High School

Three Lady Devils Capture Region Wrestling Titles

Three Lady Devils Capture Region Wrestling Titles
Written by 
Tate Russell
February 18, 2023

CORRYTON – Three Greeneville wrestlers earned the right to call themselves region champion on Friday night at Gibbs High School after finishing on top of their brackets at the Region 1 Girls Wrestling Tournament.

Rhyne Johnson (100), Jenna Baines (107) and Allie Shelton (114)  earned first place finishes on Friday and qualified for next week’s state tournament.

“Three for three in the region finals ranks up there as one of the best nights of my coaching career,” Greeneville coach Randy Shelton said. “Rhyne, Jenna and Allie all went out there and did exactly what we asked of them. I have to give my assistant coaches Atlas Fagundes and Sid Mason a lot of credit for getting these girls ready. Then girls came out here and showed out.”

Johnson, a freshman, was the first Lady Devil to claim a region title on Friday. She pinned her way to the finals where she met Alivia Ryan of Dobyns-Bennett.

In the championship match Johnson got a take down within the first 30 seconds and two near fall points quickly followed. With just seconds left in the first period Ryan was able to finally gain an advantage and pulled within striking distance at 4-2.

In the second period Johnson again earned a quick takedown and pushed her lead to 9-2 before sticking Ryan to the mat in 1:23.

“Rhyne pinned last year’s region finalist in her championship match, Alivia was a state medalist last year,” Shelton said. “There were some touchy moments, but Rhyne stayed composed, and kept finding a way to get into positions that she is good at.”

Baines entered Friday’s action with a state championship and a state runner-up finish already under her belt, but that did not mean that her region title would come easy. Baines advanced to the finals with a pair of first-period pins, but in the finals she met up with Seymour’s Elinor Underwood who Shelton expects to be in contention for a state championship next week.

“Jenna had a tough match, but that girl is probably going to be in the state finals next week,” Shelton said. “Those girls are ranked one, two in the state and we are going to see that match again. They are both year-round wrestlers and you will see them going at it the next couple of years, you may even see them going at it on a college mat in a few years.”

Baines earned the first advantage in the finals with a takedown at the one-minute mark. She held that advantage until almost the final moment of the first period. but with two seconds left Underwood got an escape.

Baines started the second period on top and stayed there for all two minutes while stretching her lead to 4-1 with a near fall. Then in the third period Underwood was able to get the drop on Baines to get within one point at 4-3. With 22 seconds left Baines was able to break loose to secure a 5-3 decision. The region’s coaches voted the match the best of the tournament.

“We tell Jenna that you are not going to get the big moves in a match like that. You probably aren’t going to get a pin or a tech fall” Shelton said. “We talk about taking money out of their bank, stealing a point here or there, and chipping away at it. It’s about constant pressure, and that is hard on a lot of girls.”

Shelton had one of the toughest paths to her title among anyone in the region. She had to beat the second, third and fourth-place finishers to stand on top of the podium, and she accomplished the feat by pinning her way through the bracket.

In the finals Shelton met Cresson Postelwaite of Seymour and wasted little time gaining the advantage. She took the Lady Eagle to the mat in 20 seconds and then completed the pin in just 1:21.

“Allie has only been wrestling for two years, but Atlas and Sid have done a great job with her because as a dad I have to take a step back,” coach Shelton said. “She had a phenomenal tournament, she beat all of the other medalists. She had an extremely tough road just to get there. Then we knew if we could get to our good stuff in the finals that we could win that match.”

The state tournament will begin on Thursday at the Williamson County Expo Center in Franklin. The Lady Devils feel good about how they are performing headed into the tournament and will just work to sure up some small things before they get to the big stage.

“We’re not going to change anything,” Greeneville assistant coach Atlas Fagundes said. “Anytime you come into a tournament like this and go three-for-three in the finals you feel good about what you are doing. At this point it’s just about cleaning those final things up. We try to make this week fun, and just work on fixing one thing each day.”

West Greene’s Macy Greenlee (235) also advanced to the state tournament on Friday by earning a third-place finish. She finished her tournament with a second-period pin of Gibbs’ Aaliyah Pressley.

West Greene’s Meagan Hinkle (145) came in fifth place. Greeneville’s Morgan Cornelius placed sixth after and injury eliminated her from the consolation bracket.

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