Kent matmen Ford, Sutton are state tourney-bound

CENTREVILLE — Scottie Ford is returning to the Class 1A/2A state wrestling tournament for a second year in a row.

This time, the Kent County High School sophomore is making the trip to The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro as the East Region’s 138-pound champion.

KCHS senior Brady Sutton also is a state qualifier, having placed third in the region at 144 pounds.

The state tournament gets underway Thursday, Feb. 29 with a preliminary round, and continues Friday and Saturday.

Ford (37-1) carries an 18-match winning streak into the state tournament, which includes wins over Parkside’s Rocco Tully (35-9) in the championship bouts of the Bayside Conference and 1A/2A East Region tournaments.

In the region tournament on Feb. 24, Ford defeated Tully, 4-2, for a sudden victory.

Tully’s takedown with less than a minute to go in the third period tied the score at 2-all, and forced extra time.

Overtime consists of a 1-minute sudden-death period where the first wrestler to score wins.

Neither Ford or Tully scored, which sent the match to 30-second tiebreakers. Ford won it in the second 30-second period when he reversed his position quickly and rode out the remainder of the period.

Ford, who received a first-round bye, advanced to the championship round after successive pins of Harford Tech’s Connor McNamee in 1 minute, 28 seconds and Rising Sun’s Tyler Henderson in 3:18.

Sutton (29-7) defeated Harford Tech’s Nikolai Chervak, 2-1, in the consolation final of the 144-pound division.

After a first-round bye, Sutton won by a 14-3 major decision over Rising Sun’s Sawyer Bell.

Sutton looked poised to be headed to the title bout after building a 6-1 lead over Kent Island’s Cody Sandefer, but was rolled midway into the third period and ultimately pinned in 5:12.

Sandefer (31-10) went on to finish second.

In the wrestlebacks, Sutton decisioned Stephen Decatur’s Alex Riehl, 7-2, to reach the match for third and fourth.

Kent County qualified four others for the region tournament, which was held at Queen Anne’s County High School: sophomore Noah Iacono, who went 0-2 at 126 pounds; junior Ethan Clark (150 pounds), who opted out due to recurring injuries; senior Liam Gallo, who placed sixth at 175 pounds; and freshman Rhi Ashley-Pinder, who was fourth at 110 pounds in the girls tournament.

After receiving a first-round bye,¬†Ashley-Pinder decisioned Queen Anne’s Bevyn Branham in the quarterfinals, 8-3.

She was pinned by eventual champion Madison Birth of Havre de Grace in the semifinals of the main draw and Colonel Richardson’s Luna Infante-Reyes in the third period of the consolation finals.

In his first match, Gallo (12-14) lost the lead late against No. 2 seed and eventual runner-up Canaan Mapp of Parkside after being penalized for locking hands and then Mapp (24-8) escaped for the 10-9 final.

Gallo advanced in the consolation bracket with a 7-3 decision of Snow Hill’s Christian Russell, but then was beaten by Harford Tech’s Brian Vickers, 7-3, and Wicomico’s Timm Johnson, 3-1, in sudden death.

Vickers went on to finish third.

The top three place-finishers in each weight class of the girls tournament and top four in each weight class of the boys tournament move on to the state tournament.

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In Thursday’s preliminary round, Scottie Ford will face Forest Park senior Justin Hill (25-9), who placed fourth in the North Region, and Brady Sutton will face South Carroll junior Angelo Marchany (37-7), who placed second in the North Region.

Rhi Ashley-Pinder is an alternate.

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