The McDowell Titans didn’t have any individual champions at the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference tournament Saturday, but the Titans still turned in a respectable team finish.
McDowell finished fifth and was among a tightly grouped, three-team pack that battled for third place at Freedom.
St. Stephens, which dominated the regular season, did the same in the tournament, winning by a huge margin. St. Stephens scored 222.5 points and had seven individual champions, while second-place Alexander Central was way behind with 127 and three champs. Freedom and South Caldwell both posted 99 points, but Freedom took third place with two conference champs; South Caldwell had only one. The Titans scored 92.
West Caldwell (50), Watauga (49) and Hickory (7) rounded out the team scoring.
Three Titans finished runner-up in their respective weight classes. Toby Finn (126 pounds), Calvin Stevenson (138) and Josh Morgan (170) all placed second.
Joseph Thomas (113), Alldyn Conley (132) and Preston Dennison (160) each placed third.
Dalton Byerly (152) and Trevor Kettles (220) were both fourth-place finishers.
Finn, a sophomore, advanced to the finals with a pin of South Caldwell’s Jade Hutto in the semifinals. In the title bout, Finn wrestled well against former state champion Clay Beach of Freedom, but came up on the short end of an 8-4 score.
Stevenson pinned South Caldwell’s Hunter Hudson in the semis, but fell to St. Stephens’ Blake Baker via pinfall in the championship.
Morgan pinned Hickory’s Jordan Fetterman in the first round, and then captured a 10-5 win over St. Stephens’ Jordan Bolling in the semifinals. Morgan, who has been hampered by injuries all season, was banged up again, this time with knee and shoulder problems, and had to default in the finals to West Caldwell’s Easton Griffin.
Conley fell to St. Stephens’ Graham Ormand 13-1 in his first bout, but bounced back to pin Freedom’s Brandon Lindsay in the consolation semifinals. Conley then pinned South Caldwell’s Andrew Clark for third place.
Thomas was pinned by Freedom’s Davion Lowdermilk, and then received a bye in the consolation semifinals. Thomas then pinned Watauga’s Kasen Kulczyk for third place.
Dennison lost 11-3 to Alexander Central’s Taylor Dalton, and then advanced via byes in the consolation semis and finals to finish in third place.
Kettles pinned Hickory’s Jacob Dugger in the first round, but was pinned by St. Stephens’ Daniel Tellez in the semifinals. Kettles pinned West Caldwell’s Spencer Hadley in the consolation semis, but was then pinned by South Caldwell’s Steven Warren in the battle for third place.
Byerly was pinned by South Caldwell’s Dustin Herman and then advanced to the consolation semis via a bye. He was pinned by St. Stephens’ De’Untae Henry in the third-place match.
St. Stephens’ seven champions were Coy Reid (106), Jovanny Urzua (113), Ormand (132), Baker (138), Ivan Vergel (160), Dakota Metcalf (182) and Salvador Gilvaja (195). Alexander Central’s champs were Chase Treadway (120), Marterion Howell (220) and Isaac Chapman (285). Freedom’s champions were Beach (126) and Spencer Leonhardt (145). South Caldwell’s champion was Herman (152), and West Caldwell’s champ was Griffin (170).
Next up for the Titans is the state 4A dual team tournament. McDowell (15-20) will face High Point Central (19-11) in the first round at Mooresville tonight (Tuesday). Mooresville (31-1) and West Forsyth (11-8) will meet in the other bracket.