From Sports Staff
Southeast Whitfield High School wrestler Carlos Fraire needed overtime, but the senior will vie for a state championship today.
Fraire beat Locust Grove’s Tyler Rapes 5-3 with a takedown with 25 seconds remaining in overtime Fri-day night in the 220-pound semifinals of the Class 4A state traditional tournament at the Macon Centreplex, setting up a title shot for the second year in a row.
Fraire — who finished second at the same weight in Class 3A as a junior — will take on Griffin’s Telly Sloan at 3 p.m. today in the finals.
“It was 3-3 going into overtime, and he was patient and got the takedown when he needed it,” Southeast coach Michael Herndon said.
To start the day, Fraire took an 8-6 decision over Devonta Williams of LaGrange. Herndon said Fraire wrestled a smart match against Williams, scoring points early and avoiding a major misstep. The win put him in the semifinals against Rapes, and Herndon said the match was exactly what you would expect from an overtime bout.
“It was a very intense match,” Herndon said. “Any slip or anything would have been the difference in the match. Carlos actually was behind 2-1 early because of a slip and Rapes took him down. They worked back and forth and he just wrestled well on his feet all day getting the takedowns.”
Now, all that is left is one match for the state title.
“It will be an interesting match,” Herndon said. “(Sloan) is a very strong kid, but if Carlos wrestles like we know he can, we will be fine. (Sloan) is a great wrestler and was the sectional champion on the other side, so it should be a good match.”
Southeast’s Lester Paucay (152) and Northwest Whitfield’s Alex Reynolds (145) will also earn medals in Class 4A after fighting through the wrestlebacks.
Both wrestlers won their opening-round matches on Thursday, then lost in Friday’s quarterfinals before winning twice in the losers’ bracket to clinch a top-six finish.
Reynolds will face Gilmer’s Chaz Reimer in this morning’s consolation semifinals — two more wins will lock up third place — while Paucay will take on West Laurens’ Gerald Carr in the same round.
Reynolds pinned South Effingham’s Timmy Cody in the first round before being pinned by Carrollton’s Turner Martin, but the Bruins junior then pinned Burke County’s Tavaris Holmes and won an 8-1 decision against Alexander’s Tony Johnson.
“Alex did what he had to do to get there,” Northwest coach Allen Tucker said. “The last two matches were really good. He lost to one of the better kids (Martin), and he didn’t hang his head. He just got back to work. His goal was to place, and that is what is going to happen — and he has another year to come back and better that.”
Paucay pinned Eastside’s Tyler Campbell in the first round before losing by technical fall, 24-9, to Carrollton’s Taylor Lujan, who won state as a freshman last season. The Southeast senior then pinned Sandy Creek’s Raquand McDaniel and Lumpkin County’s Eddie Daniel.
“We are definitely proud of Lester,” Herndon said. “We worked on him moving on bottom, and he has done a great job. That kind of helped him propel through the rest of the tournament.”
Classes A through 3A, which have eight-wrestler brackets at state — as opposed to the 16-wrestlers fields for the three largest classifications — didn’t begin competition until Friday, and two local wrestlers overcame losses in their first matches in Macon by bouncing back to win the wrestlebacks matches that guaranteed they’ll have a place on the medal stand today.
In Class 2A, Murray County’s Clay Thornbury (182) shook off his 10-4 loss to Fitzgerald’s Walter McElroy in the quarterfinal by beat Berrien’s Ivan Herrera 5-1. He’ll take on Toombs County’s J.D. Rogers in the consolation semifinals.
Murray County coach Chris Thornbury, Clay’s father, said the Indians junior had been battling illness all week.
“I’m proud of him,” coach Thornbury said. “He showed a lot of heart, and he showed he can go when he has to.”
In Class 3A, North Murray’s Alex Gambino (106) will be the first Mountaineer to wear a state medal. He lost 10-0 to North Hall’s Taylor Marett in the quarterfinals but pinned Rockmart’s Brett Arnold to clinch a top-six finish. He’ll face Carver-Columbus’ DeAndre Jackson in the consolation semifinals.
“He was real nervous the first match,” North Murray coach Steve Colley said, “but I told him he just needed to relax and be more aggressive, and he was. Right at the beginning of the third period, the Rockmart kid was just gassed out. Alex just kept pushing him and pushing him and pinned him. I didn’t have to say much to him, because he was just working.”
Despite some good results, there was also a fair share of disappointment for area programs in Class 4A.
Both of Dalton’s state qualifiers made surprising early exits. Dylan Carlile (120) was an area runner-up and sectional champion, while fellow junior Sidney Wheeler (182) won a Class 3A state title a year ago, but each went 1-2 and fell in the second round of wrestlebacks in Macon.
Northwest’s other state qualifier, Blake Hayes (106), exited in the same spot as the two Catamounts.
Southeast led the area with five state qualifiers, but Jesus Dominguez (120), Austin Allen (170) and Jose Martir (285) weren’t able to hang around for the final day of competition.
Dominguez and Allen each won their first match before losing their next two, while Martir was winless.
• North Murray boys 59, Gordon Central 49: The Mountaineers didn’t let their latest opportunity to stop the Warriors pass them by, and their reward is the chance to play for the Region 5-3A title.
Playing in the region tournament semifinals at Sonoraville High School, Brady Swilling poured in 22 points to lead North Murray (21-6), which lost both of its regular season meetings with Gordon Central, but this time led 16-10 after one quarter, 30-23 at halftime and 43-36 going into the final period.
“We were really focused defensively,” said North Murray coach Tim Ellis, whose team clinched hosting privileges for at least the opening round of the Class 3A state tournament with the victory. “We just did a real good job as far as containing them and not allowing them to attack us the way they had been. I can’t say enough about the kids — they were absolute studs. They played their rear ends off.”
Zach Vess added 21 points for the Mountaineers, while Zach Sanford had 11.
“They played with a lot of effort,” Ellis said of his entire lineup. “We were up and Vess got four fouls with about five minutes to go, and we had to sub because we couldn’t take a chance. But we held pace and didn’t panic.”
North Murray will play in the region championship at 8:30 tonight, taking on either top-seeded Cartersville or Ringgold, who faced off in Friday’s late boys semifinal.
“We just need to focus on us, on understanding and executing the game plan,” Ellis said. “They are really locked in right now, so I don’t think it’s going to be a problem, as far as being focused.”
• Sonoraville girls 52, North Murray 31: The top-seeded Lady Phoenix (25-1) started off with a 17-2 run and led by 20 at the break to cruise to the Region 5-3A girls championship game.
North Murray is assured of making the Class 3A state tournament and will play Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe today at 4 p.m. in Sonoraville in the region consolation game.
“It was a frustrating first half,” Lady Mountaineers’ coach Keith Robinette said. “We came out firing and had some good looks, but they weren’t falling. We started pressing a little bit mentally and kind of let the air come out of our sails.”
Kara Deal led North Murray (16-11) with nine points on three 3-pointers.
• Coahulla Creek boys 5, Adairsville 0: The Colts swept to their second straight victory to open the season and the Region 5-3A schedule.
Singles winners were No. 1 Chase Lynch, 6-1, 6-4, No. 2 Jake Mathis, 6-0, 6-1, and No. 3 Alex Jarjoura 6-0, 6-2.
Doubles winners were No. 1 Austin Turner and Donovan Newby, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, and No. 2 Andy Dixon and Jake Stevenson, 6-3, 6-0.
• Adairsville girls 3, Coahulla Creek 2: The Lady Colts (0-2, 0-2 Region 5-3A) got a singles win from No. 1 Erin Orem, 6-2, 6-1, as well as a doubles victory from No. 2 Livia Hughes and Madison Zerbe, 6-3, 6-2.
• Dalton boys 10, Ridgeland 0: The Catamounts began Sub-region 7B-4A play in dominant fashion and Ramiro Huitanda recorded a hat trick at Harmon Field.
Scoring twice for Dalton (2-0) was Mar-cos Ruiz, while Eder Mora, Javier Rodri-guez, Alan Pantaleon, Daniel Palacios and Victor Solis each had one goal. Pantaleon also had two assists, while Rodriguez, Huitanda, Palacios and Jose Gardea each had one.
The game ended just four minutes into the second half when Dalton — which outshot the Panthers 15-0 — scored its 10th goal to clinch a mercy-rule victory.
• Dalton girls 4, Ridgeland 0: Rocio Carrizales scored twice and the Lady Cats led 3-0 at halftime as they opened Sub-region 7B-4A play with a victory at Harmon Field.
Deanna Marquez and Jessica Lopez also notched goals, while Yanet Hernandez assisted on one of Carrizales’ scores.
Dalton (1-1) dominated the shooting, 42-0, but Lady Cats coach Tony Carlson said Ridgeland’s goalkeeper worked hard, stopping the estimated two-thirds of the shots that were on target.
• Murray County boys 9, Pepperell 1: Juan Bautista had a hat trick and Alberto Soto and Jose Ruiz each had two goals for the Indians, who led 6-0 at halftime as they cruised to the Region 7-2A victory in Chatsworth.
Fernando Arias and Alejandro Ramirez each scored once, while Joel Lopez and Soto each assisted on a goal for Murray County (2-0-1, 2-0), which took 22 shots on goal.
• Murray County girls 6, Pepperell 0: Nayeli Jacobo’s four-goal night — she scored three times in the first half — led the Lady Indians in a dominating effort in Region 7-2A play in Chatsworth.
Cheyenne Sancho scored the other two goals for the Lady Indians (2-1, 2-0), while Raven Henry played well on defense, Murray County coach Mandy Ledford said. Kelsey Pack had two saves in goal, while Paxton Dolly stopped a penalty kick during her time minding the net — and she was helped by teammate Celena Sanchez, who kicked out the rebound of Dolly’s save to preserve the shutout.
• Northwest Whitfield boys 4, Coahulla Creek 3: David Perez scored twice and assisted on another goal as the Bruins opened their season with a non-region road victory against the steadily attacking Colts.
Down 1-0, Northwest took a 2-1 lead into halftime and stretched that edge to 4-1 in the second half before the Colts struck back. Coahulla Creek converted on a corner kick with less than 15 minutes to play to cut Northwest’s lead to the final margin.
Christian Perez and Giovannia Aguero had the other goals for the Bruins, who outdid Coahulla Creek in shots on goal 19-7 and had 10 corner kicks to the Colts’ two. Miguel Deanda made four saves for the Bruins.
Coahulla Creek’s goals came from Pedro Garcia, Jo-an Barcenas and Sadoth Fraire, while Missa Fraire made 12 saves for the Colts (0-1).
• Northwest girls 7, Coahulla Creek 0: Andrea Garcia’s hat trick led the way in a season-opening victory for the Lady Bruins, while Selena Gomez, Ashlee Huyhn, Nancy Paz and Juliana Gomez also scored.
Gracie Holmes and Desi Garcia combined in goal to record the shutout for Northwest in the non-region win at Coahulla Creek (0-1), which was led by Regina Pacheco, who had seven shots on goal, and Melissa Cabreras, who made 24 saves.