Michael Elliott, Shawn Baker and Mitchell Brown did well enough in the 2A Midwest Regional to qualify for a spot in the 2A State Championship Tournament this Saturday in Greensboro.
Elliott was crowned champion of the 152-pound division after four dominating performances as a two-seed.
The senior pinned Parkwood’s Christopher Byrd in 56 seconds in his first round match. Elliott then pinned Dayshawn Creadle-Rivers from Carver High School at the 4:21 mark of the match.
In the semifinals, Elliott pinned the third seeded Josh Lemon from Central Academy with just over 30 seconds left in the match.
The championship bout featured Elliott against fifth seeded Keegan Ross of South Stokes. Ross upset top seed Isaac McMillan from Forbush in the semis, who entered the tournament with a 43-1 record. McMillan did not qualify for the state tournament after dropping his first consolation match
Elliott easily handled Ross by a 15-7 decision to get the title.
Both Baker and Brown finished in fourth place to advance to the state tournament.
Baker entered the 195-pound division as the seventh seed. In his first match, Baker defeated conference foe Hector Santiago from Wilkes Central by a 6-1 decision.
In the quarterfinals, Baker nearly upset the second seeded Corbin Tackett of South Stokes. Tackett held on for an 8-7 decision win.
To reach the third place game, Baker had to win three consolation matches. The junior did just that by pinning Monroe’s Dakota Watkins in 3:10, beating Salisbury’s Bobby Johnson by a 7-2 decision and then defeating West Stanly’s Luke Alexander by a 3-1 score.
In the third place match, fifth seeded Kaleb Dunn from Surry Central beat Baker by a slim 1-0 decision.
For Brown, his path to the state tournament was the same as Baker, having to win three consolation matches to get to the coveted third place match after dropping his quarterfinal match.
The 220-pounder started off with a pinfall win over Caleb Costner from West Stokes. Brown pinned Costner with 20 seconds left in the first period.
Next up, third seed Dallas Starnes from Parkwood beat Brown by a 9-2 decision to send the Ashe senior to the consolation bracket.
Brown started his charge with a 12-8 win over East Davidson’s Deven Hadsock. Next up, Brown beat Victor Contreras of Lexington in a 3-2 tight decision.
The next match also featured another close decision, this one between Brown and the fourth seeded Jake Edwards from Mount Pleasant. Brown came out on top again with a 5-4 win.
In the third place match, Thomasville’s Keith Clemmons pinned Brown at 4:27.
Ashe had six other wrestlers in the regional tournament.
Jacob Weaver lost his first round match to Jack Privette from Wilkes Central but nearly made it to the third place match after wins over Brandon Cagle (West Stokes) and Andrew Moorefield (West Davidson). West Stanly’s Pavin Chunn ended Weaver’s tournament with a 9-6 decision win.
Bodi Miller received a bye to the quarterfinal round where he dropped an 8-7 decision to third seeded Kevin Pack from Surry Central. Miller won his first consolation match by a 14-11 score over 12th seeded Devonte Autry from Parkwood. Miller followed that up with a forfeit win over George Patrick from West Stokes.
With a place in the third place match on the line, West Davidson’s Dylan Lannie beat Miller by a 6-0 score to advance.
Freshman Brady Buchanan lost his first round match to second seeded Ribyan McClain from Carver and lost his first consolation match to Adam Johns from Mount Pleasant by a 12-1 decision.
Senior Matthew Hamilton entered the regional as the fourth seed. Hamilton pinned North Wilkes’ Gavin Huffman in 40 seconds to get off to a hot start. Next up, Hamilton beat Thomasville’s Brett Hokenson by a 10-4 decision.
Top seeded Cole Susi from Wilkes Central beat Hamilton by a 5-3 decision. In the consolation match, Hamilton lost a heartbreaking 3-1 decision in overtime to Surry Central’s Uriel Secundino.
Sophomore Joshua Hamilton won his first round match as the sixth seed. Hamilton pinned Cody Reece from Mount Pleasant at the 3:03 mark of the match. Next up, Quin-Shawn Goings from Monroe pinned Hamilton at 3:08.
In his lone consolation match, Hamilton lost a 2-1 decision to East Davidson’s Alexander Palmer.
The final regional competitor from Ashe County was Jason Baker. The junior was the 15th seed in the 285-pound class. Baker lost his first match after Eithen Sheets from West Wilkes pinned Baker in 23 seconds.
In his first consolation match, Baker earned a 1-0 decision over seventh seeded David Pena from Surry Central. Baker lost his next consolation match to Nathan London of Carver by an 8-4 decision.
*Nathan Ham can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @NathanHam87