Jan. 23—The Lassiter wrestling program faced large odds heading into the Class AAAAAA state duals championship at Brunswick High School on Saturday.
Despite competing without a wrestler in the three highest weight classes, the Trojans found a way to win a match and came away with a top six finish in the final results.
Buford, the defending state champion, steamrolled its way to a second straight duals state title. The Wolves won their matches by an average of 47 points, claiming the title with a 48-23 victory over second-place Valdosta.
Brunswick claimed third place with a 33-32 win over Creekview. Lassiter got to face two of the top four teams in the event.
The Trojans opened the meet by falling to Buford 66-15. They came back to defeat another traditional state power, Richmond Hill, 43-31, before falling to Brunswick 46-21.
Individually, two-time individual state champion David Panone, and Carter Brickley each swept their matches.
Panone, wrestling at 138-pounds defeated Buford's Matthew Canavan with a 15-0 technical fall, Richmond Hill's Devin Wright with a 16-1 technical fall and then pinned Brunswick's Bruce Davis.
The 113-pound Brickley opened with an 8-0 major decision over Buford's Ty Gentry, then pinned Richmond Hill's Cody Willoughby and finished with a pin of Brunswick's Stunnar Hutchinson.
Three other members of the Trojans' squad won twice. Jacobee Connell (145) pinned Buford's DeFarris Nixon and earned a 17-1 technical fall over Richmond Hill's Bradley Barrett.
Samuel Gadsden (160) defeated Richmond Hill's Gaven Hill and Brunswick's Sebastian Hutchinson by decisions, and Anthony Fiorenza (170) pinned Richmond Hill's Owen Osden and then beat Brunswick's Titus Washington by decision.
Anath Manibushan (132), Alex Le (152), Noah Flisser (182) and Riley McElligott (106) each won one match on the day.