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Rockdale wrestling finishes third at South Metro

JONESBORO -- It was another impressive weekend for the Rockdale wrestling team. The Bulldogs had three individual champions and seven overall placers in finishing third at the South Metro Tournament at Mt. Zion-Jonesboro High School.

Ulises Ponce dominated the 132-pound weight class, securing a pair of pins and a major decision before winning 12-0 in the finals to capture lightweight Outstanding Wrestler honors.

Two-time state runner-up Alonzo Allen won at 113 pounds, winning a 4-2 decision in the title match. Anthony Banks wasted no time in the finals, getting a first-period pin to win the 170-pound crown.

"Really happy," said Rockdale coach Craig Hargrove. "Ponce, he had the best tournament I've ever seen him wrestle. Banks, he went right out and got a first period pin, he went right to work and was able to get the guy on his back early. It's still early in the season, he's definitely got some improvement to do, easy fixes for sure. Overall, you can't complain with winning the South Metro and pinning your opponent in the finals."

Ronzell Teague finished fifth at 126 pounds, Cliff Cassura was fifth at 138, Luis Galindo placed fourth at 182 and Moises Mendez was unseeded, but came back to finish fifth at 220.

Newton County was represented by nine individual placers.

Eastside finished seventh, led by 152-pound champion Kevin Thompson, who remained unbeaten on the season at 21-0. Misha Felton finished second at 132 pounds, losing to Ponce in the 132-pound final, and Tyler Campbell was third at 160.

Alcovy had four placers and finished eighth as a team. Justin Howell (145 pounds) and Kamari Williams (182) each placed third, while heavyweight Ryan Adams was fourth at 285 and Austin Richardson, sixth at 160.

Newton, 14th in the team standings, had A.J. Palomino finish third at 220 and Jose Rivera fifth at 145.

Heritage had five medalists, led by third-place finisher Julian George at 152 pounds and fourth-place Joseph Timmons at 132, which helped the Conyers school finish 13th. The Patriots' other placers included Marco Harris (fifth at 113), Mitch Clemens (fifth at 160) Damon Redding (sixth at 220).

Salem's Reggie Hurt placed fourth at 120 pounds to lead the Seminoles to a 20th-place finish.

"We had a pretty good weekend all around," said Salem coach Tim Owens. "I was not disappointed in the way we wrestled."