High School Sports

Hilton Head High wrestlers come up short in showdown with Hanahan

Hilton Head Island High's Label Lewis tries to keep control over Hanahan's Haven Horleback in their 138-pound match on Thursday night at Hilton Head High.
Hilton Head Island High's Label Lewis tries to keep control over Hanahan's Haven Horleback in their 138-pound match on Thursday night at Hilton Head High. Delayna Earley -- Staff photo

The Hilton Head Island High School wrestling team set three goals before this season began.

Coach Mike Newton won't reveal just exactly what those goals are. The Seahawks coach doesn't want any bulletin board material for the teams awaiting Hilton Head High in the postseason.

"We always keep those in-house," he said, smiling.

What he would divulge, however, is that none of those goals were crossed off the list Thursday night, despite Hilton Head High falling to Hanahan, 34-30, with the Region 8-AAA title on the line.

"None of those three goals have been met yet, none of those three goals could have been won tonight," he said. "Everything is still on the table for us that we wanted to accomplish this year. We have some days to get better.

" ... As long as we can keep wrestling matches, we can reach our goals."

Hanahan lived up to its No. 5 ranking and left Beaufort County with the region championship to prove it. But the 11th-ranked Seahawks still feel like the Hawks can be bested, senior Label Lewis said.

"We're going to work hard as a team like we've been doing," he said. "We're just going to practice hard and come back and beat Hanahan in Lower State."

The two teams each won seven matches Thursday night, but it was a quartet of pins by the Hawks that helped them leave with the title. Brian Joseph started things with a second-period pin over Trevon Rawls at 145 pounds before Dennis Flores (170), Brett Maddox (182) and Elijah Wortham (120) followed with pins of their own.

Wortham's victory over Chance Bentzoni clinched Hanahan's victory, as the Hawks built a 34-20 lead they would not relinquish.

Brock Massey (126) and Mark Entup (132) then pulled the Seahawks within four with a major decision and pin, respectively, to close the match.

"It was a match we wanted to win," Newton said. "It was a match we could have won. There were two matches that we could win at and we got pinned in both of those, (but) I really don't want to single them out. If one of those guys wins the match, we win."

Lewis, however, pointed to a pair of Hilton Head High victories that ultimately cost the Seahawks the match. His 13-5 major decision over Haven Horleback at 138 and Aaron Facenda's 9-5 decision over Cole Zakis at 160 were the difference, he said, as pins would have delivered the Seahawks a victory.

"It's still full steam ahead," Lewis said. "I felt like I should have gotten a pin, but I didn't wrestle the best I could. If (we) had gotten pins there, then I think we should have won it."

Hilton Head High (27-13 overall, 4-1 region) still has plenty of time to work out its mistakes before the postseason begins. The Seahawks will travel to the Region 6-AAA champion on Feb. 2 to open the playoffs and would return home two days later for the Lower State semifinals should they win on the road.

"As we tell the guys all year, make your mistakes in December and January, not in February," Newton said. "Thankfully, it's still January. We're allowed to make mistakes now. There's a chance that we see these guys again."

A rematch with the Hawks would come Feb. 6 at Hanahan in the Lower State final. Whether or not that's a goal on the Hilton Head High checklist remains to be seen, but Lewis plans on being there regardless.

"I expect to see Hanahan again in Lower State," he said.

Hanahan 34, Hilton Head High 30

Note: Match started at 138.

106: Matt Levy (HHH) maj. dec. Devin Hatchell, 11-3

113: Tyler Yalacko (Han) maj. dec. Tyler Fick, 15-1

120: Elijah Wortham (Han) pinned Chance Bentzoni, 1st period

126: Brock Massey (HHH) maj. dec. Dalton Coker, 9-1

132: Mark Entup (HHH) pinned Darrin King, 2nd period

138: Label Lewis (HHH) maj. dec. Haven Horleback, 13-5

145: Brian Joseph (Han) pinned Trevon Rawls, 2nd period

152: Dariell Flores (Han) dec. Jose Gomez, 6-0

160: Aaron Facenda (HHH) dec. Cole Zakis, 9-5

170: Dennis Flores (Han) pinned Zane Braden, 1st period

182: Brett Maddox (Han) pinned Martin Stumm, 2nd period

195: J.C. Graham (HHH) pinned Lyndon Young, 2nd period

220: Adam Orischak (HHH) dec. Anthony Tolliver, 10-7

285: Jacob Garibay (Han) dec. Romario Lopez, 6-4