Lexington junior Alex Morales was named the most outstanding upper-weights wrestler at the massing Southern Slam tournament last weekend at Eastside.
Morales helped the Wildcats, ranked No. 5 in Class 4A by scmat.com, finish in eighth-place in the 31-team event that attracted top teams from round the Southeast. White Knoll, ranked No. 12 in 4A, also made the trip to Taylors and had a respectable 15th-place finish.
But Morales as the Midlands story at the elite tournament, going 5-0 to win the 171-pound championship. A year ago, Morales went 48-8 and placed fourth at 160 pounds at the 4A state tournament. He made quick work of it against his first three foes with first period pins. Morales beat hometown favorite David Dawkins, 8-4 in the semifinals. The Eastside star is a three-time 3A state qualifier who was the state runner-up at 160 last season. Morales then defeated West-Oak’s Phillip Kern, 10-5, in the title bout.
Scott Tyndale, Garrett Corbett and Derrick Eden were Lexington’s other place finishers. Tyndale won three straight decisions to advance to the 125 finals, but ran into a tough foe in Greer’s Jonathan Wright, who won the 119 state title in 3A last season. Wright emerged with a 4-1 in the title bout. Corbett and Eden both came away with fifth-place finishes. Corbett had a 4-2 record at 119, while Eden was 3-2 at 285.
Phillip Austin and Patrick Spears headlined the White Knoll performance. Austin went 5-2 on the way to a fourth-place finish at 160, while Spears netted a fifth-place prize with a 4-2 record at 160.
Timberwolves Asa Gossett (3-2 at 215) and Chris Sayers (3-2 at 285) had winning records but did not place.