Upstate champion Evans bids for state title

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Jordan Ribelin

LAURENS – Lancaster High School senior wrestler Quinshun “Bubba” Evans continued his dominance on the wrestling mat, improving his record to 44-0 on his way to the Class AAAA 182-pound Upper State championship on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Laurens High School.

Evans defeated top-seed Ryan Hughes, 3-1 of meet host Laurens High School in overtime of the championship finals on Saturday.

Hughes was the second-ranked wrestler in the state, with a 36-0 record heading into the Class AAAA Upper State title match with Evans, who posted four straight wins Saturday.

“It was an extremely tough match. Hughes is extremely technical, and going into the match, I knew I needed to tire him out,” Evans said. “In the overtime period, I could tell he had gassed out, and when I scored the winning takedown, it was just awesome.”

Evans was the only Bruin to qualify for the state tournament and will be the top seed on his side of the eight-man bracket this Saturday in the Class AAAA meet at the Anderson Civic Center.

Evans, who launched his banner postseason run with the Region III-AAAA title on Feb. 1 in Fort Mill, faces Ashley Ridge’s Tyler Moore in the first round Saturday.

Moore was fourth at the Class AAAA Lower State tournament last weekend.

“It’s been a joy to coach Bubba this season, and he has the work ethic of a champion,” said Lancaster High School wrestling coach Chas Mclaughlin. “We’re going to prepare hard this week and hopefully get him the title.”

T.J. Deveaux of Stratford High School of Ladson won the Class AAAA Lower State championship in a 9-3 upset of Lexington High School’s top-ranked Daniel Bannister.

With two wins each, Deveaux and Evans could meet in the finals for the state championship.

“I am going for that ring.” Evans said.

The Class AAAA state finals are at Anderson University this Saturday, where 14 wrestlers will become state champions.

Brad Taylor, who won a state mat crown in 1988, is the only Bruins grappler to ever win it all in Class AAAA wrestling, and Evans is aiming to become the second.