“I am excited that we won the region because it puts us in a better position for State,” said AHS coach Sean Moistner. ““We may not be the prettiest wrestlers with the flashiest moves, but what we coach our kids to do is find a way to score points.”
Carrollton entered the region duals as the No. 1 seed from 5-AAAAA and after a bye in the first round, they defeated Fayette 51-13 in the second round to advance to the finals. Alexander, the No. 2 seed, routed LaGrange 75-3 after their bye.
Both teams would now square off for the second time this season in the championship.
The match did not start the way Alexander had planned after trying a little mind game. Hoping to take down Carrollton’s best wrestler, Travis Joyce, AHS coach Sean Moistner bumped his stud 170-pounder DeAndre Sims up to 182. It was a weight class Sims had wrestled at for the first half of the season.
The contest was nearly a stalemate. Sims and Joyce battled to a 0-0 tie after the first period. Joyce started on bottom in the second, and took a 1-0 lead on the escape. In the third, Sims did the same to tie the contest at 1-1.
In a one minute overtime, neither Sims nor Joyce could take an advantage. In the second OT, which is divided into two 30 second periods, both grapplers scored on escapes. The contest came down to sudden death and it was here that the Trojans had the advantage with their guy on bottom. Sims did a good job of holding Joyce down for most of the sudden death time, however, Joyce was able to escape with 10 seconds remaining for the 3-2 win.
“I think we out-worked him and out-hustled him,,” Moistner said of the contest. “I have a hard time not winning that match with how hard we worked and that is all I will say.”
The victory gave Carrollton a 3-0 lead and they extended that lead to nine points when Murphy Hagan scored a second period pin-fall on Deon Evans at 195.
The Trojans allowed AHS back in the match at 220 with a forfeit to William Brown. AHS then took a 12-9 lead when heavyweight Maverick Way pinned Cole Glommen after taking a 10-0 lead in the third period.
The match would be nearly all Alexander from this point on.
Trea Green scored a first period pin over Daniel Parivechio at 106. Bryce Hollomon then pinned 113-pounder Brian Johnson after taking a 4-2 lead in the second period. A 4-0 decision by Cody Starnes over Chris Foster at 120 gave the Cougars a 27-9 lead.
Down by 18, Carrollton finally got back on the board when Jake Adcock recorded a second period pin over Ryan Ashe at 126.
At 132, Roman Boylen stepped onto the mat and despite recovering from an injury, had the most dominant performance of the night, defeating Trojan Will Gordy by pin-fall in the third period after taking a 17-5 lead. Boylen went up 8-3 in the first period and led 15-5 after the second. Once he had the takedown, setting him up to win by tech fall, he went for it all and got the pin.
“This was Roman’s first action in a month and a half and he found a way to get a fall,” Moistner said. “They were obviously coached not to give up the fall and he did a great job.”
With Carrollton’s back against the wall, Rhett Hembree managed to keep the Trojans alive with a 14-7 decision over Morgan Hollomon at 138.
However, Cody Dickerson recorded a second period pin over Jim Edgar at 145 to clinch the match and the region championship for AHS. Dickerson showed his excitement on the mat which would cost the Cougars a point, but Alexander led 38-18 with only three weight classes to go.
“Cody wanted to face Carrollton’s other state placer, Turner Martin, at 152 but I told him he could win this match at 145,” Moistner said. “For him to put himself in that situation to get the pin-fall, that says a lot about him.”
The Trojans dominated the final three contests, winning all three by first period pin-fall. Martin defeated Tony Johnson at 152, Taylor Luian beat Jacob Whitely at 160, and Dan Harris wrapped up the contest with a win over Muhammed Ansari at 170.
Going undefeated with perfect 2-0 records in the tournament for AHS were Green, Starnes, Boylen, Dickerson, and Way. Spencer Grey, Chris Achenbach and Cannan McKinney were each 1-0.
AHS will head to the AAAAA State Duals in Macon Friday.