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Lions rally around unlikely heroes

Photo: David McGregor. Peachtree Ridge's Jon Rodriguez tries to put Brookwood's Sean Savice on his back during their 125-pound match Wednesday at Brookwood. Rodriguez won the match 12-6.

Photo: David McGregor. Peachtree Ridge's Jon Rodriguez tries to put Brookwood's Sean Savice on his back during their 125-pound match Wednesday at Brookwood. Rodriguez won the match 12-6.

SNELLVILLE -- With four of its starters out of the lineup, the Peachtree Ridge wrestling team had to rely on some unlikely heroes on Wednesday.

Mac Shiver overcame a 12-point deficit in the third period and sophomore Cameron Hodges' pin sealed a 43-28 win over host Brookwood.

"I was proud of those two," Peachtree Ridge coach Danny Sinnott said.

The Lions (18-9) were without Jeno Lee, Nick Hoang and Gwinnett County champions Michael Chapman and Josh Bloodworth, but their backups were able to make the most of the opportunity. Dylan Cox (pin) and J.J. Harry (decision) picked up wins as they filled in the lineup.

"I was so proud for the guy that filled in for them," Sinnott said.

After Jon Daniel's pin at 119 pounds, Brookwood led 28-22 with four matches left. Peachtree Ridge's Jon Rodriguez cut the lead in half with a decision, but it looked like Brookwood (25-5) was about to pull away with the dual at 130 pounds.

Jacob Daniel led 14-2 going into the third period when the Lions' Shiver pulled a comeback, pinning Daniel midway through the period.

"It was defiantly a momentum boost," Rodriguez said of Shiver's pin. "I was hoping he could pull off the win and once he did, I knew we would win it."

Hodges followed with a first-period pin to seal the win and Dylan Cox added the Lions' fifth pin of the night.

"I truly felt we could have pulled it out," Brookwood coach Chris Cicora said. "You just can't give up bonus points in a dual. It's a learning process and we're not sitting here with four-year veterans in the lineup."

The dual was back-and-fourth to start, with the Lions' Drew Harrison and Brookwood's Greg Cordle picking up pins. Tsvetomir Petroshev had a major decision for the Lions and Chris Roman won 8-0 for the Broncos.

Peachtree Ridge took a 16-10 lead after Harry's decision and Brownlow's 6-5 win. Brookwood's Vinny Ogbonnia tied it 16-16 with a second-period pin.

C.J. Johnson had a third-period pin for the Lions and Brookwood's Sean Thomas pinned in the second period. After Jon Daniel's win at 119, Brookwood lost the next four matches, including three by pin.

"That was the toughest we wrestled all year," Rodriguez said. "The guys are starting to get tougher now."

Peachtree Ridge failed to qualify for the state duals last weekend, but Wednesday's win helped ease the pain by beating a Brookwood team that qualified for state.

"That's what I told the guys afterward. You just beat an area champ from a pretty good area by a decent margin," Sinnott said. "You sucked it up and wrestled tonight. They wrestled tough and got after it. It was a good booster going into region and state."