End of a five-year reignWest Henderson denies Pisgah a sixth consecutive WNCAC crown
SYLVA — A five-year reign of conference dominance came to an end Saturday at Smoky Mountain High School as West Henderson (240) edged Pisgah (221.5) for the WNC Athletic Conference Wrestling Tournament championship. Tuscola finished third (123) ahead of North Henderson, East Henderson, Franklin, Brevard and the Mustangs.
Pisgah had won five consecutive regular season championships.
A total of 16 local grapplers won medals, including four gold, five silver and seven bronze medals.
The four WNCAC Tournament champions were Pisgah’s Drew Singleton, Thomas Mattingly, Cody Lamb and Tuscola’s Clay Wightman.
At 113, Singleton won a 7-5 overtime thriller, while Mattingly took a 9-6 decision over West Henderson’s Jefferson Futch in the 145-pound final match and in the heavyweight’s (285) championship match, Lamb pinned Smoky Mountain’s Tony Clonch. Wightman swept through all his matches in the 182-pound finals, defeating Pisgah’s Harrie Massie 9-3.
The five tourney runner-ups (silver medalists) were Tuscola’s Jeremiah Royer (152), Pisgah’s Jeff Henson (120), Dillon O’Neal (132), Hunter Mease (138) and Massie (182).
The seven local wrestlers who won bronze medals (consolation champions) for a third-place finish were Pisgah’s Garren Bailey(126), Austin Browning (160), Kyle Terrell (220), Tuscola’s James Gibson (106), Ben Womack (138), Houston Dickens (145) and Justin Hogan (170).
Local wrestlers finishing fourth were Tuscola’s Daniel Messer (126), Pisgah’s Justin Smith (106), Dakota Norris (152) and Blake Anderson(195), while the Black Bears’ Ashton Rhinehart (170) finished fifth.
North Henderson’s Colby Langford received the most outstanding wrestler award.
THS Senior Night
Three Tuscola senior wrestlers, Skylar Morrissey, Wightman and Ben Womack were honored during a Senior Night ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 6, prior to its match with Brevard.
Morrissey had a record of 14-4, with seven pins this season, Wightman’s record was 31-2 with 18 pins, while Womack sported a 31-2 with 22 pins.
Despite Morrissey’s to his Blue Devil opponent, Wightman won by a pin and Womack won by forfeit to make it a banner evening as the Mountaineers defeated Brevard, 48-36.
Other Tuscola wrestlers that won by pins were: Messer, Dickens, Royer, Zac Pottinger (160) and Hogan.