The Bradley Central Bears tuned up for what perhaps is the biggest match of the season Thursday in a showdown with Soddy-Daisy with a pair of big wins over East Hamilton and Rhea County …
Thursday's battle with the Trojans could essentially decide the postseason future for the Bears.
"This is basically our last week of regular season competition in our district duals week. We've got to knock the district and region opponents out," said Bears coach Ben Smith.
The Bears knocked out Rhea by a score of 63-6 and followed up with 60-22 win over East Hamilton.
"Coach (Taylor) Ownbey is doing a great job at Rhea getting that program built. He's got some tough kids," said Smith. "Coach (Ryan) Cooper at East Hamilton has lost some kids with injuries. They are kind of struggling a little bit with numbers, but they both brought quality kids and we were pushed at spots. We lost some matches against East Hamilton that I didn't think we would, but I knew we could. We lost some region seeds we will have a hard time getting back."
Hurricanes' injuries aside, the Bears wrestled to eight pins in the first meet against the East Hamilton and picked up five more against the Eagles.
With region duals approaching the Bears are still looking for the consistent intensity needed to get past Soddy-Daisy Thursday as they look to secure a berth in the upcoming state duals tournament.
"Any chance you get to wrestle in this gym under these lights you hope for a level of intensity you can't match. I didn't necessarily see that tonight. We've been kind of struggling with that this year. It's a fun group and I love this group, but I don't know how serious they take things sometimes,"said Smith. "Maybe I just took things to seriously. There's a balance there. When you beat several teams by 40, 50, 60 points you can't be too picky."
"Everything is in preparation for Thursday. It's the most important dual meet of the year prior to postseason. Technically it is our postseason because it will be our district dual championship."
Seth Gerena (152 pounds), Tyrone McDonald (182), Gavin Sewell (220), Ethan Wilson (106), Glen O'Daniel (113), Wesley DeVaney (120), Gavin Hughes (132) and Sabastian Hernandez (138) all walked away with six point wins for the Bears against East Hamilton.
Wilson, O'Daniel, DeVaney, McDonald and Sewell all took less than a minute to pin their opponents. Hughes, Falls and Gerena came through with first period pins.
O'Daniel, DeVaney, Johnson and McDonald also earned pins against Rhea County.
With the exception of a hole at 160 with the absence of Skyler Bradley, the Bears are for the most part set to go and will be looking to up the intensity against the Trojans.
"We're healthy for the most part. I did sit a couple of kids out with some skin [problems]. We're still trying to figure out how we're going to cover Skyler Bradley's spot at 160. He's out for the year," said Smith. "But, we're healthy, we're rested and we'll have a good day of practice then hopefully we'll get a step closer to going to the state tournament Thursday."
BRADLEY CENTRAL 63, EAST HAMILTON 6
(Meet started at 152)
106 — Ethan Wilson (BC) pinned Davis Clark, 0:18; 113 — Glen O'Daniel (BC) pinned Cale Boyd, 0:47; 120 — Wesley DeVaney (BC) pinned pinned Christopher Roberson, 0:23; 126 — Daniel Mroz (BC) dec. Seth Carpenter, 7-4; 132 — Gavin Hughes (BC) pinned MacLain Ottin, 1:31; 145 — Brance Falls (BC) pinned Jeremiah Chopane, 1:28 152 — Seth Gerena (BC) pinned Michael Wiren, 1:11 160 — Double forfeit; 170 — Cade Meeks (EH) dec. Trey Johnson, 8-3; 182 — Tyrone McDonald (NC) pinned Amari Reel, 0:35; 195 — Jason Brumlow (EH) dec. D.J. Gibson, 5-3; 220 — Gavin Sewell (BC) pinned Griffin Towe, 0:45; 285 — Eddie McCall (BC) win by forfeit.
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