Braves pin Stags in semis to reach Lower State Final

The Socastee High wrestling team is one step away from the Class AAA state championship after defeating Berkeley 42-33 in Monday’s Lower State semifinal at the Brave Wave.

The No. 5-ranked Braves scored a big victory over the visiting Stags to advance to Wednesday’s Lower State Final at No. 6 Hanahan, which defeated Swansea 54-28 on Monday.

The winner will advance to Saturday’s State Final at Dreher High against the winner of Wednesday’s Upper State Final between Eastside and Belton-Honea Path.

The semifinal wasn’t as close as the final score indicates, as the Braves built an insurmountable 42-3 lead before forfeiting the last five matches of the night.

Zach Mor got it started for Socastee with a major decision and the next three Braves – Joseph Smolenski (220), Kyle Burton (285) and Justin Knipper (106) won by pins. Jordan Hodge (113) added a technical fall. In the match of the night, No. 2-ranked Mikel Nelson won a tough 2-1 decision over No. 1-ranked DiAndra Robinson as Socastee scored the first 30 points of the night.

Following Berkeley’s first win of the night, a hard-fought 7-4 decision at 126, Socastee’s Cameron Amann and Adam Powalie (138) finished the Stags off with back-to-back pins. The Braves simply forfeited the remaining matches to rest up for Wednesday’s showdown at Hanahan.

Socastee (SOCA) 42.0 Berkeley (BERK) 33.0

195: Zach Mor, SOCA, maj. dec. Alonzo Mcgill, BERK, 17-8. 220: Joseph Smolenski, SOCA, pinned Jefferey Peternel, BERK, 0:53. 285: Kyle Burton, SOCA, pinned Jeremey Hardy, BERK, 1:41. 106: Justin Knipper, SOCA, pinned Austin King, BERK, 2:33. 113: Jordan Hodge, SOCA, tech. fall Charles Anderson, BERK, 0:00 16-1. 120: Mikel Nelson, SOCA, dec. DiAndra Robinson, BERK, 2-1. 126: Dominick Gadsen, BERK, dec. Koy Mai, SOCA, 7-4. 132: Cameron Amann, SOCA, pinned Caleb Byrd, BERK, 4:55. 138: Adam Powalie, SOCA, pinned Julian Robinson, BERK, 3:38. 145: Travis Jackson, BERK, forf. . 152: Tyler Mills, BERK, forf. . 160: Yancey Wright, BERK, forf. . 170: Alexander King, BERK, forf. . 182: Devon Butler, BERK, forf.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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