Chiefs take sixth in 16-team North Myrtle Beach Duals

Four Grand Strand wrestling programs got a bit of a wake-up call this weekend in the North Myrtle Beach Duals as four teams from outside the area claimed the top four spots.

Boiling Springs defeated Wando 48-24 in the championship match to conclude an undefeated tournament and Ashley Ridge edged Topsail (NC) 42-36 for third place.

The host Chiefs finished sixth in the 16-team tournament, followed by Carolina Forest in seventh and defending region champion St. James in ninth. Myrtle Beach finished 12th in a tournament that featured top teams from the Carolinas and Virginia.

North Myrtle Beach went 4-3 in pool matches to advance to the fifth-place match but ran into a rematch with intra-county rival Aynor. Despite defeating the Blue Jackets last weekend, the Chiefs came out on the short end of a 39-37 score to Aynor.

Close contests was the theme for the day for local teams, particularly the Chiefs, who defeated Carolina Forest 37-36 and lost to Wacammaw 39-37 and Topsail (NC) 37-27. North Myrtle Beach’s 61-15 victory over Marion (VA) was its only easy win of the day.

North Myrtle Beach’s 120-pounder Steven Small and 170-pounder Hampton Harmon finished the tournament with perfect 8-0 records. Small went 5-0 on Saturday, two by decision, one by pin and two by forfeit, while Harmon took one decision, one forfeit and three pins, including one at the 182-pound class.

Carolina Forest defeated Hilton Head 44-26 in the seventh-place match to finish the tournament with a 5-3 record, scoring victories over Marion (VA), Waccamaw, Chapin,  Lake City and Hilton Head. The Panthers’ three loses came to champion Boiling Springs, Topsail and the one-point loss to both North Myrtle Beach.

“I feel that our kids came out and performed well in this tournament,” said Carolina Forest coach Will Bratcher. “There was a lot of great competition and I feel we wrestled as if we belonged. We were two points from being in the medal rounds. Our program is starting to take shape and I feel the best is yet to come.”

St. James scored a 37-36 victory over Waccamaw in the ninth-place match to conclude a 4-4 record and Myrtle Beach suffered a tough 40-38 defeat to reigning Lower State champion Chapin to finish 2-6.

The NMB Duals gave local squads the chance to get a taste of outside competition before entering region contests. NMB coach Andrew Baeli called it “a great tournament” and he intends to keep the event going in the future.

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