FAYETTEVILLE — It wasn’t the top-four finish head coach Earl Nicholson had hoped for, but his wrestlers earned enough points (54) to help the Raiders place fifth at the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament at Jack Britt on Saturday.
Richmond finished behind conference-tournament champion Pinecrest (177), Purnell Swett (170.5), Lumberton (149.5) and Jack Britt (144.5), but was able to score more than Hoke County (44), Seventy-First (39) and Scotland (33.5).
Zachariah Hamilton finished with a team-high 15 points and placed third in the 138-pound weight class.
The junior pinned Hoke County’s Adam Shorter in the quarterfinal matchup and then suffered his only loss of the day to Lumberton’s Armando Marquez — a 10-0 major decision — in the semifinal. Hamilton would bounce back with a win by pinfall over Seventy-First’s Gabriel Carrington and a major-decision victory over Pinecrest’s Dane Mathews in the consolation semifinal and the third-place match, respectively.
The Raider wrestling team got 11 points from Bryant Coles, 10 points each from Austin Gallops and Steven Morales, and eight more points from Skylar Standridge.
Coles, who placed fourth in the 126 class, earned a pinfall victory over Brendon Smith (Scotland), was pinned by Jastan Simmons (Purnell Swett), earned six points at the expense of Joshua Hargrove (Seventy-First) and then lost by technical fall to Will Nguyen (Pinecrest).
Gallops, at 152, received a bye in both his quarterfinal and consolation semifinal bouts. The sophomore went 1-1 when he actually wrestled, falling to Seventy-First’s Yomar Machin in the semifinal and pinning Jack Britt’s Ethan Dowie in the third-place match.
Morales, sophomore, also received a bye in his opening bout and then went on to win two of his next three. He didn’t have enough to take down Parker Nelson (Pinecrest) in the semis, but was able to finish third at 120 pounds by defeating Ryan Lock (Jack Britt) and Justin Kelly (Lumberton).
Standridge was the only Raider who dropped his first match and still went on to score points. After a 3-2 decision loss to Jack Britt’s Trevor Outlaw, the junior 220-pounder triumphed over Seventy-First’s Logan Harkness and Hoke’s Joshua Savage. He would fall again to Outlaw, this time by pin, in the third-place match.
Matthew Haber, Evan Ingram, Travis Short and Jeremy Ward were the other four Richmond wrestlers who competed in Saturday’s tournament. None of them were able to add to the team’s score, but three of the four (Short, Haber, Ward) did receive byes in their opening consolation bouts.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.