Neither Lakeside nor Grovetown could get by Burke County when the trio of young squads squared off in Tuesday night’s dual wrestling meet at Grovetown High School.
The Bears (18-4), with just one of the five wrestlers who advanced to the state tournament in 2011 available, beat Lakeside 46-30 before knocking off the Warriors squad 52-24.
In the final match of the night, Lakeside, with just two seniors on the team, earned a split with a 46-36 win over Grovetown, who entered the night shorthanded by injuries.
There were a handful of forfeits in each of the three matches, raising the stakes for the other matches.
Grovetown had to forfeit six weight classes while Lakeside had to forfeit three leading up to the last match of the competition.
The dual meet was the first of the year for the Panthers (1-1), who were coming off a tournament at Effingham County the previous weekend. The team found itself quickly down 24-0 as Grovetown’s Zachary Reformat (113), Jessie Maya (120) and Daegan Lente (132) each registered pins while Alexis Gonzalez won by forfeit at 126 pounds.
Donald True led his 138-pound match 12-7 before winning with a pin at 4:24, getting the Panthers on the board.
Eight consecutive forfeits ensued, leading to the final match of the night. With Lakeside leading Grovetown 42-36, the Warriors needed a pin for the tie. The match pitted two freshman in the 106-pound class: Lakeside’s Grant Plunkett and Grovetown’s Keegan Margoupis. Margoupis led 10-9 entering the third period, but Plunkett got a quick reversal to take the lead, winning 18-12 to secure the Panthers’ win.
“During the breaks I saw all my teammates cheering me on and it inspired me a lot,” said Plunkett.
Lakeside seniors stood out in the opening match against Burke County. Brad Sankey (6-2), who won the 195-pound weight class at Effingham County, beat the Bear’s Carlton Holmes, 7-0. JaVeon Brigham (182) beat the Bears Jeremy Gordon 7-2, but that would be all for the Panthers.
Against Burke County, Robert Maldonado was the Warriors’ lone non-forfeit winner at 160 pounds. He led 9-3 entering the second period, ending the match with a pin 54 seconds into the period.
The Warriors’ 120-pounder Maya ran his record to 9-1 with a forfeit win against Burke County and a pin in 1:57 over Lakeside’s Samuel Harris.