Joseph Sorrentino was the last wrestler to take the mat for Creekview against Lee County. The senior, who wrestles at 182 pounds, has competed in his share of pivotal matches, and it was no different in the Class AAAAA tournament.
Creekview, the No. 2 seed, was up 31-25 after Hunter Smith’s 6-2 decision at 170, and Sorrentino needed to avoid a pin or a major decision in order for the Grizzlies to advance to the state quarterfinals. He exceeded expectations by pinning his opponent in just 23 seconds, giving Creekview a 37-25 victory.
Creekview advanced to face Effingham County, a 42-27 winner over Flowery Branch, in today’s quarterfinal.
The Grizzlies’ match with Lee County was a back-and-forth affair from the start.
It began at 195 pounds, with Creekview senior Logan Ridings losing a 16-8 major decision. A pin by Christian Saragusa (220) followed, and when Brock Tupman (285) won his match with a decision, Creekview took a 9-4 lead.
The Grizzlies’ lead grew when freshman Bryce Davis (106) easily won, but the Trojans cut right back into the lead when Brody Ross (113) was pinned. Back-to-back wins by sophomores Grant Slater (120) and Ryan Camp (126) put Creekview back in front, 20-10.
But Lee County was tough through the middle classes.
Junior Justin Goss fell in overtime, 4-2. Hunter Graham (138), also a junior, lost and when junior Kyle Merenda was narrowly defeated 6-5, Creekview found itself trailing for the first time since Saragusa’s pin.
Creekview fell deeper into a hole when Coda Stewart (152) lost by decision.
Freshman Austin Graham (160) caught a break in his match, winning by medical forfeit when his opponent separated his shoulder and couldn’t finish the round.
Smith then won his match to give the Grizzlies the six-point cushion when Sorrentino took the mat.
The other first-round winners in Class AAAAA were Pope, Whitewater, Clarke Central, Allatoona, Woodland-Bartow and Ola.
In Class AAAAAA, Etowah cruised to a 51-22 victory over East Coweta. The fifth-seeded Eagles, however, have a tough opponent ahead today in perennial powerhouse Collins Hill.
Etowah coach Charlie Higdon said his wrestlers performed well across the board.
“There is a bunch we can improve on, but we wrestled well,” he said. “We wrestled sloppy at times, because they had some kids that wrestled sloppy, and we wrestled down to that. We need to work on staying focused.”
Among the key wrestlers against for Etowah in the win over East Coweta were Ray Harding, Josh Thomas, Dylan Wagner, Jake Wagner, Bronson Rechsteiner and Alex Rusk.