COVINGTON -- Alcovy's Hunter Smith was in a tough match but was able to hold off his opponent, giving the Tigers enough points to secure a 36-29 win for the Area 2-AAAAAA Dual Championship on Saturday.
The Tigers grabbed an early 18-5 lead after the first five matches of the bout. Rockdale surprised Alcovy with wins at the 170 and 182 to cut into the lead to make it 18-14.
"We took an early lead, then at 182, we expected to win that match because we've already beaten that kid twice," Alcovy head coach Mike Mostek said. "Then he got a pin and that put them right back in it. That's when it came down to the wire. After they got that pin, it really changed everything."
The Tigers increased their lead to 13 to make it 33-20 with three matches left when Rockdale's Alonzo Allen closed the gap to 33-26 following a pin.
In the 120-pound weight class, Hunter had control of the match until the Rockdale grappler saw his move and almost ended the match with a pin. After a few reversals and near pins by both wrestlers, a five-point advantage turned into a two-point win for Smith, putting the bout out of reach for Rockdale.
"(Smith) started to get up top where the guy can throw him and he got thrown to his back instead of staying under control hand fighting controlling the match," Mostek said. "Hopefully he can learn from that."
In the battle for the true second between Newton and Rockdale, Newton kept it close after the first two matches before the Bulldogs won the next four matches, taking a 28-3 lead. The Rams won the next two matches but Rockdale wrestlers had their hands raised in the final six matches for the 62-15 win.
As a result of Alcovy's championship win and Rockdale's runner-up finish, both teams earned a right to compete in the Class AAAAAA Team Duals Championship starting on Thursday at the Macon Centreplex.
"That's the main thing: advancing to Macon," Rockdale head coach Craig Hargrove said. "It's like I told our guys, we have to have the mindset that we've got to keep improving. We just have to fix our mistakes. Luckily we have a couple days of practice before we get down to Macon so we can fix those mistakes."