GHSA state duals: Trion comes up just short of Class A title repeat

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Trion's Crawford Lee, front, wrestles East Laurens' Tex Edge during a GHSA Class A state duals semifinal Saturday in Trion, Ga. Trion beat East Laurens 78-6 but then lost 33-32 to Mount Pisgah Christian in the championship match.

TRION, Ga. — What may have seemed like a minor event played a huge role in Trion's one-point loss in the GHSA Class A state duals final.

After steamrolling its first two opponents in Saturday's eight-team bracket, the 2022 champions prepared to face their biggest challenge, Mount Pisgah Christian, for the title. Trion's Eric Brock, as most wrestling coaches do, had a game plan in mind that involved matching up certain wrestlers at certain weight classes if he could.

That all changed when the opening coin toss didn't go in Trion's favor, allowing Mount Pisgah the final choice in what Brock considered a couple of critical bouts. After the 33-32 loss, Brock lamented the missed opportunity.

"The odd/even toss was a big factor," he said. "I think if we win the toss, I could have forced the matches I wanted, but it went the other way. We also missed out on bonus points during one of the matches that turned out to be huge."

The championship dual began at 126 pounds, and the missed bonus points came at 190 pounds. Trion trailed 20-16 entering the bout and had a clear edge with Lane Harris. However, despite scoring 16 points, Harris managed to only get a four-point major decision that tied the match.

Trion star Logan Eller then produced a pin in 26 seconds for a six-point lead, but Mount Pisgah ran off three consecutive wins: a pin, a technical fall and a 6-4 decision at 113 that clinched it with one bout to go.

The Bulldogs trailed 20-7 after six bouts before Toby Maddux was awarded a forfeit, and Cohen Blaschke earned a 4-2 decision just before Harris' near-technical fall.

Trion earlier in the day routed Pepperell 63-15 and East Laurens 78-6.

Mount Pisgah won its second state duals championship; the first came in 2021, when the Patriots swept the Class A titles by also winning the traditional tournament. Trion missed out on what would have been its third state duals title in four years, but the Bulldogs still have an opportunity to repeat as state champions in traditional competition with that postseason ahead next month.

In other GHSA state duals involving area teams:

Class AAA

Ringgold rallied from a first-match loss to earn a third-place trophy at Stephens County. After falling 40-20 to Region 6 rival Bremen, the Tigers defeated another region rival, Gordon Lee, 44-30 in the consolation quarterfinals.

Ringgold then downed Pike County 42-27 in the consolation semifinal round before getting past Franklin County 40-35 in the third-place match.

In that match, Ringgold trailed 29-7 but pulled it out by getting maximum points in the last five individual bouts. Travis Talley started the rally with a pin at 285 pounds. After benefiting from consecutive forfeits at 106 and 113, the Tigers got a pin from Nolan Rohrer at 120 before Pierce Pennington won it with a pin at 126.

Gordon Lee and LaFayette both went 0-2 at Stephens County, where Columbus won the championship with a 34-33 victory over Gilmer.

Class AAAA

Heritage went 1-2 at Lovett, where the Generals' Region 7 rival Central-Carroll rallied to defeat the hosts 34-33 for the title.

Heritage fell to North Oconee 49-23 in the opening round before defeating region foe Southeast Whitfield 51-30 and losing to Chestatee 48-31 in the consolation semifinals. Tate Thomas had three pins for the Generals at 106 pounds, with Evan Wingrove getting two pins and a technical fall at 215.

Southeast and Sonoraville, part of Region 7's four-team contingent, each went 0-2.

Class AA

The area's only participant, Murray County, lost a pair of matches at Jeff Davis, where the Indians' Region 7 rival, Rockmart, won the title by beating Fannin County 47-22.

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