It’s been a roller coaster of a week for the McDowell Titan wrestling team.
The Titans captured the championship of the Maiden Tournament last weekend, and followed that up by going 2-3 in a brutal, round-robin dual tourney at East Burke Wednesday.
Along the way, the Titans may have lost senior 152-pounder Jacob Phillips with a knee injury. Phillips was angling to become a three-time State 4A qualifier for the Titans, something that has been done only three times in school history. His status was still uncertain as of press time.
Amidst the stress of missing Phillips and several other starters for various reasons, there was some good news. Titans 126-pounder Toney McGee set a new school record for career wins. McGee broke the previous mark of 181, set by Josh Dula, during the East Burke tourney. He now stands at 182-13 all-time, and is 39-0 this season.
In the Maiden tournament, the Titans, despite filling only 10 of the 14 weight classes, scored 126 points to easily outpace second-place South Caldwell (77). Avery (71), Hickory (68), Bandys (57), East Burke (56.5), Forestview (52.5) and Maiden (48) rounded out the field.
The Titans had three individual champs. Calvin Stevenson (106 pounds) won his first tournament title, as did Dante’ Quitman (132). McGee (126) went 3-0 and won his weight class as well. McGee pinned Avery’s River Griffith, a returning state runner-up, in the finale.
Channing Watson (145), Connor Good (160) and Aaron Buchanan (170) all placed second in their respective weight classes.
Joe Hullette (220) placed third.
Phillips placed fourth in a weight class that featured four multiple-time state qualifiers. His two defeats came by one point each.
Josh Morgan (182) and Aamon Haynes (195) also finished fourth.
At East Burke, the Titans faced off against some of the area’s best teams, going 2-3 on the day. McDowell is now 20-5 in duals on the season. Phillips suffered his injury during the second match, while Josh Morgan (182) and Alldyn Conley (120) also missed because of health reasons.
Down three starters, the Titans defeated Hibriten 59-21 and East Burke 65-6. They fell to Foard 66-12, lost to Rock Hill (SC) 59-12, and lost to West Lincoln 54-22.
“We had a tough day, and I knew it would be,” said McDowell head coach Tim Hutchins. “Even if we had been at full strength, it would have been tough. But that’s why I scheduled that one – I wanted us to wrestle those kinds of teams.”
McGee was the only McDowell grappler to go 5-0. He had four pins and a forfeit win. McGee’s victory against East Burke tied Dula’s mark, and he broke the record against West Lincoln.
Toby Finn (113) had a good day, going 4-1.
Stevenson, Daniel Maynor (138), Watson, Good and Buchanan all went 3-2 in the event.
Quitman, Buchanan and Hullette all went 2-3. Trevor Kettles (182) and Aaron Duncan (285) each went 1-4. Phillips was 1-1, taking an injury default in his second match.
McDowell begins Northwestern 3A/4A Conference actions Wednesday. The Titans host Watauga (6 p.m.).