While a team from outside the Bi-City took home the overall championship on Saturday at the Hardaway Invitational wrestling tournament, the area was well represented among the top finishers.
Smiths Station finished in fourth, Spencer in fifth and Central in sixth at the 37th annual tournament at the Lumpkin Center. The Greenwave had three individual champions, tying team champion Creekview and third-place Lee County for the most overall.
Spencer coach Robert Sanders pointed to Tuyen Bowles in the 132 as perhaps the best result of the day for his team.
Bowles defeated Newnan’s Jason Moore, who was previously undefeated and ranked among the top wrestlers in the state. Bowles, who remained undefeated on the season, hung on for a 14-7 decision, giving Sanders reason to think that the senior, who has placed sixth and third in the past two state tournaments, could get over the hump for a state title this year.
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“We wanted to see him do well,” Sanders said. “He’s a two-time state placer, and this shows how far he’s come. He’s just got to keep working toward state.”
Bowles was named the Xavier Woods Most Outstanding Wrestler, an award that was named after the former Hardaway wrestler who died in a drowning accident earlier this year.
In addition to Bowles, Deandre Jackson (120) and Laython Warren (145) earned individual championships for the Greenwave, both in dominating fashion. Jackson won by pin fall and Warren in a dominating 17-2 decision that was ended early due to points.
En route to its fourth-place team finish, best out of Bi-City contenders, Smiths Station also had two individual champions. Marcus Ruffin won in the 138 by a 3-2 count and Coleman Rose in 182 by pin fall.
Panthers coach Tommy Sanders was happy with the effort, but said there are plenty of things his team needs to improve on going forward.
“We did a good job of competing, but there’s a lot of fundamental issues we need to work on,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot more coaching. We need to get more consistent. It’s a great tournament that helped point out some of our weaknesses.”
Other top finishers from the Bi-City area include Central’s Ethan Baber, who won in the 195. Runner-up finishers include Max Kauffman (Central) in the 113, Javon Walker (Carver) in the 145, Miguel Masenburge (Hardaway) in the 170, Charles Toole (Columbus) in the 182, Brooks Alfred (Carver) in the 220 and William NanaFabu (Columbus) in the 285.
Hardaway Invitational individual results
106: Aaron Maxfield, Lee County def. Brody Ross, Creekview (Dec. 9-5)
113: Bryce Davis, Creekview def. Max Kauffman, Central (Dec. 5-3)
120: Deandre Jackson, Spencer def. Raymond Hunter, Lee County (Fall)
126: Grant Slater, Creekview def. Chris Grier, Newnan (Fall)
132: Tuyen Bowles, Spencer def. Jason Moore, Newnan (14-7)
138: Marcus Ruffin, Smiths Station def. Ryan Camp, Creekveiw (Dec. 3-2)
145: Laython Warren, Spencer def. Javon Walker, Carver (Dec. 17-2)
152: Braden John, Creekview def. Dexter Jones, LaGrange (Fall)
160: Brett Butler, Lee County def. Kyle Merenda, Creekview (Dec. 8-5)
170: Sam Ashway, Kell def. Miguel Masenburge, Hardaway (Fall)
182: Coleman Rose, Smiths Station def. Charles Toole, Columbus (Fall)
195: Ethan Baber, Central def. Guy Wegienka, LaGrange (Fall)
220: Collins Tensley, Lee County def. Brooks Alfred, Carver (Dec. 8-7)
285: Emannuel Mann, LaGrange def. William NanaFabu, Columbus (Dec. 2-1)
1. Creekview 205.5
2. LaGrange 184
3. Lee County 175.5
4. Smiths Station 175
5. Spencer 166
6. Central 155
7. Newnan 121
8. Kell 116
9. Colquitt County 115.5
10. Jones County 100.5
11. Carver 96
12. Columbus 89
13. Hardaway 86
13. Jordan 86
15. Harris County 83
16. Veterans 77.5
17. Northside 39
18. Shaw 30
19. Kendrick 18