Sports

February 1, 2014

Area wrestling: New and old storylines on the mat for locals

(Continued)

Now he’s aiming for a second state title.

“It’s not quite a sweep, but it’s still good,” Wheeler said. “I’m going to try and make it two state championships and wrestle my heart out.”

Southeast coach Michael Herndon said both Allen and Wheeler know the ultimate goal remains.

“(Austin’s) disappointed he lost the match, but it’s time to go back to practice and work harder,” Herndon said.

Joining Pittman at sectionals for Northwest was Austin Taylor (152, second), Brian Gembe (106, fourth), Blake Hayes (113, fourth), Justin Thomas (120, fourth), Jordan Lewis (195, fourth) and Michael Robles (285, fourth). Dylan Pittman (132) and Dillan Darrah (160) each finished fifth and will be alternates for the Bruins, who finished fourth in team standings with 150.5 points behind Gilmer (276), Cass (257) and Heritage-Catoosa (161.5).

“We did about as good as we can do,” Northwes coach Allen Tucker said. “We have half of the team going to sectionals, and you can’t ask for much more than that.

Tucker said Pittman earned a pinfall win in the semifinals after falling behind 6-0 and pinned Cass’ Micah Barron in the second period. Taylor wrestled Gilmer’s Johnny Flakes, a two-time state champion, and lost 9-6 in the championship.

Omar Ruiz (120) finished third for the Raiders, which also saw Tyler Brown (145) and Dylan Burch (152) finish fourth.

“You always hope for more,” Herndon said, “but looking to the end of the season and how tough our area is plus how young are team is, we were hoping for three but maybe someone could slip in.”

Dylan Carlile (132) finished third as the only Catamount advancing with Wheeler. Jose Garcia (138) and Daniel Valdez (152) each finished fifth and will be alternates for Dalton.

• At the Area 2-3A tournament, Sanchez made his mark in Coahulla Creek history books and two others added another milestone for the young program.

Levi Kinsey (106) finished second, and Joseph Long (152) finished third as the Colts advanced multiple wrestlers to sectionals — to be held at Sonoraville High — for the first time in the program’s three-year history. Labron Kendrick (138) finished fifth and is an alternate. The Colts finished seventh as a team, a ranking that matters little in the individual-dominated tournament. Adairsville won with Sonoraville in second.

“There wasn’t a single team down there than was full,” Coahulla Creek coach Anthony Thomas said. “We had 10. We didn’t have anyone at 160, 170, 182 or 285.”

Two wrestlers from North Murray advanced as Alex Gambino (113) finished second and Luis Valdez (120) finished fourth. Both Tyler McKee (152) and Ethan Center (160) finished fifth and will be alternates.

• At the Area 3-2A tournament, Murray County saw Thornbury finish first and two other wrestlers place in the top four.

Domingo Bautista (113) finished third and Daniel Dayton (126) finished fourth as the Indians’ other advancers to next weekend’s sectionals tournament, to be held at Bremen High.

“I’m really really proud of Clay,” his father, coach Chris Thornbury, said. “I’m proud of Domingo and Daniel. I’m proud of all those guys. They did great.”

Marquez was one of only two Morris Innovative wrestlers competing — the other was 138-pounder Jonathan Lumpkin, a freshman — and entered the bracket unseeded.

“He lost a really close match in the semifinals,” Marquez’s coach, Nathan Dawson, said. “He was up in points but got pinned. He won twice more to finish third. All of his wins were pins.”

Austin McCall (120) and Dustin Gibson (182) finshed fifth for Murray County and will be alternates.

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