Area Sports...

February 7, 2001

Leopards clawing for third seed
Crucial playoff seeding for both the Leopards and Lady Leopards relies on the outcome of Friday night's game with Dawson County.
Both Banks County teams will be fighting Region 8-AA South opponent Dawson County for the number three spot in the subregion.
The 8-AA region tourney begins with play-in games on Monday between the number four and five seeds in each subregion. On Tuesday, the regular tournament begins at East Hall. The semifinals and finals of the region tourney will be held at White County.
The top four teams from the region will advance to the state tournament being held at Gilmer County.
Even with a win Friday night, the Lady Leopards' seeding for the region tourney will remain clouded.
If Banks County's girls win, they will have an identical subregion record and an identical record in the north subregion with Dawson County. The Lady Leopards' win would result in a tie for third place in 8-AA South, leading to a coin toss to determine seeding.
Should Banks County win the coin toss, the team will secure the number three seed and face Towns County on Tuesday. Banks County would have to defeat Towns County to move to the state tournament.
Losing the coin toss would put the Lady Leopards in a play-in game against Apalachee Monday afternoon. The girls would have to defeat Apalachee and win their game the following night to advance to the state tournament.
But if the Lady Leopards lose to Dawson County Friday, they will automatically claim the number four spot in 8-AA South and will have to face Apalachee Monday.
By beating the Tigers Friday, Banks County can clinch sole possession of the number three spot in 8-AA South, putting their first tournament game Tuesday against White County. They would then have to defeat White County to move on to the state tournament.
But if the Leopards lose to Dawson County, they will have to defeat Apalachee in a play-in game Monday and win their game the following night to advance to the state tourney.
Adding pressure to the Leopards is the questionable availability of leading scorer Mike Ivey. Ivey injured his ankle against East Hall last week and is listed as day-to-day.
Leopard senior Ryan Loggins is also nursing a knee injury he received late last week.

Wrestlers roll in area tournaments
The prep wrestling season that began in early November will end Saturday, as the Georgia High School Association presents its five state championship tournaments.
In preparation for this weekend's state meets, teams from Jefferson and Jackson County enjoyed a great deal of success in last weekend's respective area tournaments.

Jefferson became one of only three Class A schools to qualify all 14 wrestlers for the state tournament in Adairsville, as the Dragons swept past Area 4A host Social Circle and rival Commerce Saturday to claim the area team crown.
Jefferson finished with 210 team points in the event, ahead of the Redskins' 173.5 and Tigers' 173.
Wesleyan (93) was fourth, followed by Providence (72) and Buford (44).
Other Class A area champions were Walker, Bremen and McIntosh County Academy. All will carry a full contingent to Adairsville, except Bremen, which qualified in 13 of the 14 weight classes.
Meanwhile, at Cross Creek High School in Augusta, the Panthers were edged out of the area 4AAA title by six and one-half points, thanks to the Red Devils from Loganville.
Jackson County's 215.5 fell short of the Red Devils' 222, but placed them ahead of Elbert County's 198.5.
Jackson County will send 10 of their 14 wrestlers to the state Class AAA tournament Friday and Saturday in Fitzgerald.
Also winning area titles in Class AAA were Dublin, North Forsyth and longtime wrestling powerhouse Lovett.
Lovett's Lions, winners of the past two Class A state trophies and favored to repeat the feat in AAA, moved up two classifications this year as a result of the GHSA's massive realigment last spring that multiplied private schools' enrollment by a factor of 1.5 to determine classification.
All 14 wrestlers from Lovett and Loganville will make the trip to Fitzgerald. North Forsyth sends 13, Elbert and Westminster 11, and the tournament host will also field 11.
For individual results from the area tournaments and directions to Adairsville and Fitzgerald, see this week's Jackson Herald.

Seven Tiger Wrestlers Qualify For State Tourney
The Commerce High School wrestling team picked a good time to do their best work of the season. Now, if they can do just as well next week ...
All of the 11 Tigers who competed at the Area Meet Saturday in Social Circle qualified to go to state this Friday and Saturday at Adairsville (competition starts at noon on Friday), and the Tigers placed third in the area.
Jefferson, as expected, placed first with 210 points, followed by Social Circle with 173.5 points. Commerce had 172.
"I was real pleased," said Coach Joe Hames. "We wrestled the best we've wrestled all season. I've been telling the kids that the season is the buildup to area, which puts you in a position to go to state. We wrestled our best at the right time. Now, if we just wrestle that way this weekend, we'll be in good shape."
Four Tigers won first place.
Leading the pack was Lee Sorrow, who is now the CHS all-time leader in pins. He surpassed Wes Smith's 59 pins last week and now has 64. He wrestles at 145 pounds. So far, Sorrow hasn't lost. He'll face a big challenge at the state, said Hames, where he will likely meet Brookstone's Bickerstaff in the semifinal round.
That, of course, assumes both wrestlers reach that point.
Sorrow was third at 135 pounds last year and had a third-place finish in his sophomore year as well. Sorrow pinned Chase Howe of Wesleyan in the first period in the semifinal round, then did the same thing to Eli Carino of Social Circle in the finals.
Other first-place winners included:
·Blake Milford, 125. He pinned Joe Brinson of Buford in the second period in his first round, pinned Charlie Cook of Providence in the semifinals and pinned Jamie Pugh of Social Circle in the finals, also in the second period.
·Kevin Wilson, 160 pounds. He pinned Ryan Nord of Wesleyan in the first round, beat David Parks of Jefferson, 8-6, in the semifinals and beat Chris Swearengen of Social Circle in the finals.
·Justin David, 275 pounds. David pinned Jefferson's David Parks in the first round of the semifinal match, then pinned Josh Gauntt of Social Circle midway through the second period.
Other Tigers who qualified to go to state include:
·Jonathan Beasley, 112, who placed second. He defeated Brendon Gallagher of Wesleyan in the semifinal round with a second-period pin but was beaten 5-0 by Richard Andrews of Providence Academy in the finals.
·Wes Prickett, second, 130. He pinned David Murphy of Providence in the first period of the semifinal round, then lost to Jefferson's Blake Gooch in a first-period pin in the finals.
·Kyle Moore, second, 152. Moore pinned Alex Smith of Wesleyan in the first period of the first round, beat David Meadows of Providence 6-4 in the semifinal round and was beaten 8-4 in the finals by Jeremy Smith of Jefferson.
·Taylor Massey, second, 189. Massey beat Corey Hill of Jefferson, 11-5, in the semifinal round but fell to Tilnemo Dorsey of Social Circle, 14-5, in the finals.
·Greg Elrod, third, 135. Elrod beat Chip Douglas of Wesleyan 12-3 in the first round, only to be pinned in the first period of the semifinals by Scott Nix of Jefferson. He then lost to Josh Scoggins of Social Circle in the consolation finals with a third-period pin.
·Greg Gamble, fourth, 140. He lost the opening round to Buford's David Anderson on a first-period pin. In the consolation round, he beat Ray Ritcher, Wesleyan, 4-1 and in the consolation finals was pinned by Buford's David Anderson in the second round.
·Adam Cochran, fourth, 215. Cochran was pinned in the first period of his semifinal match by Tommy Peters of Social Circle. He pinned Wesleyan's Geoffrey Rowson in the second period of the consolation round, then fell to Buford's Nathan Tullis on a third-period pin in the consolation finals.
The Tigers have been without wrestlers in the 103 and 119-pound categories all year, and Nick Cox, who normally wrestles at 171, was unable to wrestle, due to an injury.

Two Raiders qualify for state wrestling tourney
Two Madison County Red Raiders - Matt Cleghorne and Richard Stowers - muscled their way into this week's Class AAA state wrestling tournament in the south Georgia town of Fitzgerald.
The tournament will be held Friday and Saturday.
Cleghorne, who has consistently been Madison County's most dominant wrestler this season, took second in the 119 lb. weight class in the Class AAA Area IV tournament in Augusta this past weekend. He lost to an Elbert County opponent in the finals.
"That's the first time I've had a wrestler in a championship match in the area tournament," said third-year Raider wrestling coach Greg Gaines.
Stowers earned a state berth by placing fourth in the 171 lb. weight division.
"He (Stowers) was the Cinderella story of the day," said Gaines.
Stowers, who was not seeded as one of the top wrestlers in his weight class, won three matches to secure a state tournament berth. These included victories over the third and fourth seeded wrestlers in the 171-lb. class.
Madison County placed sixth out of 12 teams with 63 total points. Loganville won the tournament, followed by Jackson County, Elbert County, Eastside and Winder. Those finishing behind the Raiders included Stephens County, Hart County, Cross Creek, Westside, Richmond Academy and Monroe.
"We didn't have as many qualify for state as I expected," said Gaines. "But we had six guys place and that's quite an accomplishment. Because if you think about it, that means that they (those who placed in the top four in their weight division) are one of the top 25 wrestlers in Class AAA."
Gaines said the Raiders had some tough breaks in the tournament. For instance, Randall Ballenger, one of Madison County's top wrestlers this season, was dropped on his head and forced to leave the tournament due to an injury in the fall. Ironically, Randall's brother, Jason, left the area tournament a couple of years ago after being dropped on his head.
Gaines said this had its "ups and downs."
"It was rocky," said Gaines. "We had sick and hurt guys. But we overcame that and beat some guys who had beat us before. I am proud of the guys."

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