The Socastee Braves wrestling team is headed to the Class AAA State Finals after beating the St. James Sharks 42-30 in the Lower State Championship on Saturday afternoon at Socastee High.
St. James got out to a great start with pins by McKenzie Tecco and Chase Smith in the first two matches. But Socastee stormed back to win the next four.
Socastee rallied with pins by Dylan Martin and Jordan Hodge and slowly began to pull away from the Sharks. John Leggett won the 152 pound division with a headlock that resulted in a pin to beat Alex Mauricio of St. James.
Socastee now has a 24-1 record this season. They have never won a state wrestling title. The Braves will have an opportunity on February 19 when they face the winner of Belton-Honea Path/Eastside in the finals. The Class AAA State Wrestling Championship is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at River Bluff High in Columbia.
Here are the complete results of Socastee's 42-30 win over St. James:(106 lbs.) Mackenzie Tecco of St James pinned Eugene Utley of Socastee.(113 lbs.) Chase Smith of St James pinned Quin Gammon of Socastee in 5 minutes and 43 seconds.(120 lbs.) Dylan Martin of Socastee pinned Larry Miller of St James in 2 minutes and 48 seconds.(126 lbs.) Justin Knipper of Socastee beat Jason Wiggins of St James 17-2 (Technical Fall).(132 lbs.) Jordan Hodge of Socastee pinned Randall Nielsen of St James in 2 minutes and 45 seconds.(138 lbs.) Brad Melnytskyy of Socastee beat Jacob Seifert of St James 4-0 (Decision).(145 lbs.) Michael Mewhorter of St James beat Sam McKinney of Socastee 5-1 (Decision).(152 lbs.) John Leggett of Socastee pinned Alex Mauricio of St James in 1 minute and 02 seconds.(160 lbs.) Steven Deible of St James pinned Andrew Badoo of Socastee in 1 minute and 04 seconds.(170 lbs.) James Sanders of St James beat Aydin Imani of Socastee 4-0 (Decision).(182 lbs.) Zach Mor of Socastee pinned Bradley Mewharter of St James in 3 minutes and 11 seconds.(195 lbs.) Joe Smolenski of Socastee beat Barrett Coker of St James 12-0 (Major Decision).(220 lbs.) Kyle Burton of Socastee pinned Logan Richards of St James.(285 lbs.) John Foster of St James by forfeit.