Alexander wrestled without defending state champion Roman Boylen and had trouble scoring points in key matches in what ended up being a disappointing 42-31 loss to the Trojans.
“Really it should be us, Gilmer, Carrollton and West Laurens,” Alexander co-head coach Sean Moistner said. “The order’s the order. One night they’re going to win and another night we’re going to win. We’re all that close and we knew that.”
Moistner said he’s got wrestlers in only three weight classes out of 14 that are competing at the weight they’ll be at when the region duals roll around.
“I just don’t believe in cutting weight this early,” he said.
Alexander got pins from Bryce Hollomon at 120 pounds and Cody Starnes at 126 pounds to start the meet.
Carrollton’s Jake Adcock, a state champion last year as a freshman, pinned Alexander’s Ryan Ashe at 132 pounds and Chris Achenbach lost a 17-4 decision that got the Trojans within two at 12-10 in team points.
Tony Johnson, wrestling for Alexander at 145 pounds, held a 9-1 lead over Carrollton’s Alex Molina in the third period, when he was disqualified.
Cody Dickerson won his match at 152 by technical fall, 22-7, to put the Cougars back up 17-16 in what would be their last lead of the night.
At 160 pounds, Alexander’s O’Neal Thompson was pinned by Carrollton’s Turner Martin with 1:30 to go in the second period as Carrollton took a 22-17 lead.
Alexander forfeited the 170-pound match with Carrollton’s Taylor Lujan, a state champion as a freshman last year when he went 59-0.
Deandre Sims had a big technical fall at 182 pounds for Alexander, winning 26-11 in the third period against Carrollton’s Dan Harris, who was fourth at state last year.
“That kid’s a beast,” Moistner said. “[Sims is] exactly what we want the other 13 kids to look at and say, ‘This is what I want to be like.’ That’s what I need the other kids to understand is he’s a good model. He didn’t get frustrated. He didn’t allow himself to get taken out of what he was trying to do on that mat. He did a good job. “
Spencer Gray (195) and William Brown (220) both lost major decisions for Alexander. Maverick Way battled through two scoreless periods with Carrollton’s Cole Grommen at 285 pounds before pulling out a 3-1 decision.
Austin Starnes lost via pin at 106 and Trae Green won by pin over Carrollton’s Bryan Johnson at 113 pounds to end the meet.