2019-02-08 / Sports

SCISA semifinals come down to final matches

Story and Photos by Mike Maddock


Hammond’s Ryan Kane wrestles Ben Lippen’s Paul Copeland at 145. Hammond’s Ryan Kane wrestles Ben Lippen’s Paul Copeland at 145. After the Columbia schools cruised through the opening round of the SCISA Wrestling State Championships at Ben Lippen Saturday, February 2, they came together for two classic semifinal matches.

The Cardinal Newman Cardinals and Heathwood Hall Highlanders got going first.

The Highlanders jumped out to a 12-0 lead with first period pins by Reagan Olsen and Minh Dang at 152 and 160, respectively.

Tristan Cox got Cardinal Newman on the board grabbing a forfeit win at 170, but Henry Kimbrough pushed the Heathwood lead to 15-6 with an 8-3 win over Max Miller at 182.

Drew Morrison, Jaxon Kopack, and Declan Carroll were forfeit winners at 195, 220, and 285, respectively, and then Peter Wilbur earned a first period pin at 106 to put the Cardinals up 30-15.

Dyllan Gorrin then appeared to earn a technical fall at 113 with an 18-2 win over Pierce Avery, but the Cardinals were only awarded three points to go up 33-15.


Heathwood Hall’s Reagan Olsen tries to get a pin on Cardinal Newman’s Jose Gonzalez at 152. Heathwood Hall’s Reagan Olsen tries to get a pin on Cardinal Newman’s Jose Gonzalez at 152. The Highlanders then came roaring back.

Jake Clarkson got a pin at 120, Myles Roberts beat John Maddock 9-3 at 126, and Mac Merritt earned a pin at 132. That was followed by AJ Kuse’s forfeit win at 138 giving Heathwood a 36-33 edge going into the final match.

Darius Bates closed it out earning a technical fall over Luke Appleton at 145 to give the Highlanders the match at 41- 33. Heathwood’s win earned the Highlanders a trip to the final and ended Cardinal Newman’s latest run of SCISA state championships at five.

In the other semifinal, Ben Lippen grabbed a 15-0 lead getting forfeit wins at 152 and 160, and then Will Taylor bumped up from 160 to beat Hammond 170 Drew Turner 11-4.


Heathwood Hall 120 Jake Clarkson ties up Cardinal Newman’s Gabo Collier. Heathwood Hall 120 Jake Clarkson ties up Cardinal Newman’s Gabo Collier. The Skyhawks finally got on the board when Owen Hales pulled out a surprising pin over Ben Lip- pen’s Hudson Dye at 182.

“Owen really shouldered the load early to keep us in it,” Hammond head coach Austin Hood said. “He is 2-0 against Hudson Dye, but they were both razor thin minor decisions. Turning that into six points kept us in the tournament.”

Price Medlin then got a pin at 195 to bump the Ben Lippen lead to 21-6, but Mills Clark answered with a pin at 220 to cut the Skyhawk deficit to 21-12.

JC Green responded for Ben Lippen with a pin at 285, and then DJ Croteau’s pin at 106 put the Falcons up 33-12.

Then the Skyhawks came storming back.

Sam DuBose, Reed Friesner, Leo Addeo, and Harper Meacham got pins at 113, 120, 126, and 132, respectively to give Hammond its first lead at 36-33.


Ben Lippen 160 Will Taylor takes a shot on Cardinal Newman’s John Darby. Ben Lippen 160 Will Taylor takes a shot on Cardinal Newman’s John Darby. That lead did not last long as Paul Taylor got a pin to regain Ben Lippen’s advantage at 39-36 and send the match to the final contest.

There, Hammond’s Ryan Kane was able to eek out a major decision at 145 with a hard-fought 10-2 victory over Paul Copeland sending the Skyhawks to the finals with a 40-39 win.

“Going into the third we decided not to focus on the major but to just keep Ryan moving on the bottom knowing that his pace would lead to points somewhere,” Hood said. “He got on top with around 1:10 left and rode him out. Watching the team not back down knowing we had to win five bonus point matches out of the last six was one of the proudest moments I have had as a coach. They did not blink. My hat is off to Ben Lippen and Coach (Bert) Medlin. They made some adjustments with their lineup and really had our backs against the wall the entire dual.”


Cardinal Newman 220 Andrew Morrison prepares to take down Ben Lippen’s Andrew Bishop. Cardinal Newman 220 Andrew Morrison prepares to take down Ben Lippen’s Andrew Bishop. Ben Lippen went on to down Greenwood Christian in the consolation semifinals to face Cardinal Newman in the final. The Cardinals downed John Paul II to advance.

Cardinal Newman was able to edge the Falcons 39- 36 to earn the third place overall finish. Winners in that match for Cardinal Newman included 182 Tristan Cox (10-6), 195 Max Miller (10-4), 220 Andrew Morrison (Pin), 285 Declan Carroll (Pin), 113 Dyllan Gorrin (Pin), 120 Gabo Collier (Pin), 126 John Maddock (11-5), and 145 Luke Appleton (Pin). Ben Lippen winners included 170 Will Owen (Pin), 106 DJ Croteau (Pin), 152 Hudson Jones (Pin), and 160 Will Taylor (Pin).

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