Sports

February 16, 2013

Prep roundup: Raiders’ Fraire in state wrestling finals

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.

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