Rockdale ends tournament with 4-1 record
Newton finishes 3-2, Alcovy goes 2-3 at meet

SOCIAL CIRCLE - Rockdale's wrestlers continued to show improvement on the season, finishing the Social Circle Invitational with a 4-1 record Tuesday.

However, the finish tied Commerce, who won the event beating out the Bulldogs in a head-to-head tiebreaker.

Rockdale could have won the six-team dual event if Newton had beaten Social Circle in the final match, putting the teams into a three-way tie.

Unfortunately for Rockdale, the Rams lost their last two matches, giving Commerce the trophy.

"I don't think we finished up very well. We ended up losing the last two matches to teams we'd already beaten. We have a few out of our lineup but that's no excuse," Newton coach Wes Cooper said. "The other guys have got to step up and be able to replace those guys and finish strong. We didn't do that today."

Newton finished the tournament with a 3-2 record, while Alcovy closed out the day going 2-3.

"All the teams here were quality teams. We just have some work to do. Right now they're a little bit better than us," Alcovy coach Mike Mostek.

"We have to get to work. We're making mistakes in every position. We have a couple of weeks to try to work on it and that's what we'll focus on the next two weeks."

In head-to-head matches of local teams, Rockdale beat Newton (54-22) and Alcovy (42-30), while Newton split with a win over Alcovy (54-22) in its first match of the day.

"We had a great first half of the season. I told these guys to take this time off, we have about a five-day break, and heal up and enjoy the time off with their family. Hopefully, we'll come back the last half of the season and get even better," Rockdale coach Craig Hargrove said.

Newton jumped out to an early lead against Alcovy, taking an 18-6 lead after four matches. Alcovy's only points came on a forfeit.

But Alcovy battled back, winning three of the next five matches to cut Newton's lead to 27-24.

After Travis McDonald (171-pound weight class) and Brandon Lawson (189) put the Rams up by 12 points, Newton's Alan Amancio sealed Alcovy's fate with a pin at the 215 match.

Also winning for Newton were Zach Hutchenson (112), Corey Ware (119), Carl Collins (130), Aaron Reynolds (140) and Tyler Hodges (152).

Rockdale showed no mercy against the Rams in their match, winning eight matches by pins, including one forfeit.

Newton also benefited from forfeits as 12 of their 22 points were forfeit wins.

Getting pins for Rockdale were Akheel Character (103), Luis Ponce (130), Eris Banks (135), Darryl Banksfield (145), Muhamad Bois (152), Kafuba Donzon (160), Jimmy Brown (171) and Jarrett Grady (285).

Also getting wins were Rashaud Ferrell (189) and Michael Taylor (215).

"For the most part everybody had wrestled well but at the same time made mistakes that killed us," Cooper said.

In the final match of the meet, Alcovy took a 12-0 lead with an Adam Pollard pin at 135 and a forfeit at 140.

After Rockdale cut its lead to 12-9, Malachai Outlaw (160) put the Tigers back up by six points with an 8-4 win.

Both teams fought hard, but Rockdale slowly gained ground tying the score at 30 with two matches to go.

Rockdale's Jose Robledo (125) put the Bulldogs up by six points before Ponce sealed the win with a pin.

"When matches come down to the last match you always want it to fall on a senior. You can't pick a better one than Luis Ponce," Hargrove said. "It was good to see it end that way."

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