COVINGTON - Newton's and Alcovy's wrestling teams prepared for their area duals with a three-way match with Grayson that showed some strong points and some weaknesses.
While both schools lost to Class AAAAA No. 8 Grayson, Alcovy lost 51-14 as Newton lost 48-15, Alcovy managed to hold off Newton in a 45-30 decision.
"We look like we need to going into the area duals. We're getting some momentum going and some confidence and I'm looking forward to this weekend," Alcovy coach Mike Mostek said.
With three matches left, Newton, trailing 36-27, had a good chance to make up some ground with three-time state qualifier Corey Ware taking his place on the mat in the 125-pound weight class spar against Alcovy junior varsity wrestler Calvin Dallas.
Not knowing he was an underdog, Dallas fought Ware hard, keeping the match tied 4-4 after the first round.
Ware was able to gain a slight 8-7 edge after the second round before finally beating Dallas 11-9.
"I don't think he had any idea who Corey was, that was the best part. I told him to go out there and make sure you don't get pinned, and he did it," Mostek said. "That was a huge match."
Dallas' performance seemed to spark the Tigers in the final two matches as Zach Barton (130) put the match away with a 10-5 win before Seth Parris (135) added another six points to Alcovy's total with a pin.
"It went back and forth, but we came out on the short end, so it wasn't too exciting for us," Newton coach Wes Cooper said. "It's a crosstown rival, and we always want to win. ... This match really means nothing, it's this weekend (Area 2-AAAAA team duals) that counts."
Alcovy started the match against Newton by bumping Adam Pollard and Travis Knight up a weight class from their regular 135- and 140-pound divisions.
The move gave Alcovy a 12-0 lead after both grapplers pinned their opponents in the first two matches.
"We gave up the pin at (140) in a close match that hurt us. That's a match that usually gets six points. Coach Mostek did a great job sending out Pollard to wrestle us, bumping Knight up," Cooper said. "He knew he had a chance to pull two wins like that, and it worked out for him."
Newton won four of the next five matches to lead 21-18.
Malachi Outlaw (160) got Alcovy's only win with a pin one minute, 40 seconds into the match.
Getting the wins for Newton were Tyler Hodges (152), Travis McDonald (171), Brandon Lawson (189) and Hosea Hines (215).
Newton did not hold on to the lead for long. David Jones (285) picked up a forfeit win before Jon Seymour (103) pinned his opponent in 44 seconds to take a 30-21 lead.
After Ryan Mitchell closed the gap for Newton with a pin at 112, Zach Watloa kept it a nine-point match with a pin at 119 with three matches left in the contest.
"They came through and we're going to carry that momentum to the (4-AAAA) area duals and try to be in Macon the following weekend," Mostek said.
Manny Fils can be reached at email@example.com.