CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.—The Duke University wrestling team opened the New Year with day one of the annual Southern Scuffle presented by Defense Soap and Flips Wrestling at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Five Blue Devils advanced to day two of the tournament as Duke sits in 21st of 35 with 18.5 points.
Seeded 11th at 197 pounds, Conner Hartmann went 1-1 on day one and will resume action tomorrow in the consolation bracket. He advanced to the third round after a bye in the opening round and a 9-4 decision over Scottie Boykin. The redshirt sophomore, up against No. 8 seed and 12th-ranked Brandon Palik of Drexel, suffered just his second loss of the year with a narrow 3-2 decision.
Also advancing to day two of action is redshirt junior Brandon Gambucci at 133 pounds. The Mansfield, Ohio native edged McHendry Bade of Penn in his first match since Nov. 16 at Purdue before suffering a hard-fought 8-4 decision to No. 3 seed and 10th-ranked David Thorn of Minnesota. He is now 4-3 overall on the year.
Senior Brian Self joins Hartmann and Gambucci in the consolation bracket after going 1-1 on day one. Self, wrestling at heavyweight, started the with a thrilling 3-2 overtime decision over Stephen Snyder of Army to move on in the championship bracket where he fell to No. 3 seed Jeremy Johnson of Ohio 15-3.
Freshman Xaviel Ramos finished his first Southern Scuffle with a 1-2 mark. He bounced back from a hard-fought 6-3 setback to Cornell’s Michael Nevinger in his opening bout to beat Jayce Carr of Cleveland State 11-3 in the consolation bracket. Ramos’ run ended in the consolation third round with a 12-3 setback to Mike Pongracz of Chattanooga.
At 157 pounds redshirt junior Immanuel Kerr-Brown recovered from an overtime defeat in his opening bout to cruise past Daniel Luty of Campbell 17-2 in the consolation bracket. The Rome, Ga., native continued his run by holding off a late charge from North Carolina’s Robert Henderson in a 7-6 decision. The win was Kerr-Brown’s ninth of the year and fourth by two or fewer points.
Redshirt sophomore Marcus Cain and rookie Connor Bass both fell in the consolation third round. At 149 pounds, Bass pinned his foe from Hofstra in the consolation second round before falling to Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State. Cain had a similar path as he edged Tyler Buckwalter from Kent State 8-6 in the second round and fell to Army’s Chandler Smith in a 6-3 decision the next round.
At 174 pounds Trey Adamson will join Gambucci, Hartmann, Kerr-Brown and Self in day two competition. The redshirt sophomore posted convincing major decisions after narrowly falling 4-3 in his opening bout. He rebounded with a 13-2 major decision over Nick Corba of Cleveland State and finished the day with a 9-1 major to move on to day two of competition.
Kasper, after winning his opening bout 15-8 over Oklahoma State’s Nolan Boyd, fell to Trent Noon to drop down into the consolation bracket. The rookie bounced back to beat Stacy Davis of North Carolina 5-4 in overtime, but had his tournament ended by Zach Nevills 7-3.
Day two action begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. with the championship quarterfinals. Consolation action gets underway at 11:30 a.m.