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Top-seeded Spartans knocked off by Lovett

BUFORD -- With the season stretching from mid-November to mid-February, wrestling can become a grind as the matches stack up.

That may explain Saturday's Area 6-AA duals tournament as Lovett, the No. 2 seed, knocked off top-seeded Greater Atlanta Christian 39-28 to capture the title.

GAC did get six wins individually in the championship match against Lovett, but it wasn't enough in the end to take home the team crown.

Wins came from Caleb Bumpers (126), Will Parker (138), Ethan Tolbert (152), Zach Feuerbach (160), Dalton Duriez (170) and Parker Fair (220).

Bumpers, Feuerbach, Duriez and Fair also went 2-0 overall for the day, including Feuerbach and Fair getting both of their wins by pins.

Feuerbach picked up a win over Lovett's Patrick Keough, a runnerup at state in 2011, in the championship match.

After getting a bye in the opening round, GAC (28-5) moved into the finals by knocking off No. 4 seed Blessed Trinity 44-28 while Lovett defeated No. 3 seed Westminster 42-24 in the semifinals.

For GAC, it was a matter of battling hard, but coming up short in the championship match.

"We knew we had to get past Blessed Trinity and that was our focus at first," said GAC head coach Jeff Harsh. "We had to get the kids in the right spots to beat them. Once we got past Blessed Trinity, we didn't know enough about Lovett to do what we really wanted to.

"It's nice to see a team before you wrestling them, but we haven't seen Lovett wrestle or have any results. It's kind of tough to know where their strong points are. So it was tough to make any moves that would help out team."

That's not to say GAC didn't have some tremendous individual performances during the day.

"I'm very proud of our team," said Harsh. "We wrestled hard all the way. I knew we were the underdog even though we were the No. 1 seed. We had about the same winning percentage (as Lovett) this year and we've been pretty even in matches in the past. So we knew it would be competitive."

Lovett (18-2) got wins from Kyler Allen (108), James Hite (113), Jonathan Kopelman (120), Spencer Lee (132), Jack Young (145), Corey Erdoes (182), Patrick Emerson (195) and William Henegan (285) in the match against GAC.

Buford, the No. 6 seed, defeated No. 7 Cross Keys 84-0 in the opening round of the tournament.

But the Wolves fell to Blessed Trinity 57-24 in a consolation semifinal.

Blessed Trinity went on to defeat Westminster 60-17 in the consolation final.

GAC will move on to the state duals tournament this coming Friday and Saturday in Macon.

"It's a long season and you'll have good days and then days that aren't so good," said Harsh, "We had some great performances today and we look forward to the rest of the season."