Rivals Dalton High School and Northwest Whitfield will meet on the wrestling mat with plenty on the line this morning at the Area 7-4A duals in Ellijay at Gilmer High, but both teams will need help in order to have a chance to earn a spot at the state tournament.
Northwest, the No. 5 seed in the tournament, beat fourth-seeded Heritage-Catoosa 43-24 in its first match of the tournament but lost to top-seeded Gilmer 60-11 in the semifinals. The win puts Gilmer in the championship match against Cass, and sets up a showdown between the Bruins and the Catamounts.
Dalton, which wrestled four matches on Friday, will meet the Bruins at 10 a.m. at Gilmer with the winner advancing to a third-place match against the winner of Heritage and LaFayette. If Gilmer defeats Cass and Northwest Whitfield were to win the third-place match, the Bruins will face Cass for a “true” second since the two teams have not faced each other in the tournament. Dalton could win through on Saturday, but it would not have a chance to advance to state unless Cass upsets Gilmer in the championship match. Dalton and Cass wrestled on Friday with Cass taking a 66-12 victory in a quarterfinal match.
Northwest got a perfect day from Bryan Gembe, who won both of his matches at 106 pounds. Blake Hayes (113) and Austin Taylor (152) were both 1-1, while the Bruins also got pins from Jordan Pittman (170), Jordan Lewis (195) Timmy Peters (126), Austin Taylor (152) and Dillan Darrah (182).
“Our juniors wrestled real well, and our young kids are doing what they are supposed to do, which is not give up points by pin,” Northwest coach Allen Tucker said. “This is a great group of kids considering what we have lost through the year to injury.”
Dalton started the day with a 73-6 victory over Ridgeland and then won two matches after falling to Cass. Dalton beat Cedartown 82-0 and then eliminated Southeast Whitfield 54-24. Southeast’s other results from the day were not reported to by the The Daily Citizen’s deadline.
For the Cats, Saul Pena (160) and Sidney Wheeler (182) were both 4-0 on the day, while Dylan Carlile (132), Brian Nunez (138), Werner Braun (170) and Matthew Tankersley (106) were all 3-1.
• Coahulla Creek is still alive in the Area 5-3A duals at Adairsville after four matches.
The Colts beat Chapel Hill 51-27 in the first round but lost to top-seeded Adairsville 38-28 to fall to the consolation bracket. Coahulla Creek bested Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 71-10 and then beat Cartersville 52-27.
The Colts wrestle today at 11:30 a.m. in the consolation bracket quarterfinals against the loser of Rockmart and Sonoraville, which face off earlier today. Coahulla Creek must win three more matchups to finish in the top two of the area and qualify for the state duals.
Gaspar Andrew and Francisco Sanchez each finished 3-0 swapping back and forth from 113 to 120.
• Murray County was eliminated from the Area 7-2A duals at Pepperell after four matches.
The Indians beat Coosa 36-22 in the first round but lost 54-27 versus second-ranked Calhoun. Murray County won 42-22 against Chattooga in the first round of the consolation bracket but lost 52-28 against Westminister in the consolation quarterfinals.
Murray County only had nine kids attend the event — due to illness, mixups due to inclement weather and injuries — and forfeited six weight classes in each match.
Daniel Dayton finished 3-0 in the 126-pound weight class and Clay Thornbury (195) returned from an ACL injury suffered during the first game of football season to go 4-0. Dustin Gibson (182) finished 3-1, as did Noah Patton (285).
• Dalton boys 77, Heritage 64: Steady throughout, the Dalton boys opened the Sub-region 7B-4A schedule with a victory that was more complete than the score would indicate, leading by 22 midway through the fourth.
“It was probably one of our best execution games of the year,” Dalton coach Mike Duffie said. “We shot the ball very well and were 5 of 10 from the 3-point line. We got shots and we hit them. We got the lead and rebounded well and it was just a good win on the road.”
Duffie said his team came out strong from the holiday break because he didn’t really give his team a break.
“We haven’t had a holiday,” he said. “Since Dec. 17 we have had four days off. I guess it was just sort of like business as usual for us.”
Braxton Thomas led the Cats (7-4, 1-0) with 17 points, while Emier Bowman added 16. Mark Sims chipped in 15.
• Heritage-Catoosa girls 73, Dalton 48: Turnovers plagued the Lady Cats (6-5, 0-1 Sub-region 7B-4A) as the Lady Generals turned a 6-point halftime advantage into a rout.
“They had a very strong third quarter and the fourth,” Dalton coach Lacie Coquerille said. “We turned the ball over 32 times in the game, and most of that was layups for them. With that many turnovers, it is hard to win any games.”
Sarah Hartshorn finished with 17 points, while Hannah Cox and Bowen Land added 14 and 9 points, respectively.
• North Murray boys 51, Sonoraville 44: Ahead 47-44 in the final minute, the Mountaineers (9-4, 2-2) secured a Region 5-3A win thanks to Jordan Couch’s four made free throws.
Couch sank the first two, North Murray’s defense made a stop and Couch converted the second pair to clinch a win.
Couch led North Murray with 11 points, while Alex Viars and Adrian Cooks each added seven points. North Murray led 15-5 when the first quarter ended, 25-16 at halftime and 40-34 entering the fourth quarter.
Mountaineers coach Tim Ellis said their opponents’ defense gave them problems early but tweaks helped get good looks in the second half.
“It took a little while to make some adjustments to it,” he said.
n Sonoraville girls 52, North Murray 45: Over the final three quarters, the Lady Mountaineers outscored Sonoraville 41-37. It was the first quarter that doomed North Murray.
The Lady Phoenix led 15-4 at the end of the first quarter and North Murray could not overcome the deficit, falling to 6-8 overall and 1-3 in Region 5-3A. It was another in a string of close losses for the Lady Mountaineers, who have lost seven games by seven points or less.
“As long as we learn from those close losses, that is the thing,” North Murray coach Keith Robinette said.
The Lady Mountaineers closed to 43-42 in the fourth quarter and had the ball, but Robinette said his team could never take the lead. In her third game returning from a knee injury, Emma Gossage had 12 points, and Kara Deal led the way with 13 points. Megan Pittman added 10. Sonoraville’s Carrie Cheeks led all scorers with 26 points.
• Cartersville girls 62, Coahulla Creek 40: The Lady Hurricanes held Coahulla Creek to just two points in the second quarter to open up a 14-point lead at halftime and coast to a Region 5-3A victory.
The Lady Colts trailed 12-11 at the end of the first quarter, but were outscored 15-2 in the second to lead 27-13 at the end of the first half.
“It was our first game back from the break, but if you take away that second quarter, I really saw a lot of things that I liked,” Coahulla Creek coach Garry Long said. “We just went cold. We couldn’t make a shot to save our lives. We had opportunities, but we were just ice cold in the second quarter. We did some good things, but we didn’t do ourselves any favors with that quarter.”
Nikki Ross led the Lady Colts (5-9, 2-2 Region 5-3A) with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Sydney Storey had 10 points as well.
Bethany Goodwin chipped in nine.
• Cartersville boys 82, Coahulla Creek 36: Michael Ward led the Colts (6-8, 1-3 Region 5-3A), who trailed 53-22 at the half and were overwhelmed by the Hurricanes.
• Sonoraville JV girls 31, North Murray 19: Hannah Long had four points as the Lady Mountaineers fell for the first time in six games to start the season.
• Southeast JV boys 66, Ridgeland 22: Rodolfo Flores led the Raiders (7-1) with 14 points, while Keaton McCutchen contributed 10 and Christian Antillon added nine. Nine players for Southeast scored in the dominant win.
• North Murray boys JV 41, Sonoraville 30: Ethan Payne led the Mountaineers with nine points, while Resean Graham had eight. North Murray improves to 7-1 this season.
• Coahulla Creek JV boys 56, Cartersville 52 (OT): Tyler Phillips scored 22 points and Alex Fisher added 18 for the Colts.
• Christian Heritage JV girls 53, Trion 18: Kailee Tipton tossed in 18 points to help the Lady Lions wins.
• Trion JV boys 42, Christian Heritage 36: John Whitehead led the Lions with 14 points in a losing effort.