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Wrestling duals state championships: Northwest reaches 4A semis, but Bruins, Colts, Mountaineers all bow out

Jan. 20—Northwest Whitfield High School's wrestling team reached the semifinal round of the Class 4A duals wrestling state championships on Friday and Saturday, but Northwest, Coahulla Creek and North Murray each left the championship meet of their respective classification without a spot in the top four.

Northwest opened the 16-team Class 4A competition — the top two teams from each region — at Chestatee High School with two consecutive wins Friday to reach the semis. Northwest defeated Luella 49-24 in the opening round, then knocked off Troup County 42-21 to reach the semifinal round on Saturday. The Bruins were beaten 51-25 by eventual runner-up North Hall and fell into the consolation bracket. Northwest was then edged 39-36 by Chestatee to finish in a tie for fifth place as Chestatee advanced to the third place match. Only places one through four are guaranteed. Central-Carrollton, a region mate of the Bruins, won the state title, North Hall finished second, Lovett third and Chestatee fourth. Daniel Soto and Tony Burnecke each went 4-0 in their individual matchups across the four duals matches. Soto competed in the 175 and 190 pound slots, and Burnecke was in the 215-pound class against Troup and the 190-pound class in the other three matches.

At the Class 3A meet at Lumpkin County High in Dahlonega, Coahulla Creek won its opening match before slipping into the consolation bracket. Creek, the Area 6-3A champion, dominated Long County 68-12 in the first round, but Franklin County got past the Colts 40-36 in the quarterfinals. Creek downed area foe LaFayette 45-27 in the consolation bracket before falling to Morgan County 45-27 to end their run in a tie for seventh. Lumpkin County won the state title, with Columbus second, Bremen third and Franklin County fourth. Adonnis Sanchez went 4-0 for Creek in his individual matchups in the 106-pound class, while Baily Smithers went 2-0 in the two matches he appeared in at the 144-pound division.

In the Class 2A state duals state championships in Hazelhurst, North Murray lost its opening round match 51-18 to eventual runner-up Toombs County but responded to defeat Glenn Hills 72-10 in a consolation match. North Murray's run when the Mountaineers then ran into Banks County, the eventual third-place finisher. Banks beat North Murray 58-19. Rockmart, an Area 7-2A opponent of the Mountaineers, won the state title. Toombs was second, Banks was third and Cook finished fourth. Cody Wheat and Ashton Head each finished 3-0 in their individual matchups at the 157-pound and 165-pound divisions, respectively.