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Comets finish fourth in WVD wrestling tournament / February 04, 2013
The Halifax County High School wrestling team finished fourth in the Western Valley District tournament on Saturday at Franklin County.

Eight Comets qualified for the Northwest Region tournament. HCHS was able to get three wrestlers in the finals, but Zack Carlson (113), Krunal Patel(120) and Tommie Hairston (170) all finished as runners up. Halifax also had five wrestlers finish in third place: 126 Spencer Conner, 132 Ethan Collie, 145 Gannon Griffin, 160 James Anderson, and 220 Ezra Walker. Franklin County won the tournament, followed by Patrick Henry, George Washington, HCHS, and William Fleming.

“We had some bright spots on the day, and were in most of our matches with chances to win. The overall standings are a little disappointing, but we wrestled pretty well. It really came down to a numbers game between us and GW, they had 14 wrestlers in the tournament and 5 in the finals, we only entered 10 with 3 finalists,” wrote coach Brady Taylor, in an email.

“The tournament went pretty much according to the seeds, there were very few upsets. Tommie was a third seed that finished second, and Spencer and James were both seeded fourth but finished third.

“Sweeping all of our matches in the consolation finals was big for us. It means next week we won’t be facing any district champions in the first round of regionals. That said, we feel like all 8 of our entries have a great shot to make regionals a 2 day tournament, and hope to get a few wrestlers through to the state tournament,” wrote Taylor.

“I think the Western Valley district as a whole should make a good showing at regionals next week, I know we will work hard all week to do our part to represent our school and district well up there,” wrote Taylor.

The Comets finished fourth in the five-team tournament with 117 points.

Franklin County won 10 individual championships and scored 258 points en route to its 12th consecutive WVD title and 26th district title in a row. Franklin County is the only school to win the league’s wrestling championship. Because of Virginia High School League reclassification and realignment, the WVD will disband at the end of the current school year.

Patrick Henry, which won four individual championships, finished second with 197.5 points. George Washington-Danville (165) came in third and William Fleming (72) was fifth.

The top four placewinners in each weight class advance to the Northwest Regionals.

For Halifax, Zach Carlson (113 pounds), Krunal Patel (120 pounds) and Tommie Hariston (170 pounds) each reached the finals of his weight class, but each suffered a pinfall loss to a Franklin County wrestler.

At 113, Carlson scored the first takedown in his bout against Drew Holden before Holden rallied with a reversal and a second-period takedown. Holden converted that second takedown into a pinfall triumph at 3:41.

Carlson was 1-1 in the tournament.

At 120, Patel surrendered a takedown and a 3-point nearfall to Isaiah Foster, who pinned him at 1:31.

The final was Patel’s only bout in the tournament.

At 170, Hairston scored an early takedown, but managed only an escape thereafter in his setback to Derick Kromer. The count was 5-2 in Kromer’s favor after he tallied a takedown and a 3-point nearfall. After scoring a second takedown in the first period, Kromer registered the pin. Hairston was 1-1 in the tournament.

Halifax boasted five third-place finishers, all of whom won bouts in the consolation finals.

At 220, Ezra Walker decisioned Danville’s Shaquan Walters, 8-5.

At 160, James Anderson pinned William Fleming’s Brandon Johnson at 2:01.

At 145, Gannon Griffin bested Danville’s Jamil Giffin by decision 7-4.

At 132, Ethan Collie pinned Patrick Henry’s Charlie Harris in 30 seconds. At 126, Spencer Conner pinned Danville’s Keyshawn Lanier in 2:41.

Walker, Anderson, Griffin and Collie all finished with 2-1 tournament records and Conner was 1-1.

Halifax wrestlers Antwon Ragsdale (152) and Sebastian Brion (138) each placed fifth. Each finished 0-2 in the tournament.

113 Zack Carlson 1-1 2nd place

120 Krunal Patel 0-1 2nd place

126 Spencer Conner 2-1 3rd place

132 Ethan Collie 2-1 3rd place

138 Sebastian Brion 0-2

145 Gannon Griffin 2-1 3rd place

152 Antwon Ragsdale 0-2

160 James Anderson 2-1 3rd place

170 Tommie Hairston 1-1 2nd place

220 Ezra Walker 2-1 3rd place

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