Immediately after finishing off Kell in the consolation finals of the Area 5-AAAAA Tournament, Alexander wrestlers and coaches turned their chairs to face the Allatoona against South Paulding match.
After a South Paulding wrestler was pinned in the final seconds of a late match, Alexander saw its chances of making state for a seventh straight season disappear.
The Cougars finished third at the area dual meet, and will now turn its focus to the traditional championships.
“It is definitely disappointing and not we we came here for,” Alexander wrestler London Dubroc said. “Now we have to go back and tighten up and get ready for individual state.”
Alexander lost 37-27 in the semifinals to South Paulding sending the Cougars to the consolation finals. However, the Cougars had a chance to get into a rematch had South Paulding defeated Allatoona.
“We lost a lot of toss up matches to South Paulding,” Dubroc said.
“It is awful that we don’t get to go to state,” Alexander senior wrestler Austin Starnes said. “I really don’t know what to say. We just got outworked. It is time to get back to the wrestling room and put in some work.”
Alexander will host the traditional area meet on Jan. 29-30 with the Sectional meet being held Feb. 5-6 at Allatoona. The state meet is Feb. 11-13 at the Gwinnett Center.
“We are now focusing on individual meets,” senior Leo Alysworth said. “We have to get better and we will do that by putting in some hard work in the room. We know know what we have to do.”
Alexander graduated 16 seniors from last season’s team but was looking to reload for any shot at going to state. Cougars coach Sean Moistner was pleased at the way his team responded after the loss to South Paulding.
The Cougars defeated Hiram 66-18 as they won the last eight matches, six by pins.
“Wrestling is a weird sport because after the South Paulding match we had 10 minutes to get ready for Hiram,” Moistner said. “The kids responded to that and beat Hiram soundly.”
Following a brief break, Alexander defeated Kell 57-20 to finish in third place.
“This is a tough area with some very good teams,” Moistner said. “I think we could beat half the qualifiers for state. We just have to refocus now and get ready for the traditional meet.”