The Grizzlies, who have reached state tournament three of the last four years and tied for fifth last season, finished as the runner-up at Walton after dropping a 51-23 decision to McCallie, a nationally known wrestling power from Chattanooga, Tenn.
Creekview went 4-0 in its pool to reach the championship round. The Grizzlies trailed McCallie 21-18 midway through the match and 33-23 with four bouts remaining, but they were outscored 18-0 down the stretch as the Blue Tornado pulled out the victory.
“Our guys came prepared,” Creekview coach Wyatt Wilkie said. “It was good to see some tough competition. Now, we know where we need to start Monday. It’s back to the drawing board. Keep pushing ourselves and keep trying to reach our goals.”
Creekview beat Oak Mountain (Ala.) 48-23, Woodland-Bartow 34-33, Holy Innocents’ 54-22 and Mill Creek 48-30 in pool play to advance to the final round.
Woodland, the state duals runner-up the last two seasons, led Creekview 33-16 before the Grizzlies won the last four bouts to tie the contest at 33-all.
Cristian Saragusa won an 8-6 decision at 220 pounds to start the rally. Brock Tupman then earned a pin at 285, and Bryce Davis won an 8-1 decision at 106 to move Creekview to within 33-28 with one bout remaining.
Ryan Camp’s 9-1 major decision at 113 tied the match at 33-all, and Creekview earned the win based on the tiebreaker of having won the most weight classes during the match.
Creekview’s score against McCallie could have been closer had the Grizzlies not forfeited six points at 138 and 195 pounds.
“Any time we go in, I think we can beat anybody,” Wilkie said. “At the same time, I know what we have. We have our 195 hurt with a rib injury, so he’s out. What I’m really looking for is for my kids to do the best that they can for the six minutes that they’re on the mat. And if that’s what they do, then we are successful.”
Several of Creekview’s wrestlers had successful days as Tupman, Davis, Joseph Sorrentino (182) and Hunter Smith (170) all went 5-0.
“Those guys did an outstanding job (Saturday) against some tough competition,” Wilkie said. “Those guys have been busting their butt, and it showed (Saturday). Even though they went undefeated, there are still some improvements they need to make, and along with the rest of the team, we’re going to get focused on those on Monday.”
Woodland went 3-1 in pool play before beating host Walton 58-21 in the third-place match.
Oak Mountain lost to Allatoona in the fifth-place match, while Holy Innocents’ was a winner over Dunwoody to earn seventh. Loganville and Mill Creek tied for ninth.