And he was the winner.
Greeneville’s Matt King defeated Dobyns-Bennett’s Adam Mann in triple overtime for the 112-pound division title Saturday as the Region 1 individual tournament drew to a close at Greeneville High School.
King became the first four-time region champ in the storied history of the Greene Devils’ program. Science Hill 140-pounder Brett Usary also collected his fourth regional crown. There had been only two prior four-time champions in Region 1 history.
King and Mann combined for the match of the night. Regulation ended with the score tied at two. The first overtime, a sudden-death period lasting one minute, also went scoreless. Mann made a takedown at the end of the first 30-second portion of the second OT. Those two points would’ve given him a significant advantage, but the referee said the takedown took place after time had expired, leaving it tied at 2-all.
“I thought I had it but I couldn’t see the time,” Mann said.
King escaped Mann’s grasp to take a 3-2 lead, then Mann earned a point because King was whistled for stalling. That forced a final 30-second, sudden-death overtime. Mann started on top and King escaped to capture his fourth region title.
“Adam’s a good kid. He wrestled real hard. He almost beat me,” said an emotional King, ranked No. 3 in the state at his weight. “I give props to him.”
“He’s really good, really technical, really strong,” Mann said of King. “It shows you what you’re going to face at state.”
Austin Mann (125 pounds), Craig Carter (185) and Zack Fleming (285) did bring home region titles for D-B. It marked the second regional titles for both Austin Mann and Fleming, and the first for Carter in his final try.
“I was pumped,” said Carter, a senior who pinned his opponent in the first period. “When I wrestle, it’s all I think about. My mind’s clear.”
Fleming (44-2) has an impressive record but no clue about where he ranks in the state.
“The only rank that matters is at the end of the year,” said the D-B senior, who hopes to at least place at state.
Austin Mann won as a freshman but finished second last year. He said this regional title meant more “because I didn’t give up an offensive point the whole tournament.”
Sullivan East’s Kole Bishop collected his third region title, beating Science Hill’s Matt Stull 5-1. The top-ranked wrestler in the state at 145 pounds, Bishop likely represents the region’s best chance for an individual state title.
“I want to go down there and make sure I left everything on the mat, every match,” he said.
Bishop’s younger brother Michael unseated defending champ Michael Nease of David Crockett 4-1 in the 130-pound finals.
Sullivan South’s Tyler Yokley finished third in the 103-pound division. He is the first Rebel grappler to secure a state berth in the program’s two-year history.
Others who qualified for state included the Tribe’s Brandon Joyner (103) and Mark Erwin (160), along with East heavyweight Kaleb Arnold.