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Jasper wins 5A Duals title over Tallassee


Courtesy of the AHSAA

BIRMINGHAM – After 13 individual matches in the in Friday’s Class 5A Wrestling Duals championship match, Tallassee High School clung to a 33-32 lead over Jasper with only the 120-pound matchup remaining.
That made the meeting between Jasper freshman Kortez Samuels and Tallassee’s Brady Adams into a winner-take-all affair.
Samuels (28-2) scored five quick points in the opening seconds and pinned Adams in the second period, clinching the 5A Duals title for the Vikings. Jasper won 38-33 at Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham Crossplex.
“I knew we were down one point, and I had to give my team my best,” Samuels said.
Otis said he had confidence in Samuels, despite his 120-pounder being a freshman. “We knew with the pressure, he’d be able to handle it,” Otis said.
Jasper captured its first wrestling title since winning the traditional state tournament in 1971, when the school was known as Walker County and all schools were in a single tournament with no classifications.
“Wrestling at Jasper, aka Walker, wasn’t great for a long time,” Otis said. “The last few years, we’ve been competitive. I’m just extremely proud.”
Jasper led 32-23 after 11 matches, but Tallassee’s Rutland Phillips won by pin at 108 pounds and Mason Nelson earned a major win to give the Tigers a 33-32 lead. Samuels’ pin then won it for the Vikings.
Three other Jasper wrestlers joined Samuels with pinfall wins – Antonio Nash (132 pounds), Carter Reed (160 pounds) and Colin Langley (285 pounds).
Tallassee, coached by John Mask, got consecutive pin victories by Ethan Jones (138 pounds, Land Bell (145 pounds) and Christian McCary (152 pounds).
In the consolation match, Gulf Shores scored back-to-back pinfall victories by Hayden Cook at 113 pounds and Noah Guthrie at 120 pounds to earn a 37-27 victory over Hayden to take third place. Gulf Shores got four pins in the last five matches to rally for the win.
For Hayden, coached by Samuel Crane, Bentley Briscoe (152 pounds) and Harley Briscoe (106 pounds) earned pinfall wins.
Jasper’s victory gave Walker County two champions Friday. Dora won the 1A-4A duals crown earlier in the day.