Pelham defeats Helena to advance to state dual tournament

Published 8:23 pm Monday, January 8, 2024

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – The Pelham Panthers moved on to the Class 6A State Dual Tournament after defeating the Helena Huskies in the semifinals of the Class 6A, Region 3 Dual Tournament on Thursday, Jan. 4 at Pelham High School to secure second place.

The Panthers walked away with a dominant 62-18 win over their county rivals to advance to the finals against McAdory, where they lost 43-30.

After Maddox McDaniel and Paul Peerson kicked off the dual with forfeit wins, Pelham extended its lead to 14-0 with an 11-3 major decision win for Patrick Warner over Robert Guertin in the 120-pound match.

Helena’s top wrestler Kenyon Clements put the Huskies on the board in the 126-pound match with a pin at the 1:12 mark against Malachi Dahlen.

Then, Walt Calvert earned a pin 22 seconds into his 132-pound match with Micahel Higgins to kick off four straight wins for the Panthers.

Sam Powell secured the 17-4 major decision over Sami Bratina, Kamerin Mills beat Andrew Ezekiel with a pin at the 4:47 mark and Thomas Peerson continued his strong season with a pin against Zechariah Blevins at the 46-second mark.

The Huskies picked up another win after Cayden Thomas pinned Robert Darrenkamp at the 2:50 mark of their 157-pound match.

However, Pelham would roll to victory from there after Brayden Patterson pinned Brandon McGuire at the 3:26 mark, Tanner McCarthy picked up a forfeit win and Ian Chambers defeated Logan Mineweaser by securing a fall at the 1:50 mark.

Connor Guida ended the action on a high note for Helena by pinning Nate Hernandez at the 3:17 mark, but a forfeit win for the Panthers’ Cash Tatum put the icing on the cake for the 62-18 win to secure a spot in the state tournament.

While the McAdory Yellow Jackets would go on to win the regional championship, multiple Pelham wrestlers earned wins in the 13-point defeat.

Warner won the 120-pound match by pinning Marion Wilkerson-Sanders at the 1:56 mark just before the first period ended.

Calvert picked up his second pin of the night by defeating Kalen Howard at the 3:15 mark of the second period.

Powell earned a first-period pin by defeating Braylon Hill 1:40 into their 138-pound match, while Peerson won his match by forfeit.

Finally, McCarthy secured the Panthers’ fourth pin of the match and his second of the tournament by beating Gavin Valtierra at the 1:35 mark.

Pelham advanced to the round of 16 at the Class 6A State Dual Tournament, and it will face Mountain Brook on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Birmingham CrossPlex.