Tallassee wrestling

Caleb Turrentine / The Tribune Tallassee’s Christian McCary (top) pinned Opelika’s Andre Smiley in the first period.

Tallassee wrapped up last week’s Thanksgiving Duals tournament with a 43-42 victory over Elmore County as the Tigers finished with four team victories. After each team recorded seven pins in the match, Tallassee got the victory because of a tiebreaker. The deciding factor was which team scored the most near-fall points.

The Tigers put their opponents in a hole early, recording five pins in the first five bouts. Zack Haynes (132 pounds) and Christian McCary (138) set the tone before John Burnham, Will Lackey and Mason Bell extended the lead to 30-0, in the next three weight classes.

Elmore County stormed back with five straight pins of its own as Coby Mann took down Tallassee’s Jaxon McKee in the heavyweight battle to tie the match. The Tigers regained control with pins from Land Bell and Brandon Emfinger at 106 and 113, respectively, but Elmore County responded again as Matthew Thornton (120) and Evan Eason (126) recorded pins to send the match to the tiebreaker.

Tallassee opened the night with a 51-27 win against Saint James as the Tigers recorded three pins and got the help of five forfeit victories to pull away. Mason Bell took down Gabe Robbins in the match of the day as Bell’s escape in the final moments of the first period of sudden victory gave him a 4-3 win at 160.

Bell finished the day undefeated and recorded two pins, improving his season record to 6-0. Haynes also improved to 6-0 with two pins and two forfeit wins.

After rolling to a 69-12 win over Opelika in the opening match, Elmore County could not get over the hump for the rest of the night, losing its final three matches by 19 total points. Despite the tough day as a team, the Panthers had plenty of success at the individual level.

Matt Brown went unbeaten at 220 pounds and recorded two pins, including a first-round pin against Tallassee’s Corbin Grover. Mann also was undefeated, recording a pin and a decision. 

Ramon Lozada got the day started with a pin against Opelika’s Jordan Clark at 106. Thornton added the next pin to push Elmore County’s lead in the opening match. Both wrestlers finished with three victories.

Stone Svencer won a match by decision at both 132 and 138, including a 20-15 win over Opelika’s Robert Phillips. Svencer’s only loss of the night was against McCary in a matchup of two wrestlers who qualified for state last year.

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.