MB nets three Lower State titles; 20 locals reach state

Six Grand Strand wrestlers won Class 3A Lower State individual championships at St. James High on Saturday and a total of 20 local grapplers will advance to next weekend’s state championships.

Region 7-3A champion Socastee placed six Braves in the top four to punch their tickets for Columbia and rivals Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle will send five apiece. Host St. James had a pair of wrestlers qualify for state.

Myrtle Beach had three Lower State champions, tops among all 19 participating schools. Daniel Miller (145) pinned Frank Cromwell of James Island; Joseph Desjardines (152) scored a 7-0 decision over Rashad McCray of Airport; and Akim Oukada (285) took 6-3 decision over Devon Johnson of Swansea in title matches. Also for the Seahawks, Nick Silvestri (132) placed second and Jonathan Iseman (113) finished third.

Socastee had a pair of champions as Kyle Burton (220) scored a 3-2 decision over Jacob Garibay of Hanahan, and Mikel Nelson (120) earned a hard-fought 1-0 decision over Diandre Robinson of Berkeley in a rematch from the Lower State team championship match. The Braves barely missed out on a third title as Justin Knipper (106) lost a close 4-3 decision in the final. Socastee’s Zach Mor (182) also finished second, Tommy Lazaroff was third (160) and Cameron Amann placed fourth.

North Myrtle Beach’s Eric Baker (182) scored a 9-4 decision over Zac Mor of Socastee in the final. Hampton Harmon (170) and Alex Lewis (132) took second place and Tyler Stemp (126) and Raesean Diggs (285) finished fourth.

St. James earned a runner-up spot from De’Eante Salaam (170) and Alex Nielson (120) finished fourth.

In Class 4A, Conway’s Chris Ford (195) placed second and Greg Smith (152) of Conway finished third.

Photo by Ranicer Photography

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