While a runner-up finish is solid — especially against this field — the Blue Devils obviously have high expectations for their wrestling program. Bremen is already giving up points in one weight class, but another was added on Saturday.
“We’ve got a long way to go. We were giving away 12 points in forfeits, that always hurts. We know we’re giving away six, but [Saturday] morning we had another one. We just have to do what we can do. This was the team we had [Saturday],” Bremen coach Tony Armas said.
For Carrollton, it was a preview of what might be to come in the Class AAAA state duals. The Trojans defeated Coosa (75-0), Sonoraville (62-15) and Hiram (81-0) to put them in the semifinals against powerhouse Gilmer. Carrollton would drop nine of the 14 weight classes and be forced into the consolation finals, where it defeated Smith’s Station, Ala., 44-32, for third place.
“Overall on the day, I am very proud of the entire team. I think we still have a lot of technical work to do. We’re still battling to not get pinned. When we’re losing, we seem to give up losses in pins instead of wrestling hard for six minutes and coming off the mat and wrestling a full match,” Carrollton coach Ryan Wilman said. “We lost two bouts [against Gilmer], specifically, that I thought we would win. So that hurt. On the day, Jake Adcock wrestled very well. He lost a match against another state champ. Taylor Lujan wrestled very well, Turner Martin wrestled good and Travis Joyce wrestled phenomenally. [Joyce] is really picking up the pace at 182 pounds. In previous years, his M.O. was to win a match by a couple of points. Now he’s getting tech falls, major decisions and really just wrestling very well. Murphy Hagen, our 195-pounder, stepped up [Saturday] and did really well, won all his matches.”
It was the usual suspects stepping up for the Blue Devils on Saturday with a little bit of help from some other places. At this point of the season, however, Armas is looking for more from his team.
“We had some kids do well. Cory Morgan, Brock Cooper, Kannon Madden and Joe Bexley [wrestled well]. And our 145s did a good job between Tristan Williams and Joe Stroud. All in all, there were some bright spots, but there were some not so bright spots, too,” Armas said.
In other prep wrestling from Saturday:
The Mt. Zion High School wrestling team had six individual champions en route to hoisting a team title for the second week in a row on Saturday, something Eagle coach Michael Cleek noted was a total team effort.
“Everybody wrestled real well [Saturday]. We had some young guys step up. Tyler Smith got his first win ever. We’ve had some injuries and some kids quitting that has eaten us up at our lower weights, and [Smith] really stepped up at 113. He won his first match and scored us some points, and that was really big,” Cleek said.
Capturing individual championships were Ashton Robinson (106), Hunter Smith (120), Javier Martinez (132), Efren Valles (138), Ben Sizemore (170) and Will Sizemore (hvy.).
Cleek said other guys that didn’t finish first also played prominent roles in winning the 10-team affair, saying Eugene “Buddha” McClure especially stood out.
“He got match of the day against LaGrange at 220. It was the match of the day. I’m proud of him. He got second, but he wrestled extremely hard,” Cleek said. “And like I said, the whole team wrestled hard and I couldn’t be prouder of the boys.”
Central High School coach Marcus Marenda took 10 of his grapplers to Allatoona, where Jarrett Thomas took third place individually.
Thomas, wrestling at 160 pounds, went 4-1 on the day with a pin and was able to bounce back from a tough loss in the semifinals to pick up the third-place finish.
Jacob Terry (138) and Chris Patterson (145) went 2-2 with a pair of pins each, while Timothy Duffey (126) was 2-2 with a pin, as all three finished one match away from placing.
Also picking up a pair of wins was Avery Ward (120), while Levi Huckeba (152), Joe Simpkins (170) and Trace Musick (182) all had pins.
“I was pleased with the results. It was a tough tournament with top teams from all classifications. To wrestle as they did, showed some good things. We’re starting to show our kids some competition that will help season us, because we are very young. I was impressed with the wrestling of Timothy Duffey, Trace Musick and Jarrett Thomas and the level of competition they’re seeing,” Marenda said. “I think this shows our kids are growing week-to-week.”
The Central JV team went 2-4 and finished seventh at the Forest Part JV Duals on Saturday.
Simon Barber went 4-3 with two pins at 106, while Colton Kelly (113) went 3-4 with two pins, John Smith (120) went 1-4 with a pin, Trilan Howell (126) finished 2-4 with a pin, Jake Toney (132) went 1-4 and River Dunkin (138) finished 3-3 with three pins to round out the lighter weights.
At 160, Exon Tatlen was 2-4 with a pin, while Daniel Moye (170) went 5-0 with four pins, Gabe Wiggins (182) was 3-1 with two pins, Quinton Houston (182) was 0-2, Chaz Velez (195) went 3-1 with two pins and Austin Kilgore (195) went 2-1 with two pins. At 220, Michael Paea was 1-3 and Aaron Smith went 4-1 with three pins.
The Bremen High School girl’s basketball team wrapped up a tremendous week with a 59-54 road win at former region rival Gordon Lee on Saturday afternoon, getting a 23-point effort from Jordan Hill, while Kayleigh Medlin dropped in 18 points.
Lady Blue Devil coach Kathy Matthews and her ball club recorded the first win for the program over the perennial Class A power since 2007.
“And that was [at Bremen]. I couldn’t tell you when the last time we beat them at their place was,” Matthews said.
Matthews said the key to the victory came on the defensive end and on the glass.
“We held them to 54 points — and that sounds like a lot of points — but holding them to that is an accomplishment. Our rebounding was key in the game. We hit the boards on the offensive and defensive end, and I pretty much think that was a major difference in the game,” Matthews said.
Bremen (5-2) returns to action on Thursday afternoon at Central to open the West Georgia Holiday Classic against Temple in a 4 p.m. contest.
Gordon Lee boys 69, Bremen 64: The Blue Devils (2-4) fell despite a 27-point effort from Nick Forrister. Taylor Shumake added 16 points.
Carrollton boys 67, Rome 43: The Trojans (4-1) controlled the game from the opening tip, leading 16-8 after one and 36-15 at the half. Riley Criswell led Carrollton with 24 points, while Byron McCall posted a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Carrollton girls 67, Rome 55: The Lady Trojans (5-0) had to use a fourth-quarter rally to remain unbeaten on the season in what proved to be a physical affair.
The Lady Wolves led 22-11 after one, 33-27 at the half and 48-46 entering the final quarter, but Carrollton used a 17-for-20 clip from the charity stripe in the second half to prevail.
Brooklyn Emory posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Kenyata Hendrix added 17 points, Alecia North finished with 11, Faith Swint had 10 and Tasmine Boykin chipped in eight.
Carrollton JV boys 57, Rome 51: Jarel Rowe led the Trojans (7-1) with 22 points, while T.J. Cochran dropped in nine.
Carrollton 9th grade boy 62, Rome 49: The Trojans (3-2) were led by Angelo Osorio with 22 points, with Desmond Webb adding eight.
Oak Mountain Academy boys 52, Praise Academy 45: The Warriors (8-1) knocked off the host school in the championship game of the Praise Academy Tournament on Saturday, getting 22 points from sophomore point guard Blake Mason.
West Georgia Tech men 86, Mid-South CC 85: The Golden Knights (5-7) held on to win their third game in the past four, led by Randazerro Chaney with 22 points and six assists.
West Georgia Tech women 97, Mid-South CC 90 (OT): Sharika Pennamon dropped in a season-high 29 points to pace the Golden Knights (4-10) in the overtime thriller, including a runner in the lane with four seconds left in regulation to force overtime.