The Hilltoppers were able to take down the competition.
Science Hill went 4-1 in the tournament and ended in a three-way tie with Independence and Arab, the defending Class 6A champions in Alabama. By virtue of a series of tiebreakers, the Hilltoppers finished first to claim the championship trophy.
“It’s a great step for our program,” Science Hill coach Jimmy Miller said. “For our staff, it shows us that we’re doing the right things. It’s just great to see our kids perform like that.”
The Hilltoppers romped to easy wins over Henry Clay (Ky.), AC Flora (S.C.) and Maryville. But, they suffered a setback against Independence, coming up on the short end of a 39-33 score.
They bounced back, however, in a 37-30 win over Arab, a team that was 18-0 and coming off a win in the prestigious Nashville McGavock tournament.
Greyson Pridemore, Isaiah Ryans and William “Chase” Diehl gave Science Hill wins in the 145, 152 and 160 weight classes.
Going up to the heavier weights, Weston Brown at 182 and Denzel Medina at 195 pulled off wins for the Hilltoppers.
“We had a little lull in the Independence match,” Miller explained. “The Arab match, our kids were bruised, hurting, and they overachieved. Denzel Medina beats a kid who placed third in Alabama a year ago.”
It put the final outcome into the hands of the lower weight classes.
Tyler Seeley at 113 and Nathan Wysong at 120 each won by pinfall.
It made for a dramatic ending with seniors Cooper Williams at 132 and Luke Story at 138 needing to win for the ’Toppers to win the match.
Williams scored a 7-3 decision over Arab’s Seth Hyatt. Story came through with a 10-2 major decision over the Knights’ Clay Jones.
“I had to put my two seniors with Luke Story and Copper Williams on the mat,” Miller said. “But, Arab had these state medalists. Cooper gets the decision and Luke easily handles his opponent. Arab has been up here the last few years and we had never been ahead of them late in a match. At the end of the day, we just wrestled and found a way to win.”