Cleveland leads state by 32.5 points

Cleveland leads state by 32.5 points

February 15th, 2013 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Chattanooga area state quarterfinalists

Bradley Central: Tirobio Navarro (106), Dakota Ream (126), Robbie Clark (160).

Central: Michael Frazy (145), Larry Dickerson (152), Truman Martin (195).

Cleveland: Chris Debien (112), Austin Stevison (120), Austin Oliver (126), Hayden Hamilton 9132), Josh Hamilton (152), Aaron Lopez (160), Ethan West (182), Koran Kennedy (285).

East Ridge: Brandon Cantrell (195), C.J. Baker (220).

Howard: Ronardo Bussey (106).

Notre Dame: Luke Mullin (106), Packy Mullin (126), Michael Labbe (160).

Ooltewah: Matt Lemons (132)

Soddy-Daisy: Austin Houser (113), Jacob Stevens (120), Tucker Russo (126), Gage Richmond (145), Garrett Alexander (170), Blaike Henry (182).

Walker Valley: Caleb Langford (138), Billy Raulston (195), Zack Miller (220).

Division I leaders

  1. Cleveland 88.5, 2. Beech 26, 3. Ravenwood 52, 4. Wilson Central 50.5, 5. Soddy-Daisy 47, 6. Walker Valley 44, 7. Heritage 38, 8. Blackman 36, 8. Pigeon Forge 36, 10. Dickson County 32.5

Other Chattanooga area team scores

  1. Central 30.5, 15. Bradley Central 29.5, 17. Hixson 26, 21. East Ridge 23, 24. Signal Mountain 22, 31. Notre Dame 19, 38. Howard 14, 56. East Hamilton 8, 69. Rhea County 6, 101. Tyner 1.

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - That trademark surge of Cleveland's Blue Raiders never materialized Thursday, but they were good enough to establish a lead of 32.5 points after the first two rounds of the Tennessee state traditional wrestling tournament.

Cleveland put on an astounding display two weeks ago in winning the state duals championship in the same Williamson County Agricultural Expo, losing just four individual matches in four meets and capping it off with a 78-4 championship win.

"We tried [to get on a roll], but it seemed every time we'd get started we'd take a hit," Cleveland coach Jake Yost said.

The Blue Raiders had 88.5 points to 56 for second-place Beech, 52 for Ravenwood, 50.5 for Wilson Central, 47 for Soddy-Daisy and 44 for Walker Valley

The spread wasn't anywhere near enough points for Cleveland to put the tournament out of reach, but two years ago the Blue Raiders came close to locking up the title on Friday.

"There are a ton of points still out there, but I remember one year we won something like 47 of 52 matches when we'd been down 20-30 points," Yost said.

Though they took some hits, the Region 3 champion Blue Raiders still have eight wresters in the quarterfinals, two more than Region 4 champion Soddy-Daisy. Cleveland was the only team to qualify 14 wrestlers, and all 14 are still alive in championship or consolation brackets.

"That's at least 28 wins," Yost said. "That's a pretty good first-day effort, although I thought we left a few [wins] out there. But we also won some big matches. In a tournament like this you're not going to win them all. Still, we have a chance for 14 to medal and we still have 14 eligible to score points."

Soddy-Daisy got six into the quarterfinals.

"Across the board, I'm proud of the guys," Trojans coach Jim Higgins said. "The ones still in the battle have been through a lot this year, and they have earned a lot more than my respect."

There were some upsets.

"Yeah, there were some teams that took some unexpected licks today, which is surprising because a lot of times you don't see that until the second day," Higgins said.

"It seems like there were more upsets than usual," added Bradley Central coach Ben Smith. "I'm not used to coming to this tournament and seeing guys from Cleveland, Soddy-Daisy, Bradley and Walker Valley get picked off early."

Notre Dame might have had the best success ratio of the day. The Irish brought four wrestlers and got three into the quarterfinals.