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Eastside tops No. 1-ranked Stockbridge on the mats

COVINGTON - Eastside's wrestling team continues to head in the right direction after knocking off Gasports.com Class AAAA preseason No. 1-ranked Stockbridge in a 39-35 match at Stockbridge on Tuesday.

"Any time you go in and defeat the No. 1 team in the state, you savor it. I know it's not who we'll see down the road, but it's a great way to start this year. It's a testament to the hard work the boys have been putting in all year," Eastside coach Brandon Blakeman said. "There's really only four tournaments that matter, the two areas and the two states. But there are a couple here and there that you just want to win, too."

Jonathan Palmer, who was wrestling in his first match of the season at the 171-pound weight class, did not allow himself to get pinned, which gave senior Ardest Carter (189) the chance to win the match.

Carter pinned his opponent in the second period, clinching the victory for Eastside.

"The first thing I told him (Carter) is that's what you have to do to step up as a senior," Blakeman said. "He did what we expected him to do."

Before Carter's match, Trevor Bailey (135) beat state runner-up Nathan Allen 9-4.

The Eagles also took care of Alexander (51-24) and Fayette County (71-12) to improve to 11-0 this season.

"A lot of their guys are wrestling at a higher weight than they will come January and February. I only have a couple who are up a weight from where they're going to be, but I still have a couple that weren't there for various reasons," Blakeman said.

Seven Eastside wrestlers went undefeated in the quad-match.

Winning all their matches by falls were Cody Durden (103), Joel Stafford (119) and Carter.

Michael Green (125) had two pins and a forfeit, as did David Bender (152).

Brandon Cole (130) had one win by forfeit, one by pin and a 15-0 technical win over Fayette County.

Beside's beating Stockbridge's state runner-up, Bailey had a win by forfeit and a 7-1 win against Alexander.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.