DULUTH, Ga. -- Spencer wrestler Quintri Noel pinned James Evans of Dawson County in 3 minutes, 39 seconds to win the Class AA state championship for the 112-pound class.
Noel finished fourth last year and eighth as a sophomore.
“It has been a natural progression for him,” Sanders said.
Noel went 41-4 this season and won the City Championships in January, but he fell to third in last week’s sectional.
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“He used that as motivation this week,” Sanders said. “He was disappointed, and it put him in a bad spot in the bracket. He had to go through two tough guys to get to the final.
Noel had defeated Jefferson’s Josh Harris 7-5 in the semifinals, Morgan County’s James Bearden 11-7 in the quarterfinals and Toombs County’s Holden Plante in 2:25 in the first round.
“The win over the Jefferson wrestler in the semifinals gave him a lot of confidence,” Sanders said.
Noel was the only one of five wrestlers from the Chattahoochee Valley in Saturday’s finals to win a state championship.
The Georgia High School Association championships were at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth.
Spencer had two other wrestlers in the finals.
Derick Crosby lost a 10-9 decision to Elbert County’s Brandon Owens at 125 pounds. At 135 pounds, DeKlane Hill lost a 17-2 decision to Dylian Green of North Oconee County.
Columbus High’s Jamie Starke lost in the Class AAA 285-pound final to Henry County’s Dalvin Toimlinson in 4:29.
In the Alabama High School Athletic Association state championships in Huntsville, Central-Phenix City’s Luke Wilson lost a 2-1 decision to Grissom’s Brian Walker in the finals of the Class 6A 215-pound class.
Wilson was the lone wrestler from the Chattahoochee Valley to make it to the Alabama finals. However, five others placed in the top six in their respective weight classes.
Smiths Station had a pair of wrestlers who finished fourth, losing in the consolation finals Saturday.
Quint Miles lost at 112 pounds to Brian Hancock of Tuscaloosa County 4-2, and teammate Tim Hester lost at 171 pounds to Benny Bradford of Grissom 3-1.
Central’s Byron Rhodes finished fifth at 112 pounds. Rhodes, who lost 7-3 to Miles in a consolation semifinal, then beat Austin Gould of Theodore in the fifth-place match 6-4.
A pair of wrestlers also finished sixth. Central’s Andrew Mathews (189) lost to Opelika’s Xavier Drake in the fifth-place match 7-3. Smiths Station’s Gary Robinson (152) lost to Killian Hoyt of Grissom 4-1.
In the GHSA tournament, five other local wrestlers placed. Harris County’s Michael Boyette finished fourth in Class AAAA’s 135-pound class after losing 7-5 to Jose Robledo of Rockdale in the third-place match.
Columbus’ Tim Reynolds finished fifth in the Class AAA 125 class as he defeated Johnie Flakes of Gilmer County 7-0 in the fifth-place match. Jordan’s Michael Sobasky beat Banks County’s Mason Patton to finish fifth in the Class AA 112-pound class.
Spencer’s Darren Sampson lost a fifth-place match to Dade County’s Caleb Massey in 2:32.
Carver’s Johnny Allen finished sixth as he lost the fifth-place match 7-1. to Clay Richardson of Jefferson
Spencer finished sixth in the team standings with 77 points.