Bengals Shake Off Spring Valley Loss, Flatten Caps, Heathwood

Blythewood's Mason Marshall (in white) works for the pin in last week's loss to Spring Valley. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

Blythewood’s Mason Marshall (in white) works for the pin in last week’s loss to Spring Valley. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

BLYTHEWOOD (Jan. 23, 2017) – The Blythewood Bengals wrestling program picked up a pair of crucial victories Thursday night, bouncing back from a tough loss on Jan. 18 against Spring Valley. The Bengals downed Columbia 45-36 in their first matchup, and dealt Heathwood Hall a 56-24 defeat.

“Considering we got our butts kicked by Spring Valley last night, I’m very happy,” Bengals’ head coach Paul Watson said. “We are 9-8 on the season, and we’ve got a young team, we’ve had a lot of starters get hurt, have a couple that had wrestled for a while that have had to give up wrestling due to injuries, so we go from 20-10 last year to 9-8 right now. We’re just trying to get some rookies caught up, but we beat two good teams tonight.”

Things started off with Blythewood going up 18-6 over Columbia due to forfeitures. Griffin Kistler, a Blythewood senior, was pinned in the first matchup of the night, and Columbia moved back to within 6.

Junior Mason Marshall picked up a decision victory for Blythewood at 147 pounds, and senior Zach Gabert followed that up with a pin-fall victory at 154, but Columbia marched back into the lead with pinning victories at 162, 172, 184 and 220 pounds, which put them up 36-33.

“We give up too many pins when we get on our back,” Watson said. “That’s a lot of our first-year wrestlers and that’s to be expected. We’ve got to stay more aggressive, working for pins. We’re not running halves like we need to. A lot of it is just mat time with these young guys; and I will say in another two weeks I get some of my starters back, so I’m going to be excited about that.”

Senior Jacob Ely secured an important win for Blythewood at 195, via the pin-fall. Heavyweight Brandon Turner came in to the close door on Columbia with the Bengals’ third pin victory of the match-up.

Blythewood was awarded with an additional forfeit victory to bump the final tally up to 45-36.

The Heathwood matchup began at 6-6, but Blythewood quickly broke the tie via a Devin Shepard 12-point decision victory in the 123-pound class to increase the Bengals’ overall lead to 10-6. Heathwood went back ahead 12-10 by way of the pin at 140 pounds.

Marshal came up big again to take the lead back for the final time with his second decision of the night, and the Bengals won forfeits at 154, 162, 184, 195 pounds, as well as in the heavyweight class, that all but sealed Heathwood’s fate.

Blythewood junior Jonathan Jiang redeemed himself at 220 with a pin-fall win, and sophomore Alex Camino followed suit with a pin in the final contest of the night at 115.

“Our heavyweight Brandon Tucker is one of the best in the state,” Watson said. “He has 23 or 24 wins on the season and then Mason Marshall, who is our 145-pounder, just won his 23rd match of the season. We’ve got other guys coming on. Sophomore 115-pounder Alex Camino, and another one that we’re really impressed with is senior Jacob Ely at 195 pounds.”

The Bengals are at Dutch Fork Wednesday against the Silver Foxes and the Lexington Wildcats, then hit the mat again Saturday at Irmo.