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PREP ROUNDUP: Decatur's Howard trying for second straight wrestling title

Feb. 16—HUNTSVILLE — Decatur's Oliver Howard is in good position to win his second straight state wrestling championship after day one of the AHSAA state wrestling meet in Huntsville on Thursday.

Howard, the reigning Class 6A 160-pound champion, moved up to the 190-pound classification this season and entered Thursday's state meet with a record of 36-0.

Howard picked up wins over Homewood's Hayden Eldridge and Russell County's Deven Presley to improve to 38-0 and face McAdory's Erik Lessears in Friday's semifinal round. Semifinal matches for Class 6A will wrestle Friday, with championship matches scheduled to begin at noon.

Howard entered the meet as a favorite to repeat after going unbeaten en route to the 160-pound title last year. He finished runner-up in the 160-pound classification in 2022.

Howard will be joined in the Class 6A semifinals by Athens wrestlers' Lakin Poff (120 pounds), Carter Campbell (138 pounds) Will Anderson (144 pounds) and Austin Campbell (150 pounds) and Hartselle's Gage Roberts (126 pounds), Jacob Doshier (132 pounds), Garrett Willingham (150 pounds) and Jameson Falciani (215 pounds).

Softball

Austin 10, Cullman 2: Kinsley Higdon and Lyndi Perkins homered, doubled and drove in two runs each in a big win over Austin on Thursday.

Abby Lidsey had three hits, including a triple and a double, and one RBI for the Black Bears, while Arden Breedlove, Rebecca Horn and Zyan Moore added two hits and one RBI each.

Callie Lang pitched three innings for the win, allowing two runs on four hits with a strikeout.

Baseball

Hatton 19, Tharptown 3: Nick Borden went 3-for-6 with four RBIs and two runs scored to lead a high-powered Hatton offense on Thursday.

Parker Huff had three hits, drew three walks, drove in a run and scored four times for the Hornets, while Garson Pierce added a pair of hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Bryson Jeffreys had two hits, including a double, and one RBI.

Canaan Speegle pitched two innings for the win, allowing three runs on three hits with four strikeouts. Alex Brackin pitched two innings of relief with four strikeouts and Carter Crumpton worked three innings, allowing two hits while striking out five.

Huntsville 8, Austin 1: Tason Sykes drove in Austin's lone run on Thursday. Easton Palmer and Bentley Stidham had one hit each for the Black Bears, while Brooks Olinger stole a pair of bases.

Guntersville 13, Brewer 2: Logan Powers and Logan Paseur had one hit each for Brewer on Thursday.

Duncan Morris drove in four runs to lead Guntersville.