After losing the first six matchups on Thursday night, the Tullahoma High School boys wrestling team saw its season end with a 45-33 home loss to Oakland in the first round of the Region 5 Tournament.
The Wildcats entered as District 10’s number one seed after capturing the district title on Tuesday for the eighth-straight season. The Wildcats defeated Warren County 36-28 to win the district title in McMinnville on Tuesday.
Wildcats rally for district championship
On Tuesday night, Tullahoma won the district, despite falling behind 16-0 after forfeiting (six points each) its first two matchups, and losing by a major decision (four points). In fact, the Wildcats fell behind 22-6 before closing out the match with seven wins in the final eight bouts.
Cole Morse got Tullahoma on the scoreboard after winning by forfeit, making the score 16-6. However, Warren County won the next two matchups by decision (three points apiece) to lead 22-6.
Landen Willette, Aaron Champion, Elijah Cowan and Trint Partin followed with wins, cutting the Wildcats’ deficit down to 22-21. Wilette led off that run by pinning De’Ark Lewis with 17 seconds remaining in the first round.
Champion followed by winning a 9-7 decision over Stephen Curtis. Cowan also won by decision, notching a 10-5 win over Kalah Lusk. Partin added an 8-3 decision over Noah O’Shields.
Warren County extended its lead with a win in the next bout in order to open up a 28-21 advantage. Issac Gillentine pinned Brett Smith with 49 seconds left in the opening period.
Tullahoma went on to close out the match with three-straight wins, to secure the victory. Hunter Parks led off that run for the Wildcats, after he pinned Zach Parson with 32 seconds left in the third round, cutting the score to 28-27.
Christian Jordan put Tullahoma in front in the next matchup. Jordan defeated Timothy Jerrigan by way of a 6-3 decision, giving the Wildcats a 30-28 lead.
Tydrell Mitchell closed out the match with a pinfall victory for the Wildcats. Mitchell pinned Jeremiah Miller in the third round, helping his team wrap up the district title.
Oakland dominates in win
Like Tuesday night, the Wildcats fell in an early hole, and trailed 36-0. Unlike last time, the Wildcats weren’t able to rally and only picked up one victory against an actual opponent.
Tullahoma lost the first four matchups against Oakland by pinfall, while having to forfeit two additional bouts. Brayden Bouma and Zacari Lillard went unopposed in their matchups.
Charlie Carson led off the matches with a win over Hunter Parks. Carson pinned Parks 14 seconds into the third round.
Jacob Crabill then defeated Christian Jordan with 52 seconds remaining in the second period. Kameron Bingham pinned Jacquez Elliott with 54 seconds left in the opening round, while Peter Keating pinned Tydrell Mitchell 19 seconds into the second period.
With his team trailing 36-0, Hayden Malone picked up a decision victory in a tightly contested battle. During that matchup, Oakland’s Chastain Stokes led 5-4 at the start of the third period. However, Malone scored a late takedown to score the win and to make the score 36-3.
However, Oakland followed with back-to-back wins to increase its lead to 45-3. In a scoreless battle after two periods, Tyler Vanderheyden defeated Caleb Adkins by way of a 4-0 decision. Jaxsen Nicuwimer then pinned Dallen Nunley 40 seconds into the second period.
With five matches remaining, Oakland seized the match and forfeited the final bouts, making the score 45-33. Jerzy Hendrix, Willette, Champion, Cowan and Partin all went unopposed in their matchups.
Blackman beats Oakland
After beating Tullahoma, Oakland advanced to face Blackman in the Region 5 Championship bout. The Blaze were coming off of a 62-13 win over Warren County in the first round of the region championship.
With the wins in the opening round of the region tournament, Oakland and Blackman both earned a seat into the TSSAA State Duals Tournament. That tournament gets underway on Friday and concludes on Saturday.
In the region championship matchup, Blackman controlled the action, winning 46-21. This is the fifth-straight season that the Blaze have won the Region 5 Title.