The Lions opened up with a 39-27 win against Alexander, followed by a 48-36 victory over Temple before falling to Bremen, 36-30, in the semifinals. The showdown with Bremen came down to one match that could have won it for Central.
"We sent our JV team to the Heard County Duals over the weekend and wrestled very well. They took third place and wrestled Bremen in the semifinal, wrestled them very close and lost, 36-30. One of the turning points of the match was one of our kids was majoring a kid, made a mistake, went to his back and got pinned," Central coach Marcus Marenda said.
Hunter Cornelison and Austin Kilgore both went 3-1 in the tournament, while Gabe Wiggins and Conner Eldred were 2-1 for the Lions.
Next for the JV Lions is a trip to Collins Hill for the King of the Hill Tournament on Friday.
While the junior-varsity team was at Heard County, the varsity Lions were competing at Habersham Central's Sham Slam.
The Lions didn't fare as well, but were up against some of the top competition in the state with seven top 10 teams in the tournament.
Jarrett Thomas' efforts at 152 pounds earned him a 5-2 record and a fifth-place finish. Avery Ward (120) picked up two wins, while Levi Huckeba (160) also had a win.
It was another step in the growth of a young team.
"Our kids wrestled well — very well, in fact. If you look at [Timothy] Duffey, for example. He had two matches where he wrestled a one seed and another kid that placed. He got teched in one and majored in another, but did a very good job to not get pinned," Marenda said. "Those are the small things we're really happy to see our kids starting to understand as a vital part of the match. I was very happy with how our kids wrestled at a very tough tournament."
The Lions host the Carroll County Duals tonight at Central Middle School.