Hough High wrestling coach Tripp Rogers was expecting a close battle for the N.C. public schools 4A Western Regional team title.
But Saturday’s final day turned out closer than Rogers expected, as the Huskies edged Kannapolis’ A.L. Brown and Lake Norman to win their second regional title in the past three years.
Hough, which also won the 4A Western Regional title in 2013, edged the Wonders by eight points (143-135), with the Wildcats another 3½ points back in third (131.5).
“I knew it was going to be tight,” Rogers said. “We just needed our guys to show up and wrestle.”
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The Huskies had four wrestlers advance to the championship match, with one – Caleb Kreitter at 113 pounds – winning a regional title. In addition, three others finished in the top four, giving Hough wrestlers in seven weight classes for next week’s NCHSAA 4A state championships in Greensboro.
“I knew we could have anywhere from three to nine (advance),” Rogers said. “It just depended on taking care of business. We won a couple of close matches in the championship round that moved us forward and put us in a good spot.”
A.L. Brown led the regional with three weight-class titles, including the meet’s most outstanding wrestler in Tayshon Risher.
Risher won the 182-pound title by upsetting top-ranked and previously-undefeated Jordan Thompson of Hough in a 3-1 decision, getting a two-point takedown with less than 15 seconds remaining.
Also winning titles for the Wonders were Isaiah Johnson at 145 pounds and Keechan Ware at 220 pounds.
“I was counting on us having a couple more qualifiers, which would have made things a little closer,” said Brown coach Brian Ceresa, who had six wrestlers qualify for the state tournament. “We came in expecting to win the tournament, but we had a lot of good things happen.”
Mallard Creek was the only other team to take more than one weight-class title, getting wins from Derrick Davis at 106 pounds and Waddell McNeely at 160 pounds.
Also winning individual regional titles Saturday: Collin Stewart of South Mecklenburg (120 pounds), David Cline of Concord’s J.M. Robinson (126 pounds), Butler’s Adam Pelter (132 pounds), Lake Norman’s Logan Pavia (138 pounds), South Caldwell’s Carl Guess (152 pounds), McDowell’s Jarrett Dula (170 pounds), Alexander Central’s Kevin Alanis (195 pounds), and West Charlotte’s Malik Baker (285 pounds).