Sherando quartet wins conference titles

WINCHESTER — Sherando had four Conference 21 West individual wrestling champions, but didn’t have enough depth to win the team title on Saturday at James Wood High School.

The Warriors finished second in the Conference 21 West wrestling tournament with 261.5 points, three points behind Handley’s 264.5.

“Unfortunately our lack of depth really hurt us,” Sherando coach Pepper Martin said. “We essentially got zero points from two weight classes and only two points from two others. …I want to congratulate Handley. What they did to pull this tournament off is they showed their team depth. It was on full display. There were very few weight classes where they didn’t get at least a fourth.”

Sherando’s Mike Duffy (126), Curtis Guthridge (145), John Borst (182) and Ben Avery (285) each won an individual conference title.

The tournament was a dual format, with each team wrestling five matches. The top three finishers advance to the Region 4A West tournament held on Friday and Saturday at John Champe High School. The fourth-place finisher will only advance in certain weight classes, due to having five conferences in the region, but that will be determined by this morning. The Warriors advanced either nine or 10 to regionals.

Duffy went 5-0 with one pin and one forfeit. His toughest match came against James Wood’s Zack Singhas, a 6-4 win.

The Sherando senior got off to a strong start against Singhas, but couldn’t pull away. Singhas cut the lead to 5-4 in the third period, before Duffy was able to gain another point and hang on for the victory.

“It’s nice to have good matches like that,” Duffy said. “You don’t really want to just pin everybody all the way through. You don’t really feel too accomplished. When you have close matches you feel a lot better about yourself. You feel like ‘hey, I really stepped it up that match.'”

Guthridge went 5-0 at 145 pounds, with a couple big wins. He had two pins, but also had two close victories.

The Sherando senior topped rival Trae Sine, of Millbrook, 8-4. Guthridge said he lost to Sine throughout middle school and in his freshman year, but Saturday’s win was his second this season over Sine.

“It feels good to get a little even with him,” Guthridge said. “It always feels good to beat someone that’s beaten you before.”

Guthridge’s closest match was a 4-2 victory over Woodgrove’s Garrett Cook. Guthridge trailed early in the match, but battled back in the second period to get the win.

Borst won his second straight conference title with ease. Borst pinned all five of his opponents. The junior, who won a state title last year, said he knows he has to be ready for everyone’s best.

“It was a good day,” Borst said. “When you end up with five matches and all five are pins, you got to look back and say that was good. I wrestled rather well. …I’ve got a big target on my back. Everyone’s coming after me. I got to be ready to step up.”

Avery went 5-0 with three pins. The senior said that his asthma did affect him a little bit in his final match, but he was still able to pull out a 5-0 win over James Wood’s Adam Vadell.

“Pins came early. As the day started going on I started getting more fatigued from asthma issues,” Avery said. “That last match was kind of rough for me. I didn’t wrestle as well as I could have. I’m not satisfied with it, but I’m happy with the result.”

Sherando’s James Platts (152), Mikeal Neff (160) and Kendall Helsley (170) each finished second. Timmy Dieter (113) placed third.

Sherando’s Brett Sloan (195) suffered an injury in his third match. Sloan was slammed hard on the mat and landed on his upper back and head by Woodgrove’s Gunner Hilling. Sloan was taken by ambulance to Winchester Medical Center.

“When he was taken out by the rescue squad it seemed promising,” Martin said.

Martin said that Sloan was moving and had strength in his legs when he left.

Sloan won the match by injury default, and placed third in the tournament.

Zack Kales (220) finished fourth in the tournament for the Warriors.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com