Tallassee used a strong finish, winning four of the last five matches and eased by Central to take the team title, 36-32 Saturday in the 5th annual Red Devil duals.
Central started strong, winning the first two matches with pins but the visiting Tigers came roaring back with three pins to ease back into the lead. It was back and forth until the 113- to 132-weight classes when Tallassee swept all those matches to clinch the title.
The fourth win was by two-time state champion Josh Epperson, who won by a pin to ensure the Tiger victory.
Co-Head Coach Jared Jones for Tallassee said, "Our guys kept on wrestling and working. There was a lot of fight and spirit in them and we felt in the smaller weight classes we had an advantage."
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"We just didn't finish matches when we had the lead," said Central Coach Rob Morales. "They are a strong team with a long tradition and they got the points when they needed them."
"Our team has come a long way and we kept it close but they (Tallassee) came out in the end," Morales added.
Smiths Station took third place by defeating Hardaway 54-24 and had a chance at being in the finals but lost a tight 37-35 match Tallassee in pool play to wind up in the consolation finals.
"This was not where we wanted to be," said Smiths coach Tommy Sanders after the tournament. "But we need to come back from that and do a better job."
"I was proud of our five guys, Max Kauffman, Josh Jamieson, Marcus Ruffin, Jelani Gooden and Logan Beyer. They were undefeated, 5-0 for the tournament. "Sanders added.
Pool play team scores
Mat 1- Hardaway 45, Holtville 35; Stanhope Elmore 40, Carver 30; Stanhope Elmore 53, Holtville 24; Hardaway 36, Stanhope Elmore 31; Hardaway 66, Montgomery Catholic 18; Stanhope Elmore 66, Montgomery Catholic 18.
Mat 2 - Central 63, Montgomery Catholic 17; Central 53, Hardaway 28; Montgomery Catholic 39, Carver 30; Holtville 39, Carver 23; Central 72, Carver 9; Central 60, Holtville 22
Mat 3- Smiths Station 48, Columbus 26; Tallassee 53, Opelika 15; Tallassee 37, Smiths Station 35; Tallassee 62, Columbus 18; Northside 42, Columbus 21; Smiths Station 68, Russell County 6.
Mat 4-Northside 60, Russell County 18; Columbus 48, Russell County 30; Opelika 48, Northside 24; Smiths Station 60, Opelika 24; Opelika 48, Russell County 36; Tallassee 47, Northside 27
Finals, Tallassee 36, Central 32
106- Johnny Swinnie (C) def. Dylan Turner (T), 18-3, Tech fall; 113-Nick Langston (T) def. William Carroll (C), 18-14; 120-Steven Turner (T) def. Kristian Scott (C), 12-5; 126-Kennon Reese (T) def. Jarrett Marshall (C), 6-2; 132-Josh Epperson (T) pinned Tony Morales; 138-Dakota Pittman(C) pinned Brady Beasley (T); 145-Evan Baber (C) pinned Greg Bianchi (T); 152-Jamorris Ford (C) pinned Alex Daar (T); 160-B.J.Thomas (T) pinned Josh Parker (C); 170-Robbi Rygiel (T) pinned Chase Boleware (C); 185-Drew Baker (T) pinned Jacob Piland (C); 195-Ethan Baber (C) def. Devante McKenzie (T), 5-4; 220-Jarrell Hunter (C) pinned Kendall Webster (T); Hwt. Unlimited- Jake Baker (T) def. Sasha Martin (C), 3-1