win the match," he said.
Maldonado said his big match was a victory in the semifinal over Fort Dorcherster's Delton Wells, whom Maldonado had not seen this season. He made quick work of Colleton County's Andrew Judy in the final, pinning him during the first period.
The senior and returning state champion said the Eagles' focus would shift to Saturday, the opening round of the Class 4-A duals tournament at Stratford. Beaufort High opens with White Knoll.
The change of pace before the next individual competition will allow some scouting time, Legree said. He expects to wrestle White Knoll's Jake Beckett on Saturday and again at the Lower State individual. Beckett is the top-ranked wrestler in Class 4-A at 182. Legree is No. 3.
"I get to see how good he really is," Legree said. "And then I have another chance at him."
REGION 8-AAAA WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
Note: Top three from each weight class qualify for Lower State. Winner from each class earns all-region status.
106: James Sass (Summerville) pinned Tyree Wright (Fort Dorchester), second period
Third place: Jake Sharp (Beaufort High)
113: Javon Jordan (Fort Dorchester) dec. Andrew Floresca (Colleton County), 9-5
Third place: Cooper Knowles (Summerville)
120: Jordan Wigger (Summerville) pinned Trevon Johnson (Fort Dorchester), second period
Third place: Ricky Jamieson (Ashley Ridge)
126: Jajuan Johnson (Colleton County) dec. Keith Clark (Summerville), 12-8
Third place: Eduardo Blanco (Ashley Ridge)
132: Gavin Perkins (Summerville) major dec. Christian Cuttino (Ashley Ridge) 9-1
Third place: Daquan Buksha (Fort Dorchester)
138: Chad Wood (Summerville) pinned Cody Williams (Fort Dorchester), second period
Third place: Terrell Robinson (Ashley Ridge)
145: Forrest Kimbrell (Beaufort High) dec. Austin Ziliak (Fort Dorchester), 4-2
Third place: Jamal Lucas (Summerville)
152: Zack Armstrong (Ashley Ridge) dec. DaQuan Wilson (Fort Dorchester), 5-1
Third place: Clayton Wynn (Beaufort High)
160: Trey Arant (Beaufort High) pinned Joseph Hutchinson (Fort Dorchester), second period
Third place: Will Cranford (Summerville)
170: Xavier Sierra (Ashley Ridge) pinned Kyle Sullivan (Summerville), first period
Third place: JaClay Mixon (Beaufort High)
182: Thyrik Legree (Beaufort High) pinned Michael Schuster (Fort Dorchester), second period
Third place: Joseph Pringle (Ashley Ridge)
195: Clint Wright (Beaufort High) pinned Hershell Sharp (Summerville), first period
Third place: Brandon Smith (Ashley Ridge)
220: Maliek Maldonado (Beaufort High) pinned Andrew Judy (Colleton County), first period
Third place: Delton Wells (Fort Dorchester)
285: Myles Moultrie (Fort Dorchester) pinned Tyler Wilson (Beaufort High), OT
Third place: Desmond Glover (Ashley Ridge)