One match cost Hough High’s wrestling team a shot at winning the MECKA 4A Conference regular-season title.
However, the Huskies made up for that at the MECKA 4A Conference tournament Saturday at Mallard Creek High School, easily taking team honors and a good number of the individual titles as well.
Hough sent eight wrestlers to the championship finals, with four taking home weight-class titles. That was enough to give the Huskies a 41-point victory over J.M. Robinson (196-155).
“We showed up today,” Hough coach Tripp Rogers said. “We put 13 in the top four. We want all 14 guys in the finals – that’s our goal, we want 14 championships – but the tournaments that matter begin next week.
“This will be a good launching pad for that, because now everybody’s in a positive state of mind going in.”
A.L. Brown, which beat the Huskies 43-34 on Tuesday to claim the regular-season championship, finished third with 145.5 points, just ahead of Mallard Creek (144).
Hough’s loss to the Wonders was its first in a conference match in three years, a major speed bump heading into not only Saturday’s MECKA 4A tournament, but the postseason as well.
“We needed to move on,” Rogers said. “I didn’t bust their tails the next day in practice – we played dodgeball. We had some fun, got back working together and got back on track.
“We didn’t wrestle that well that night, but we came back and had some fun, worked hard and showed up today.”
Winning weight-class titles for the Huskies were Caleb Kreitter at 113 pounds, Joey DiPietro at 152, Jordan Thompson at 182 and Rob Perview at 195.
“We were all hanging our heads and upset (after the loss to Brown),” said Thompson, who improved to 44-0 this season. “But we got after it today.
“We had some JV guys step up because some of the varsity guys had to sit out. We had some great performances, because everybody was fired up and ready to go.”
Mallard Creek also came away with four weight-class winners – Derrick Davis at 106 pounds, Jordan Eley at 138, Waddell McNeely at 160 and Louis Williams at 170.
A.L. Brown wrestlers won three individual titles – Avery Clinding at 120 pounds, Isaiah Johnson at 145 and Keechan Ware at 220.
West Charlotte, which finished fifth in the team standings with 58.5 points, had two weight-class champions – Quintin Mickerson, who won at 132 pounds and was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler; and Malik Baker at 285.
David Cline had the lone individual title for Robinson, winning at 126 pounds.