High School Sports

Beaufort High wrestlers pick up key region win

Kenan Jackson sounded indifferent Wednesday when discussing his individual performance during his final home bout.

But the senior wrestler, recognized on Senior Night along with Beaufort High School teammates E.J. Johnson and Luca Kimbrell, had no problem with his four points. The Eagles delivered on their goal of earning a shot at the Class 4-A playoffs by defeating Ashley Ridge 43-25.

"I feel good," said Jackson, who won a major decision at 160 pounds. "We bettered our chances of making the playoffs. If we'd have lost, we wouldn't have had any chance."

With the win, Beaufort High coaches believe their team owns the tiebreaker over the Swamp Foxes for third seed in Region 8-AAAA. Fort Dorchester earned the top spot. Summerville, Beaufort High and Ashley Ridge share the same region record. Eagles coach Bill DaMude said Summerville owned the edge for the No. 2 seed due to its overall winning percentage. The Eagles would then claim head-to-head rights over Ashley Ridge for the third -- and final -- playoff seed from Region 8.

"One of us is going to be left in the cold," DaMude said.

Jackson said the Eagles still feel the sting of their loss to Summerville, when a Beaufort High wrestler leading the final bout was disqualified with the match in the balance. Now the tiebreaker system will sort things out.

The Class 4-A playoffs begin Feb. 5. Beaufort High wrestlers also will compete next week in the Region 8-AAAA individual tournament at Colleton County. The top three wrestlers from each class advance to the Lower State tournament.

DaMude said his wrestlers are performing well entering the postseason, claiming an 8-2 record in the team's past 10 duals.

"And you're going against some good dang teams," he said. "These kids have done an outstanding job."

On Wednesday, the Eagles turned in solid performances in the middle bouts and dominated the heavier weights as they have much of the season. Clayton Wynn's third-period pin at 130 to open the match charged the energy on Beaufort High's bench.

Momentum might have swung for good at 171, when Beaufort High's Clint Wright pinned Kai Clark as the buzzer sounded to end the second period. Ashley Ridge coaches argued the timekeeper's ruling that the pin beat the clock. But the call stood. The pin was the first of three consecutive for the Eagles.

Beaufort High's Maliek Maldonado, wrestling up as a heavyweight, won a decision over the much larger Shelby Smith.

"We knew if we were going to beat them, we were going to have to beat them up top," DaMude said. "We had to have pins."

Beaufort High 43, Ashley Ridge 25

103: Tommy Collins (B) won by forfeit

112: Zane Graham (AR) pinned Brahm Gideon, first period

119: Louis Waecher (AR) pinned Michael Pirozzi, first period

125: Christian Cutino (AR) major dec. Luca Kimbrell, 14-6

130: Clayton Wynn (B) pinned Tyler Barkley, third period

135: Emilio Uc-Tun (AR) dec. E.J. Johnson, 4-3

140: Anthony Robson (AR) dec. Forrest Kimbrell, 9-3

145: Cameron Turner (AR) dec. Trey Arant, 5-2

152: Zach Brown (B) pinned Alexander Wigant, first period

160: Kenan Jackson (B) major dec. Andre Hill, 14-0

171: Clint Wright (B) pinned Kai Clark, second period

189: Thyrik Legree (B) pinned George Baker, first period

215: Codrian Smalls (B) pinned Drew Gump, first period

285: Maliek Maldonado (B) dec. Shelby Smith, 5-1

Note: Match began at 130.