Photo by Ben Beitzel

Photo by Ben Beitzel

LILBURN -- Parkview wrestling coach Chris Hardin said before Saturday's finals he would be shocked if his team won the Gwinnett County championship.

The Panthers were without four starters and entered a wrestler in just 12 of the 14 weight classes.

With a 10-point lead over Peachtree Ridge going into the finals the host Panthers took care of business in the championship round to win their 13th county title.

"I still can't believe we won it," Hardin said afterward.

Parkview scored 156.5 points to hold off second-place Peachtree Ridge (146), North Gwinnett (137), Dacula (135) and Brookwood (129.5) to win the county title for the second year in a row.

The Panthers had seven wrestlers place in the top four led by county champions Eric Kavis (103 pounds), Kevin Ulmer (130), Clint Jones (140) and Taz Torbit (125) was second.

"They just wrestled great. Four in the finals, that was big in the win," Hardin said. "It was nice to defend the team championship from last year. It was really a total team effort."

The tournament did not feature two-time defending state champion Collins Hill. The Eagles brought their No. 2 varsity team to the county meet, while the No. 1 varsity competed in an out-of-state tournament.

Peachtree Ridge had three county champions to finish second for the second year in a row.

"It's a tough county, so we're happy and pleased with second," Peachtree Ridge coach Danny Sinnott said.

Josh Bloodworth (135), Drew Harrison (145) and Michael Chapman (160) won county titles for the Lions.

But the difference was in the consolation round where Parkview scored much of its points.

"That's where Parkview picked up a lot," Sinnott said. "The consolations will win a tournament big time. We just have so many inexperienced guys that need mat time that it was tough to make up those points."

In his second year as North Gwinnett's head coach, Phil Daniel led the Bulldogs to a third-place finish with a lineup that featured three seniors. Greg Epps won the 119-pound title as the Bulldogs had six place in the top four.

"We're getting there. We're going in the right direction. We had two starters out and that right there would have made a difference," Daniel said.

"All-in-all I was very pleased. I wasn't expecting this, I was hoping for top five."

Dacula's Brandon Bullock (112), Grayson's Nick Isburgh (125), Zach George (152) and Brandon Cassady (215), Collins Hill's Michael Spikes (160), South Gwinnett's Daniel Bittle (189) and Central Gwinnett's Jacob Aiken-Phillips (285) also won county championships.