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WRESTLING: Trion 3rd, Rockmart 4th at state duals

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Battling some of the top wrestling teams in the state over two days, the Trion Bulldogs and Rockmart Yellow Jackets returned home Saturday with top four finishes from the GHSA state duals.

Trion recovered from a tough 37-36 loss to eventual Class A runner-up Wesleyan on Friday and easily defeated Strong Rock Christian and Mount de Sales on Saturday at the Macon Centreplex to finish third.

Rockmart, meanwhile, lost to eventual Class AA runner-up Toombs County 49-21 on Friday before coming back Saturday and getting a 36-30 win over Spencer to advance to the consolation finals where the Jackets fell to Fitzgerald 39-33 to take fourth place.

Armuchee faced a tough road in the Class AA bracket as the Area 3-AA duals runner-up was paired with two-time state champion Social Circle to start the tournament Friday and lost 55-13.

The Indians then lost a heartbreaker to Spencer, 40-39, in the first round of the consolation bracket Saturday based on criteria after Brayden Butler got a major decision in his 145-pound bout to tie the match at 39 each. Armuchee held a 35-24 lead at one point.

A positive for the Indians was the performances of Jacob Henderson (182), JC Burkett (220), Cameron Espy (113) and Wes Conley (120). The four went 2-0 in the tournament. Trion, the Area 3-A champions, got big wins from several wrestlers, especially Logan Blevins (220) Noah Deparlier (132) and Lincoln Maddux (138). The three went 4-0 over the two days.

The Bulldogs began the tournament with a 48-23 win over Tuner County before coming up short to Wesleyan. They then dispatch Strong Rock 51-26 on Saturday, followed by a 54-25 win over Mount de Sales. Truett Bowman (138), Zoryan Hendricks (152) and Griffin Pace (160) all went undefeated for Rockmart. The Jackets started off with a 50-24 win over Elbert County.

Teams will now have two weeks to prepare for the area traditional tournaments the weekend of Jan. 26-27. Armuchee will host the Area 3-AA event, while Area 3-A will be held at Darlington.

State sectional tournaments will take place a week later, followed by the GHSA traditional state wrestling tournament back in Macon Feb. 8-10.