A dominant start in the consolation finals Saturday at the GHSA state traditional tournament helped propel Trion's wrestling program to the Class A championship.
The Bulldogs, who won the Class A state duals title last month, had two individual champions in Macon with Toby Maddux at 160 pounds and Brantley Willbanks at 220, as well as a pair of runners-up in Bladyn Bowman (182) and Logan Eller (195).
Trion, however, didn't need the titles where the team competition was concerned after five wrestlers won third-place matches earlier to pull away from Social Circle, eventually winning 225 points to 205.5. Jason Jenkins (106), Daegan Vaughn (113), Seth Huskins (120), Crawford Lee (126) and Bryce James (138) got the Bulldogs off to a sizzling start on championship Saturday, and they never looked back.
"We had a lot of adversity on day one, and the guys had a lot of heart and fought until the very end," said Trion coach Eric Brock, whose team had several close losses in Friday's early rounds.
Maddux then helped pad the lead with a 1-0 win over Social Circle's Will Hames in the finals. Willbanks later capped the big weekend with a first-period pin. Trion also had fourth-place finishers in Gus Hames (145), Cohen Blaschke (170) and Zach Sharp (285).
It's the third state traditional title for Trion, which also won two years ago and in 1994.
Dade County went 3-0 in championship matches in finishing as the Class AA runner-up, with Lovett winning with 176 points to 120 for the Wolverines.
Dade County's Landon Williams pinned Pepperell's Jake Roberts in the third period of the 182-pound title match and brother Cody Williams followed with a 7-0 decision against Toombs County's Tank Morris at 195. Austin Sorrelle added to the title haul with a 3-2 win over Lovett's William Stimmel at 285.
Chattooga's Landon Carlton was the runner-up at 106, with Devon Heroch third at 220.
In girls' competition, Dade County's Heidi Raines was the 152-pound champion after pinning her way to the title. Chattooga had a pair of runners-up in Kendra Herock (142) and Kha'Nijia Avery (172).
TSSAA region results
Baylor qualified in all 14 weight classes for the TSSAA Division II state traditional tournament next Friday and Saturday at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville. The Red Raiders roared to 300 team points as nine wrestlers won D-II East Region titles: Jacob Bond, Nick Corday, Jackson Bond, Garrison Dendy, Micah Tisdale, Mason Alley, Michael Kinsey, Omaury Alvarez and David Harper. McCallie's James Howard also won a region title.
In Region 3-3A, Cleveland edged intracounty rival Bradley Central 233-225 for the team title as the Blue Raiders had eight first-place finishers: Chase Walker, Bentley Ellison, Arlo Laxton, Cy Fowler, Lucas Szymborski, Jax Ernest, Tetoe Boyd and Ashton Davis. Both teams will send 13 wrestlers to the Class AA state traditional tournament, set for Thursday through Saturday in Franklin.
Signal Mountain rolled to the Region 4-A championship and had half of its 10 state qualifiers place first: JoJo Uhorchuk, Ethan Uhorchuk, Caleb Uhorchuk, Noah Shriner and Jackson Davis were the individual champions.
Other local region champions included Howard's Jermichael Young, Hixson's Zander Hutson and Landon Moore, East Ridge's Perrin Clark, Polk County's Sasha Warner, East Hamilton's Maclain Otting and Tex Lewis, Sequatchie County's Kaleb Edwards, Red Bank's Kobe Smith, Marion County's Mason Keel, and Bradley Central's Bryson Terrell, Easton Lipsey, Ethan Lipsey and Luke Belcher.
Whitwell 64, Cannon County 57: Courtney Zensen scored 25 points and combined with Addie Colvard for nine of the Lady Tigers' dozen 3-point baskets in the victory. Zensen has been a breakout star for Whitwell (20-8), averaging 20 points and nearly seven steals per game.
Bradley Central 50, Knoxville Catholic 38: The Bearettes improved to 24-3 overall on senior night as they avenged a road loss from earlier this season to Division II-AA's Lady Fighting Irish (19-8).
Compiled by Patrick MacCoon and Lindsey Young. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.