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Cass tops South Effingham
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Chad Tucker and the South Effingham Mustangs wrestling team went nose to nose with Cass before falling to the Colonels at the Class AAA state duals. - photo by File photo

As the fear of snow and ice cut short the Class AAA state wrestling duals, it not only left unanswered which team was best, but which teams were close.

Cass and Henry County didn’t meet each other on the mat to determine the state champion Saturday at the Macon Centreplex. The two teams couldn’t settle on a format — the tourney was altered drastically so the north Georgia schools could head home before the winter weather moved in — to decide a winner, so they each left with a share of the championship.

“A lot of schools weren’t even wrestling their third- and fourth-place matches,” South Effingham coach Tom Onorato said. “It’s kind of unfortunate. It was a crazy day.”

Cass topped Gilmer in the semifinals, and Henry County beat Benedictine in the other semis.

After beating Cairo in the opener, the Mustangs fell to Cass in the second round. South Effingham notched wins over Apalachee and Hardaway but fell to Ola in its final consolation bracket match.

“We wrestled hard,” Onorato said. “We lost a couple of matches we needed to win. We wrestled with intensity.”

The Mustangs lost to the Cass Colonels 43-21 in the second round and earned the respect of their opponents in the process.

“The score doesn’t give them the credit they deserve,” Cass coach Jason Faklaris told the Cartersville Daily-Tribune.

“They’re the big dogs in South Georgia, but they don’t have the opportunity to schedule the teams we can because it’s a three-hour drive to Atlanta. They’re a quality team, but they just don’t get that chance to challenge themselves week in and week out.”