The visitors must have missed the poster about no bullying allowed at Lakeside High School.
The Cross Creek High School wresters had a chip on their shoulders when they arrived Saturday at Lakeside, and with a show of force during the Region 3-AAAA dual tournament, the Razorbacks left with a championship.
Before the grappling began, Cross Creek was fighting mad about being seeded No. 2 behind Jones County.
"Things were in an uproar because all the region teams didn't wrestle each other," Lakeside coach Randy Hill said. "Cross Creek felt they should have been a No. 1 seed, since they wrestled in more region matches than Jones County."
As it turned out, Cross Creek was given a No. 2 seed, but the Razorbacks proved to be the best, as they stormed through the double-elimination event and defeated Lakeside in the finals.
Lakeside advanced to the championship match with wins over Greenbrier and Jones County. The Panthers faltered in the finals, though, and could not earn their third straight region crown.
Cross Creek trailed Lakeside heading into the last three weight classes. From there, the Razorbacks recorded three pins in quick succession to top the Panthers 39-27.
Hill clearly was aggravated that his team gave Cross Creek a chance to come back - one Panther blew a lead with 14 seconds to go in his match, and the Razorbacks picked up six more points when a match was cut short because a Panther was penalized for unnecessary roughness.
That potential nine-point swing derailed Lakeside's quest for a three-peat.
"Some questionable things happened. I wish I could say they physically beat us," Hill said. "We've just got to get better. That's all I can say."
Greenbrier battled against long odds Saturday. The Wolfpack drew an extra match to begin the tournament, and after winning that opener with Hephzibah, had to square off with Lakeside.
The Pack lost that showdown, and eventually settled for fourth place.
"The boys were tired, but they hung in there," Greenbrier coach Mike Meyer said. "We're looking forward to the individual region meet in two weeks, because we've actually done better in individual tournaments than in team duals. We're hoping that we can send a bunch of individuals to state."
There was some good news for Lakeside - the second-place finish in the region duals qualified the team for the Georgia High School Association Class AAAA dual championships this Friday and Saturday at Lakeside High and Lakeside Middle schools.
"I wish we could have won region, but at least we qualified for the state tournament," Hill said.
The state meet features 16 teams competing in a double-elimination format. Action begins at 4 p.m. Friday and continues Saturday at 9 a.m.
The Greater Augusta Sports Council helped land the event, and Lakeside's reputation on the mat certainly didn't hurt.
"The GHSA knows we run the region meet, and other schools in the state realize we know a little something about wrestling," said Hill, who was thrilled that Lakeside was chosen to showcase the best wrestling teams in the state. "This might give Augusta a little more notoriety in wrestling."
Region 3-AAAA dual wrestling tournament results:
Winner's bracket: Greenbrier beat Hephzibah, 60-24; Baldwin beat Glenn Hills, 72-21; Cross Creek beat Burke County, 51-27; Jones County beat Butler, 54-29; Lakeside beat Greenbrier, 48-28.
Consolations: Butler beat Hephzibah, 54-48; Burke County beat Glenn Hills, 59-30; Greenbrier beat Butler, 54-30.
Semifinals: Cross Creek beat Baldwin, 54-29; Jones County beat Burke County, 50-28. Consolation semis: Greenbrier beat Baldwin, 54-29; Jones County beat Burke County, 50-28.
Consolation finals: Jones County beat Greenbrier, 43-30.
Finals: Cross Creek beat Lakeside, 39-27.
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