The Bucs battled back from a 22-12 deficit to take a 34-27 lead with two weight classes left before falling 36-34
After winning six straight Division 2 dual-meet state wresting titles, Milford High School had to move up to Division 1 this season for schools with larger enrollments.
Even with the change, the Buccaneers nearly captured their seventh straight state title Feb. 15, falling to Smyrna 36-34 in the Division 1 state championship in a match decided in the final weight class in overtime.
The Bucs came back from a 22-12 deficit, tying the score at 22-22 with a major decision at 120 pounds.
Smyrna had to forfeit at 126, giving Milford a 28-22 lead.
After the Eagles scored a technical fall at 132 pounds to pull to within 28-27, Smyrna’s 138-pound wrestler suffered an injury in the second period and had to forfeit.
The Bucs took a 34-27 lead into the final two weight classes.
Smyrna won by pin at 145 to close the gap to 34-33 and then pulled out the final match at 152 pounds with an overtime decision for the title.
Here are the results in each weight class for Milford:
160 - Dwayne Wiltbank lost by major decision, 10-1;
170 - Gage Copes won by major decision, 9-1;
182 - Rafael Mejia lost by pin, 1:18;
195 - Bevensky Augustine won by decision, 6-3;
220 - Milford forfeit;
285 - Anthony Diaz won by technical fall, 19-2;
106 - Milford forfeit;
113 - Corey Messick won by stalling disqualification;
120 - Jack Thode won by major decision, 19-9;
126 - Smyrna forfeit;
132 - Trenton Grant lost by technical fall, 17-0;
138 - Tim O'Hara won by injury default;
145 - Ryan Mejia lost by pin, 2:57;
152 - Dom Feightner lost by decision in overtime, 4-2.
First round and semifinals
After a 20-1 regular season with their only loss to Smyrna, the Bucs opened the Division 1 dual-meet state tournament with a dominating win over Sussex Tech, 55-7, Feb. 12.
In the semifinals Feb. 15, Milford defeated Salesianum 36-34 in match that wasn’t as close as the score. The Bucs clinched the match with Trenton Grant’s pin at 132 pounds, leading 36-22 with two weight classes left. Milford forfeited the final two weight classes so those wrestlers would be fresh facing Smyrna in the title match that followed later that evening.
Milford hosts conference tournament Feb. 21-22
Milford will host the Henlopen Conference Wrestling Tournament at the Central Academy gym starting Friday, Feb. 21 at 5 p.m., and continuing Saturday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m., with the championship finals scheduled for Saturday evening.