The Eagles knocked off the host school and five-time defending champions at the Sixth Annual Titan Cup Invitational on Saturday, scoring 184 points to Blessed Trinity’s 180 for the dramatic tourney victory.
“[Blessed Trinity], they have a great tradition of wrestling. We went and looked at their trophy case, and they have won five of these trophies in a row. They have just basically dominated their own tournament. For us to break that streak, our kids worked so hard. It came down to one of the last matches of the day to decide if we were going to win it or not. [Blessed Trinity] got beat in the finals and we won in the finals in two different weight classes,” MZ coach Michael Cleek said.
The Eagles had nine wrestlers place on Saturday, including two champions — Ashton Robinson at 106 pounds and Will Sizemore at heavyweight.
Nathan Whaley took second place at 195, while Javier Martinez (132) and Fernando Valles (145) finished third, Jesse Henderson (182) and Eugene “Buddha” McClure (220) came in fourth and Mitchell Chambers (126) and David Ramirez (170) placed sixth.
Cleek said this past weekend was just what his team needed to begin gearing up to make a run for the traditional state tournament in February.
“We need tough, single weight classification competition so our kids can concentrate. It’s not about bumping up weights to win duals, but about ‘This is what I’ve got to do to be the best at my weight class.’ We’re trying to work toward that,” Cleek said.
Villa Rica was also on hand at Blessed Trinity this weekend, taking sixth place out of the 16 teams competing with 141 points.
Tristan Ware (132) came away with a first-place finish for the Wildcats, while Maurice McGuire (170) came in second, Josh Ivey (113) took third, Austin Bailey (106), Sam Preston (120) and Daniel Holland (152) finished fourth and Zack Binney (195) was sixth.
VR coach Kyle Seeley said the goal was to place in the top half of the tournament as a team and get at least five placers — expectations his grapplers met, and exceeded, this weekend.
“So we definitely reached our goals. We took a lot of JV guys this week. We’re still pretty banged up. The injury bug has found Villa Rica. So we’re fighting through a lot of that stuff. We’re going to be kind of banged up this next week, so we can start getting healthy for [area],” Seeley said. “But I’m very proud of what the team did this week. There’s still some room for improvement. We’ve got to get better on our feet.”
Sham Slam at Habersham High School
The Carrollton High School wrestling team finished in fourth place at the 26-team Sham Slam this weekend, trailing Peach State powers Archer, Jefferson and Collins Hill, respectively.
The highlight of the weekend was another dominating performance from Trojan standout Taylor Lujan, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. Competing at 152 pounds, Lujan has shown no signs of a sophomore slump this season, continuing his business-like approach on the mat each time out.
“He mauled everybody and tech falled his opponent in the finals. My hat goes off to him. He’s just a tremendous worker and a very talented athlete. I’m really happy for him. This is the second ‘Outstanding Wrestler’ award of the season for him at two pretty good tournaments. So kudos to him,” Trojan coach Ryan Wilman said.
Along with Lujan’s first-place effort, Dan Harris also captured an individual title at 160 pounds, while Jake Adcock (126), Rhett Hembree (132) and Travis Joyce (182) took second, Turner Martin (145) finished fourth and Chris Foster (120) came in fifth.
Wilman said he was pleased to see the team respond in such strong fashion just a few days after the fourth-place finish in Class AAAA at the GHSA State Duals in Macon last weekend.
“Really, I have a lot of confidence. This team is really coming together over the last couple of weeks ... and coming out to what I think is the best tournament in the state of Georgia and taking fourth place, that’s a tough thing to do after the state duals last weekend. To bounce right back four or five days later and come out and wrestle in an extremely competitive tournament, I’m really, really proud of my boys,” Wilman said.
Mt. Zion girls 32, Trion 28: The Lady Eagles (10-7, 3-3 Region 6A-A) were led by Quavadis Kirk with 14, while Jennifer Bagby added six.
Trion boys 56, Mt. Zion 53: The Eagles (8-9, 1-5) were paced by Matt Turner’s 15-point effort, with Cohen Pannell added 13 points. T.K. Tuggle dropped in nine points and Nathan Bernhardt finished with eight.
Bowdon girls 51, Chattahoochee County 28: The Red Devilettes (8-7, 1-2 Region 5-AA) rebounded from Friday’s night setback at Bremen with the convincing home win Saturday afternoon, getting eight points from Jacole Stephens, seven from Whitney McClure and six points apiece from ReShay Brewer and Jena Lane.
Oak Mountain Academy boys 55, LaGrange Academy 35: The Warriors (16-2) were led by Wade Mason with 19 points and 17 rebounds, while Blake Mason posted 11 points and James Hughes finished with 10.
LaGrange Academy girls 49, Oak Mountain 33: Meredith Sammon paced the Lady Warriors (16-2) with 12 points, while Jessi Fuller and Anna Piecoro each posted six points.
Fuller reached a scoring milestone in the contest, netting her 1,000th career point on Saturday.
Carrollton boys 65, Sandy Creek 55: The Trojans (10-6, 2-4 Region 5-AAAA) earned a big region road win to snap a four-game skid in Tyrone late Friday evening.
Carrollton senior forward Byron McCall threw down a thunderous tip-dunk midway through the fourth quarter that ignited his squad and Cooper Criswell converted a four-point play to tie the game at 55-all with four minutes remaining in the game. From there, the Trojan defense held the Patriots (5-10, 0-5) scoreless the rest of the way to pull out the victory.
Montae Glenn led three Trojans in double figures with 17 points, with McCall adding 13 and Marcus Henderson posting 11 points. Criswell chipped in nine points and Javarious Jackson finished with eight.
Ballard boys 62, Holy Ground 34: John Cocklereece led the Stallions with nine points on Friday night, while Ean Traylor added eight points.
Holy Ground JV boys 36, Ballard 16: Michael Yates scored 15 points for Holy Ground and Tyler Hale added 13 to lead the offensive charge.