The host of that sectional, Cambridge, stunned Pope to clinch the team title with 253 points. The Bears, a second-year varsity program, denied the Greyhounds their seventh straight area title.
After losing two key wrestlers to injury, Pope had to settle for second with 249.5 points. After Creekview (228.5), Sprayberry and Forsyth Central tied for fourth at 125.
Creekview came out with four champions, one runner-up, three third-place finishers and four fourth-places.
“We have four (area) champs, which is as good as we’ve ever done,” Creekview coach Wyatt Wilkie said. “Third place (overall) isn’t bad. Coming into it, I was hoping we’d get top-three. I don’t know where we’d fall, but we were in the top three. Now, it’s time to get back into the practice room and get ready for sectionals.”
Bryce Davis (106 pounds) was Creekview’s first title-clincher Saturday, winning a 14-2 major decision over Sprayberry’s Alex Labarre. Hunter Smith (170) won a decision over Pope’s Colton Lombardy, and Joseph Sorrentino (182) needed just 1:13 to pin Northview’s Keewan Williams.
After winning a decision over Cambridge’s Chris Anderson in the semifinals, Justin Goss (132) got an automatic pass to the area championship after his would-be opponent, Pope’s Tyler Haskin, was forced to default with a broken hand suffered in a semifinal-round won over Kell’s Brian Link.
The Grizzlies’ Brock Tupman (285) was second after being pinned by Cambridge’s Malik McNeil in 1:26. Grant Slater (120) and Coda Stewart (152) were Creekview’s third-place finishers, while Ryan Camp (126), Kyle Merenda (145), Logan Ridings (195) and Christian Saragusa (220) each took fourth.
Sequoyah advanced two wrestlers into the sectional.
Alex Bryant (126) and Brad LaSelva (170) both took third in their respective weight classes. Bryant won a 3-2 decision over Camp to finish third, while LaSelva won an 8-4 decision over Forsyth Central’s Carson Pillow.
Haskin’s broken hand was a big blow to Pope. The Greyhounds also lost Jake Weber (182) to a broken leg five minutes into his semifinal match, and he could no longer continue.
Although Pope ended up with four area champions and four runners-up, it marked the first time that the Greyhounds had come up short at the area traditional tournament since 2006.
“Most of the kids wrestled pretty good and we were winning the tournament,” Pope coach Jim Haskin said. “But when you lose two of your best wrestlers, you lose big points. It’s unfortunate.”
Cambridge produced most of its points by crowning five area champions and three runners-up.