The Ridgeland Panthers first-ever appearance in the Class AAAA State Duals came to an end in Macon on Friday afternoon, but not before the Black-and-White put up a tremendous fight against Troup County in the consolation bracket.
Ridgeland, who lost 39-32 to West Laurens in their opener on Thursday before beating Baldwin, 60-17, in a Thursday night elimination match, were edged out by the Tigers, 30-25.
Starting the match at 285 pounds, Troup won the first four matches, all by decision, before Chris Prescott got Ridgeland on the board with a decision at 126 pounds. However, Troup scored another three-point decision at 132 and led the match, 15-3.
But it would take the Panthers just three wins to knot things up. Jacob Mariakis (138) scored a pin, McKinley Mosgrove (145) won a decision and Dylan Swanson (152) followed with a decision to tie it up at 15.
Troup retook the lead with a pin at 160, but Ryan McGill earned four points for a major decision, cutting the Tigers' lead to 21-19 with three bouts left.
However, Troup got six crucial points with a pin at 182 before sealing the win with a decision at 195. With the outcome already decided, the Tigers forfeited to defending 220-pound state champion Chris Henderson, accounting for Ridgeland's final six points.
As expected, Gilmer and Jefferson will battle in a marquee matchup for the Class AAAA state title tomorrow.
The other state finals matchups include Commerce versus Wesleyan (Class A), Social Circle versus Toombs County (Class AA), Bremen vs. Lumpkin County (Class AAA), Buford vs. Woodland-Cartersville (Class AAAAA), Alexander versus South Paulding (Class AAAAAA) and Camden County versus Archer (Class AAAAAAA).