Trojans exit early from state wrestling tournament

UPPER MARLBORO — Kent County High School wrestlers Scottie Ford and Brady Sutton each won at least 30 matches, and Sutton, a senior, and Rhi Ashley-Pinder, a freshman, both experienced their first state tournament as highlights for 2023-24.
All three exited the state tournament — staged over three days at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro last week — earlier than they would have liked.
A sophomore and two-time state qualifier, Ford (138 pounds) headed to the Feb. 29-March 2 double-elimination tournament on an 18-match winning streak and as a Bayside Conference and Class 1A/2A East Region champion.
He was pinned by Forest Park senior Justin Hill (27-11) late in the second period of their opening-round match.
“Scottie got caught by a very unorthodox wrestler,” Kent County head coach Chris Yiannakis told The Evening Enterprise in an email Tuesday, March 5.
Hill, who had placed fourth in the North Region, was penalized for locked hands and a full nelson, and chose optional starts.
Yiannakis said Hill’s “reactions to positions and situations were far from typical, and wrestling is about predicative responses to your opponent.”
Ford (38-3) came back to win his first match in the consolation bracket — a pin of Pikesville senior Hayden Hale (23-7) in just under three minutes — but was eliminated after dropping a 7-3 decision to Sparrows Point senior Nick Weber (36-7) in the next round.

Sutton (30-9) had a similar story at 144 pounds.

After being defeated by South Carroll junior Angelo Marchany (40-10) in the first round, 6-3, Sutton wrestled back with a 5-3 decision of Huntingtown junior Luke Johnson (25-10).

In the second round of the consolations, Middletown senior Stephen Stottlemyer (44-5) pinned Sutton in the second period.

Yiannakis said the KCHS coaching staff was “happy with Brady’s performance.”

“He was offensive and took shots. It was a well-deserved accomplishment for him to get there and do some of the best work he has done all season,” Yiannakis said in the email.  

Ashley-Pinder (3-11), who placed fourth in the region at 110 pounds, got into the state tournament as an alternate.
She was having what Yiannakis described as “a good first match” against Sparrows Point’s Gabby Campbell but hung her head from on top, got rolled into a headlock and ultimately was pinned early in the second period.
In the first round of the consolation bracket, Ashley-Pinder was pinned by Richard Montgomery’s Juliana Wong (18-5).
The tournament format was different from how it was presented in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association bulletin, according to Yiannakis.
“They did girls on all mats, then 3A/4A and 1A/2A went last every round,” he wrote in the email.
“The first day we weighed in at 1230 and didn’t wrestle till almost 8PM. After the losses on day one everyone went back in the next day more focused and the boys with their experience were able to keep alive with decisive wins,” Yiannakis told The Evening Enterprise.
“The next round they got out worked and at this level that can and will happen,” he said. “For Brady that means on to the rest of his life, for Scottie and Rhi that means reevaluate and refocus.” 



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