Walker Valley Mustangs win tourney, now 12-4

Walker Valley Mustangs win tourney, now 12-4

January 12th, 2014 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Walker Valley's Zane Smith, right, grapples with Maryville's Tyson Holt during their wrestling match at the Walker Valley Duals tournament on Saturday at Walker Valley High School in Cleveland, Tenn.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Striving for perfection led to a perfect day for Walker Valley in the Mustangs' eight-team dual wrestling tournament Saturday.

The hosts went 4-0 and improved to 12-4 for the season.

"We were better than we have been," Walker Valley assistant coach Adam Rains said. "We asked them to try and get better every match, and we feel like they did that."

The Mustangs beat Halls, supposedly the best team in Knoxville this year, 44-19 in the championship match.

To get there, they beat Bearden, Maryville and Notre Dame. Halls also rolled into the championship match undefeated, defeating Central, Alcoa and Tullahoma.

Walker Valley heavyweight Zach Miller went 4-0 with four pins and was extended into the second period only once, and Austin Gregory (126 pounds) had three pins and a major decision.

"Miller is just doing what we've asked of him, and that's just to go hard," Rains said. "Lawrence Cotton (160) had three pins and then a decision over a kid I consider to be a quality wrestler, and Drake Haney (106) got a big win against a quality opponent for us against Halls. Even the guys that didn't have great days got better from one match to the next."

The Mustangs will be riding a four-match win streak when they host county rival Bradley Central on Tuesday.

The tournament likely will become an annual event.

"I felt like the tournament ran well," Rains said. "Every coach I asked said they had a good time and would like to come back. To me that's a success."

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.