The Area 6-AA wrestling duals proved to be another battle among four strong teams: Social Circle, Elbert County, Oglethorpe County and Banks County.
By the end of the duals, five-time-defending state champ Social Circle won the area again, leaving the second and final spot up for grabs, which ultimately went to Elbert County.
Banks County didn't advance to the state duals in Macon after its fourth-place finish. The Leopards nearly knocked off Social Circle in its quest for Macon.
"First, I think we have four teams in our area that are very capable of finishing high at the state duals," head coach Kasey Hanley said. "I am very disappointed that we aren't advancing ... I truly feel we were capable of it."
The Leopards started the day off good, Hanley said, with a win over Union County. The duals win put the Leopards in the semifinals, where they met Social Circle.
"We had a few (wrestlers) that came in to the duals with some injuries," Hanley said. "Two of the injured wrestlers got worse while there. We lost to the five-time-defending state champions by one match. I think we lost two matches that we should have won and we also gave up a forfeit."
The final score was 45-36.
In the consolation bracket, the Leopards wrestled Monticello in the semifinals and won, which set up a showdown with Oglethorpe County in the consolation finals.
"We wrestled a very good Oglethorpe team," Hanley said. "Oglethorpe wrestled with a ton of heart, and we just didn't. I know they were still reeling from the Social loss, but in the end, Oglethorpe wanted it more."
Hanley added the focus for the team now shifts to the area individuals.