Stanhope wrestling

Caleb Turrentine / The Herald Stanhope Elmore’s Gabe Taunton (top) pinned Elmore County’s Solon Lee in his first match of the season.

The Stanhope Elmore wrestling team finally hit the mats for the first time last week as the Mustangs competed at the annual Thanksgiving Duals in Tallassee. Stanhope won its first two matches by running away with victories against Elmore County and Opelika before falling in close battles against Tallassee and Saint James to end the night.

The Mustangs sat out the opening stage of the round-robin event and they were the last team to warm up but that did not slow them down. They came out of the gates with eight pins in just 10 matches wrestled against Elmore County to defeat the Panthers, 48-33.

Stanhope’s Jared Cherry opened the night with a hard-fought victory at 120 pounds as he pinned Elmore County’s Matthew Thornton in the third period. Cherry finished the day with three pins to start the season with a 3-1 record.

Cherry was one of four Stanhope wrestlers to record at least three pins last Tuesday. Jake Taunton pinned three opponents in the first period and went 3-1 at 138 with his only loss coming to Tallassee’s Christian McCary by a 6-4 decision.

Gabe Taunton also finished with three pins and added a forfeit victory to finish the day with a perfect 4-0 record at 170.  Connor Russo (145) led the Mustangs with four pins as he also went 4-0.

Adrian Laskey opened his night with a pin against Elmore County’s Mason Carter but that was his only one. He still finished unbeaten in four matches at 152 as he defeated Opelika’s Ari Brogdon by a 6-3 decision and Tallassee’s Will Lackey by an 8-3 decision.

Tanner McCord and Michael Nemchek each recorded one pin and finished the night 2-0. 



Stanhope boys win MA Tournament

Stanhope Elmore got a chance to avenge an early-season loss last week as the Mustangs faced off with LAMP in the Montgomery Academy Tournament championship game and they did not pass up the opportunity. Stanhope got 27 points from D.J. Jamerson and claimed the tournament title with a 68-59 victory.

The Mustangs (3-3) got off to a fast start behind a strong defensive performance to hold LAMP to just five points in the opening quarter. Stanhope led by as many as 15 points and it held off a late rally to secure the win.

Jaden Tillman finished in double figures for the second time in the tournament, scoring 11 points. Jamal Ball knocked down four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points.

After starting the season 0-2, Stanhope responded well and started the tournament off strong. Jamerson scored a game-high 26 points and Tillman added 18 as the Mustangs defeated St. Luke’s 72-25 in the first round.

The Mustangs advanced to play Loachapoka and they fell behind early after a slow offensive start. However, they exploded for a 20-point second quarter and never looked back as the Mustangs pulled away with a 57-39 win.

Dylon Williams led Stanhope with 12 points, including two 3-pointers. David Ragland was the only other Mustang to reach double figures, finishing with 11 points. 

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.