published Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Host Wildcats inaugural Region 2-A/AA champs

By Idris Garcia

Region 2-A/AA Wrestling Finals

Legend & team scores: Hixson (Hix), Red Bank (RB), Chattanooga Central (Cen), East Ridge (ER), Signal Mountain (SM), Notre Dame (ND), Tyner (Tyn), Brainerd (Bra), Whitwell (Whi), Chattanooga Christian (CCS), Lookout Valley (LV), Sale Creek (SC), Sequatchie County (Seq), Howard (How), Boyd-Buchanan (BB), Silverdale (Sil)

106 pounds

For first: Robert Owens (ER) dec. Trent Comeaux (RB), 1-0. For third: Ned Warwick (ND) pinned Spencer Groves (Hix), 4:34.

113 pounds

For first: Luke Mullin (ND) tech. fall over Warren Weaver (SM), 5:22. For third: Cedrick Harris (Hix) tech. fall over Blake Reichel (RB), 4:16.

120 pounds

For first: Trent Walliser (LV) pinned Cody Baugh (RB), 2:36 For third: Gavin Gardner (Seq) pinned Konnor Zeigler (Hix), 3:50.

126 pounds

For first: Isaac Yates (Hix) dec. Brandon Whitley (ER), 7-5 OT (SV I). For third: Carter Thomas (CCS) dec. Issac Coffman (Cen), 3-1.

132 pounds

For first: Packy Mullin (ND) pinned Bryson Lemons (Cen), 1:43. For third: Grayson Layne (Hix) dec. Spencer Griffy (ER), 1-0.

138 pounds

For first: Jovarrus Stegall (Hix) dec. Gabe McDuffie (RB), 7-0. For third: Justin Wheeler (CCS) dec. Zane Williams (BB), 1-0.

145 pounds

For first: Noah Bankston (ND) dec. Heyward Alonso (Cen), 7-4. For third: David Johnson (RB) dec. Hunter Daugherty (Tyn), 2-1.

152 pounds

For first: Landon Goforth (Hix) pinned Xavier Norwood (Cen), 5:01. For third: Chase Daugherty (Tyn) pinned Kain Kell (RB), 3:29.

160 pounds

For first: Sam Morgan (SC) pinned Kyler Kayanek (SM), 1:02. For third: Matthew Mapp (ER) dec. Juan Camacho (Tyn), 6-4.

170 pounds

For first: DeAngelo Johnson (ER) dec. Devin Crawl (RB), 9-7 For third: Chris Nicholson (Hix) major dec. Denzell Robinson (Bra), 13-2.

182 pounds

For first: Cale Shelton (SM) pinned Dylan Bargerstock (Hix), 1:18. For third: Matt McCulley (Sil) pinned Marcus McMillan (Bra), 4:46.

195 pounds

For first: Truman Martin (Cen) major dec. McKenzie Martin (Hix), 9-1. For third: Seth Cumby (Whi) pinned Kevin Cortes (Tyn), 1:50.

220 pounds

For first: Micah Pressley (SM) pinned Christophe Hornsby (ND), 0:40. For third: Curtis Noiseaux (Cen) dec. Gulliane "Bubba" Palacio (Hix), 6-4 OT (SV I).

285 pounds

For first: C.J. Baker (ER) won by forfeit over Sam Stephenson (Cen). For third: Brody Gregory (Hix) dec. Sedric Jordan (Bra), 1-0.

The Hixson Wildcats ran away with the state's first Region 2-A/AA wrestling championship, scoring 200 points and qualifying 12 for the traditional state tournament this week, after barely leading a close team race going into Saturday.

"We showed up and wrestled today," Hixson coach Garrick Hall said. "The kids battled hard and beat some kids that beat us earlier in the year. We wanted to win more toss-up matches earlier in the tournament, but it was a total team effort and that's what it's going to take next week."

The Wildcats will take three regional champions into the state tournament. Those include 126-pounder Isaac Yates, who upset Red Bank's No. 1-seeded Brandon Whitley with a takedown as time expired in sudden victory overtime. It was voted the tournament's best match.

"[Yates] has only been wrestling for two years, but he works his tail off," Hall said. "That's a kid that pinned us earlier in the year."

Hall said he would have liked to take 14 wrestlers this coming weekend but is proud of the way his young team stayed focused and wrestled. East Ridge managed to win what turned into a fierce battle for second with 123 points, edging Central's 120.5. The runner-up Pioneers qualified six wrestlers for state, including three champions, and the Purple Pounders qualified seven with one champ.

"Region is nice [and] a very tough tournament, but the goal is to have state placers and state champions," said East Ridge coach Chris Bird. "Tip the hats to Hixson: They qualified 12. We had a couple of heartbreakers, but we had others come through. This is the qualifier."

The champions were Hixson's Yates, Jovarrus Stegall (138) and Landon Goforth; East Ridge's Robert Owens (106), DeAngelo Johnson (170) and C.J. Baker (285); Notre Dame's Luke Mullin (113), Packy Mullin (132) and Noah Bankston (145); Signal Mountain's Cale Shelton (182) and Micah Pressley (220); Lookout Valley's Trent Walliser (120); Sale Creek's Sam Morgan (160); and Central's Truman Martin (195).

The Red Bank Lions put nine of their 10 wrestlers into the championship semifinals but were unable to produce a champion in their four finals bouts, still qualifying seven and finishing fourth with 116.5 points. Notre Dame was fifth with five qualifiers, and Signal Mountain and Tyner were sixth and seventh with four qualifers each. Brainerd finished eighth with three qualifiers, and 10th-place Chattanooga Christian had two.

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