High School Wrestling
Vikings send five to AAAAA sectionals
PEACHTREE CITY — Advancing to the state wrestling sectionals is no easy task in Area 4-AAAAA, but Northgate still managed to see five athletes continue their 2013-14 seasons on Saturday at McIntosh High.
Nick Martin’s individual championship at 220 pounds led the Vikings, which had two individual finalists and three others reach the consolation finals in the 11-school region.
Martin pinned Cory Carter of Starr’s Mill in 1:17 of the first period to finish the tournament with a 3-0 record.
Ryan McNeal also advanced to the finals of 120-pound division while finishing second for Northgate. Michael Geres placed third at 113 pounds while Angel Fuentes (132) and Ramsey Rutherford (285) also advanced to this week’s Class AAAAA West Sectionals in Allatoona with respective fourth-place efforts.
Ola, which won last month’s Area 4-AAAAA Duals tournament, held off Whitewater again for team honors with 232 points. The Wildcats held on for second with 194 ½ ahead of a hard-charging Union Grove lineup with 190.
Heading into the final round, Ola held a 13 ½ point lead over Whitewater though the Wildcats had seven finalists to Ola’s six. Among them were three head-to-head battles between the rivals at 106, 132 and 160 pounds.
Ola qualified 10 athletes for Class AAAAA sectionals among the top four finishers while Whitewater had nine.
Northgate finished seventh with 93 points led by Martin’s march to an individual title in the 220-pound weight division.
Martin opened Saturday with a first-period pin over Mundy’s Mill wrestler Jhante Charles followed by a 9-2 decision over Mt. Zion-Jonesboro’s Quintavious Bussey.
McNeal finished second at 120 pounds, falling by pin to Ola standout Gabe Hecht in 3:27 after picking up a pair of tough decisions in his first two matches. The Viking reached the finals by defeating Donald Newman of Starr’s Mill 13-6 and then holding off Whitewater’s Greg Pasquarella 10-8.
At 113 pounds, Geres placed third after dominating Drew’s Anthony Hogan to a 12-4 decision. The Viking nearly reached the finals while coming within nine seconds of taking Forest Park standout Anthony Vasta into overtime before suffering a pin in the winner’s bracket semifinals. Earlier, Geres advanced past Drew’s Anthony Hogan with a 12-8 decision. He
Fuentes battled into overtime at 132 pounds against Forest Park wrestler Daniel Malone in hopes of reaching the finals before falling 13-11 on a takedown. He battled back in the loser’s bracket to pick up a pin against Roderick Flowers of Mundy’s Mill in 1:35 before defeating Nino Young of Starr’s Mill convincingly in a 7-1 decision.
In the consolation finals, Fuentes succumbed to Malone for a second time in a second-period pin.
Rutherford won two matches with pins in wrestlebacks at the heavyweight division to clinch a berth in the sectionals. He pinned Jack Wambles of Drew in 2:24 and then added another in 3:28 over Forest Park’s Deonte Nance.
The Viking succumbed to a pin at the first-period buzzer against Whitewater’s Cole Raines in the consolation finals.
Other Northgate wrestlers to pick up wins on Saturday included Dalton Elliott, who placed fifth as an alternate at 195 pounds. Ellliot won his first match over McIntosh’s Dane Bulloch with a pin in 1:27 before losing his final match to Ola’s Jordan Palpant in a 4-1 decision.
Freshman Brady McCloud dropped his opening match to Whitewater’s Daniel McCullough in a tough 4-1 decision but battled back for a pin in 2:23 to eliminate Starr’s Mill wrestler Vance Windon. After advancing again by forfeit, McCloud fell to Union Grove’s Luke Vinson in a technical fall.