Hough High’s wrestling team finished in familiar territory during Saturday’s MECKA 4A tournament – on top of the standings.
The Huskies, buoyed by a strong showing in both the finals and third-place matches, edged regular-season champion A.L. Brown to win their third consecutive MECKA 4A tournament title and fourth straight overall.
Hough won three individual weight-class titles at Mallard Creek High School, and had 11 wrestlers overall finish in the top four.
That was enough to beat out the Wonders – also a winner in three weight classes, and had 12 wrestlers in the top four – by seven points (162.5-155.5). Host-team Mallard Creek was third with 144 points, and Hopewell was fourth at 133.
“Every year we’ve won it, it’s been close,” Huskies coach Tripp Rogers said. “We preached to the guys to ‘finish odd’ – if you can’t finish first, then finish third. If you lose before the finals, then come back and win the consolation final. That bronze medal is better than no medal at all.
“We’ve always geared our training and our thought process to this time of the year, to when it really matters the most.”
Winning weight-class titles for Hough were Caleb Kreitter at 120 pounds, Tony Woodward at 145 pounds and Mitchell Newell at 152 pounds.
Hopewell led the tournament with titles in four weight classes, with 113-pound champion Esco Walker taking the event’s most outstanding wrestler award.
Other weight-class winners for the Titans were Tyjuan Brown at 106 pounds, Dion Rivers at 195 pounds, and Clifton Pittman at 285 pounds.
Winning for the Wonders were Davonn Myers at 126 pounds, Nick Sexton at 138 pounds and Isaiah Johnson at 160 pounds.
Kreitter, who improved to 46-0 this season entering next week’s NCHSAA 4A dual-team playoffs, was one of four wrestlers to repeat as tournament champions. He won the 113-pound title in 2015.
Also repeating as weight-class champions were Johnson, the 145-pound champ in 2015; West Charlotte’s Quintin Mickerson at 132 pounds, and Mallard Creek’s Louis Williams at 170 pounds.
Also winning weight-class titles Saturday were North Mecklenburg’s Eric Hudson at 182 pounds, and Vance’s Dion Rogers at 220 pounds.
MECKA 4A Tournament Team Scores
1. Hough, 162.50; 2. A.L. Brown, 155.5; 3. Mallard Creek, 144; 4. Hopewell, 133; 5. Vance, 77; 6. North Mecklenburg, 48; 7. West Charlotte, 30.5.
106: Tyjuan Brown (Hopewell) dec. Sam Westmoreland (Hough), 4-0.
113: Esco Walker (Hopewell) major dec. Dylan Boone (Hough), 16-3.
120: Caleb Kreitter (Hough) pin Daniel Cruz (A.L. Brown), 3:06.
126: Davonn Myers (A.L. Brown) dec. Milton Jackson (Mallard Creek), 13-8.
132: Quintin Mickerson (West Charlotte) dec. Joshua Crihfield (Vance), 12-5.
138: Nick Sexton (A.L. Brown) dec. Greyson Mitchell (Mallard Creek), 7-3.
145: Tony Woodward (Hough) pin Exavia McGowen (Mallard Creek), 3:18.
152: Mitchell Newell (Hough) pin Taylor Brown (Hopewell), 3:56.
160: Isaiah Johnson (A.L. Brown) pin Alvin Hall (Vance), 1:22.
170: Louis Williams (Mallard Creek) major dec. Marcus Bolick (A.L. Brown), 16-6.
182: Eric Hudson (North Mecklenburg) pin Derrick Knox (Mallard Creek), 6:23 (overtime).
195: Dion Rivers (Hopewell) dec. Isaac Miles (A.L. Brown), 7-1.
220: Dion Rogers (Vance) pin Tripp Foscue (Hough), 1:48.
285: Clifton Pittman (Hopewell) dec. Kesean Jenkins (Mallard Creek), 4-3.