Sophomore wears down opponent in final period
By KEVIN PRICE
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A couple of hours after winning a Class 7A state wrestling championship on Saturday, Central sophomore Tony Morales was still trying to figure out how he was supposed to feel.
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Morales won a 9-7 decision over Vestavia Hills' Bowman Hill in the 152-pound weight class.
"I am still getting it in my head," Morales said on the trip back to Phenix City. "I know I won, but I don't know what to feel."
Morales trailed most of the match against Hill.
Hill led 5-3 going into the third period. But Morales caught him at 7-7 late in the match.
With about 15 seconds remaining and the wrestlers facing each other, Morales was able to drop Hill and earn the two points he needed for the win.
"I tried to keep it close," Morales said. "I knew I could win if I could keep it close.
"I was constantly pushing him. I knew he was getting tired."
Morales' father, Robert, who is also the Central coach, said to wrestle the entire six minutes of the match was the plan.
"If he could do that, then
he could wear these guys out," Robert Morales said. "The pace Tony wrestled at never changed."
Morales pinned Hill in 5:36 earlier in the year in a match in the Scott Rohrer Hoover Invitational.
Morales is the first Central wrestler to win a state title since Luke Wilson won in 2012.
Morales's state championship is the school's second since the program was reinstated in 2006 after a 36-year hiatus.
He went to the state meet last year as a freshman, where he competed in the 132-pound class.
Morales also won titles in the Hardaway Invitational and the City Championships.
Central's Max Kauffman (113) lost his championship match 3-0 to Thompson's Gabe Hixenbaugh.
Central's Studd Morris (106) and Storey (145) both finished fourth.
Morris lost his third-place match in 2:57 to Buckhorn's Stone Barden.
Kevin Price, 706-320-4493. Follow Kevin on Twitter @lesports