Wrestling Wrapup: Braves take two; tournaments open

Socastee defeated West Brunswick (NC) by wrestling’s version of a buzzer beater to sweep a tri-meet with the visiting Trojans and Georgetown Bulldogs on Tuesday.

With the Braves and Trojans tied at 36-all following all 14 matches, Socastee won via the tiebreaker on total matches won, 8 to 6, giving the Braves a 37-36 victory. They blasted Georgetown 75-6 to run the table.

Socastee coach Jeff Gibbons gambled and won in the West Brunswick match, opting to move his wrestlers in the  113- through 138-pound classes up one division to allow his more experienced grapplers help the Braves.

The plan worked when Tanner Loos, wrestling in the 152-pound class in the final match of the night, won by pin to tie the score after regulation. Mikel Nelson also scored a big decision in the 126-pound class to lift Socastee, which lost a usually sure victory in the 220-pound class by top-ranked Kyle Burton.

The Braves won all but one match against the Bulldogs to complete the sweep.

Tourney time

Several local wrestling squads also are participating in major tourneys over the holidays, and they are carrying some much-needed confidence and momentum with them.

On Friday and Saturday, Class 4A programs Carolina Forest and Conway will compete in the MPCU Westling Classic, featuring 36 top teams from around the state and the Southeast.

The Panthers, who defeated Waccamaw 36-30 on Monday night, carry a 16-9 record and some high hopes into tourney, as do the Tigers, who finished second in last weekend’s Shark Duals at St. James.

St. James and North Myrtle Beach (15-4) take breathers during the Christmas break before returning to action in the Dec. 28-29 Seahawk Slam in Hilton Head Island, featuring wrestlers from 33 teams competing for individual titles.

Only Myrtle Beach and Socastee are staying home for the holidays, and the Braves are helping host the Tough Time Holiday Invitational for ages 6-14 on Friday and Saturday at Socastee High’s “Brave Wave.” Times and registration information are available at www.teampalmettowrestling.com.

Photo by Melissa Rice

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