FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Hixson and East Ridge both won their respective matches in the consolation round here at the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center and met each other for third place Saturday afternoon in the TSSAA State Duals wrestling championships
Hixson won the second meeting of the season by a slim 39-37 margin.
Hixson bolted to a 15-0 lead at the start and at one point had a 27-7 advantage following Dylan Bargerstock's pin at 182.
East Ridge then recorded consecutive pins from Brandon Cantrell at 195, C.
J. Baker at 220 and Will Garner at 285 to get within 27-25, but Hixson regained the upper hand with forfeits in the next two matches and even though Brandon Whitley and Spencer Griffy finished the match with pins for the Pioneers, those two forfeits sealed the deal for Hixson.
"They're just a bunch of comeback kids," said an obviously happy Hixson coach Garrick Hall after the match ended.
"We've fought through adversity and didn't quit when we could have. We had to win three matches today and it took a complete team effort. The biggest keys for us included getting bonus points in key matches and staying off our backs.
"For us to come back like we did is unbelievable. I'm tired of finishing third, but I'll take it," Hall said after his team finished in that spot for the third straight year.
East Ridge finished the tournament with two wins and two losses and are now 26-9 for the season. Coach Brad Laxton felt like those three forfeits were simply too much for his kids to overcome against a team like Hixson.
"We had too many holes in our lineup. We tried to bump some kids around, but it didn't work. Both teams did a good job of coming back today, but we just didn't get it done. Hixson was just better than we were today.
"I'm not as happy as I would have been if we had won, but I couldn't be more proud of our effort. We came out here and gave our best effort and that's all I was asking for. Now it's time to get ready for the region tournament," he added.
While Pigeon Forge and Greeneville will battle for the A-AA state title here at the TSSAA State Duals wrestling tournament, Hixson won twice on Saturday morning while East Ridge won its only match to set up the battle for third.
"Is my hair looking more gray than it did?" asked East Ridge coach Brad Laxton after the nail-biting one-point win over MLK.
"That's just too close, but the kids wrestled hard. Last night, things didn't go our way, but today's been different. We have one more to go," he added, knowing that the match with Hixson was next.
Hixson's day began with a 60-24 romp over Sycamore while the Wildcats had to work a little harder to get past Stone Memorial, coming on strong in the late weights to defeat Stone Memorial, 43-30.
CONSOLATION FINAL FOR THIRD PLACE
HIXSON 39, EAST RIDGE 37
(Match started at 132 Pounds)
106 -- Konnor Ziegler (H) won by forfeit;
113 -- Travis Roberson (H) won by forfeit;
120 -- Brandon Whitley (ER) pinned Grayson Layne, 1:03;
126 -- Spencer Griffy (ER) pinned Steven Skalvenitis, 2:17;
132 -- Isaiah Hawthorne (H) won by forfeit;
138 -- Landon Goforth (H) pinned Ramon Bautista, 3:01;
145 -- Ameer Jibrin (H) dec. Robert McAvoy, 4-2;
152 -- Kendall Small (ER) major dec. Nick Peck, 12-0;
160 -- Nick Alemany (H) pinned Tabrin Walker, 1:05;
170 -- DeAngelo Johnson (ER) dec. Chris Nicholson, 10-4;
182 -- Dylan Bargerstock (H) pinned Nakota Culver, 2:49;
195 -- Brandon Cantrell (ER) pinned John Green, :54;
220 -- C.J. Baker (ER) pinned William Walden, :35;
285 -- Will Garner (ER) pinned Rasaan Sanders, 1:07.
HIXSON 60, SYCAMORE 24
(Match started at 120 Pounds)
106 -- Brandon Waugh (S) pinned Konnor Ziegler, 3:10;
113 -- Grayson Layne (H) pinned Austin Henley, 4:40;
120 -- Steven Sklavenitis (H) pinned Seth Douglas, 3:33;
126 -- Isaiah Hawthorne (H) pinned Michael Chandler, :41;
132 -- Landon Goforth (H) pinned James Eads, 2:50;
138 -- Ronny Huff (H) won by forfeit;
145 -- Ameer Jibrin (H) pinned Devin Kimble, 2:59;
152 -- Mike Binns (S) pinned Nick Peck, 2:49;
160 -- Nick Alemany (H) pinned Nick Sharpe, :30;
170 -- Chris Nicholson (H) pinned Peyton Harris, 3:30;
182 -- Dylan Bargerstock (H) pinned Ian Barnes, 1:59;
195 -- Tony Seay (S) pinned McKenzie Martin, 1:55;
220 -- William Wallen (H) pinned Logan Hayes, 1:30;
285 -- Cody Fuller (S) pinned Mitchell Bird, 3:52.
EAST RIDGE 40, MARTIN LUTHER KING 39
(Match started at 126 Pounds)
106 -- Double forfeit;
113 -- Desmond Moss (MLK) won by forfeit;
120 -- Brandon Whitley (ER) pinned Dennis Manko, 1:10;
126 -- Glen Rury-Miller (MLK) won by forfeit;
132 -- Spencer Griffy (ER) major dec. Matthew Mast, 14-6;
138 -- Robert McAvoy (ER) pinned Jonathan Day, 1:59;
145 -- Kendall Small (ER) pinned Avery Martin, 1:56;
152 -- Ronquai Love (MLK) pinned Josh Kilgore, 1:39;
160 -- Anania Woldetensaye (MLK) dec. DeAngelo Johnson, 8-6 in overtime;
170 -- Phillip Hardy (MLK) pinned Tabrin Walker, 5:03;
182 -- Robert Turner Jr. (MLK) pinned Nakota Culver, 1:11;
195 -- Brandon Cantrell (ER) won by forfeit;
220 -- C.J. Baker (ER) pinned Will Moore, :17;
285 -- William Garner (ER) won by forfeit.
HIXSON 43, STONE MEMORIAL 30
(Match started at 126 Pounds)
106 -- Konnor Ziegler (H) pinned Zachary McAdoo;
113 -- Grayson Layne (H) major dec. Cody McCarl, 13-4;
120 -- Steven Sklavenitis (H) won by forfeit;
126 -- Isaac Yates (H) pinned Brendan Carter, 3:22;
132 -- Isaiah Hawthorne (H) pinned Ismael Matias, 1:14;
138 -- Dakota McAdoo (SM) pinned Landon Goforth, 1:02;
145 -- Ameer Jibrin (H) pinned Tristian Hassler, :57;
152 -- Darren Rosser (SM) pinned Nick Peck, 2:26;
160 -- Joseph Giattino (SM) won by forfeit;
170 -- Cody Caruthers (SM) dec. Tarik Twitty, 12-9;
182 -- Chris Nicholson (H) pinned Landon Barlow, 1:06;
195 -- Justin Johnson (SM) dec. Dylan Bargerstock, 7-3;
220 -- McKenzie Martin (H) dec. Chase Eichner, 5-4;
285 -- Alexander Norris (SM) pinned William Wallen.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)