In the region tournament championship match Wednesday, the Wolves and Lady Wolves proved they could stack up to any extra challenge when they defeated visiting Dalton, which revamped its lineups, to sweep the 7-AAAA crowns.
In Cartersville, Darlington’s boys reached today’s Region 6-AA championship clash winning their first two rounds Wednesday at Dellinger Park.
The victory by the Wolves gives Rome its fifth-straight boy’s championship, while it is the first for the Lady Wolves.
“They stacked against us last year and won,” Rome girls coach Gwen Sirmans said about defending champion Dalton’s attempt to move its top players to lower spots to try to gain an advantage.
“And we knew they were going to do it again this year,” she said. “But we had a little more desire this year.”
“We’ve gotten used to it,” Wolves coach Iris Kinnebrew said about facing a different Dalton lineup. “But nothing is easy from now on. It’s going to be tough.”
Both Rome teams will enter the Class AAAA state playoffs as 7-AAAA’s top seed.
The good news is that Rome will host the opening round by facing the No. 2 team from Region 5-AAAA. The date and teams have yet to be determined, but the round must be completed by May 2.
The bad news is that the Wolves and Lady Wolves will be going up against a region that includes some stiff competition — St. Pius’ boys are the defending state champions, Marist’s boys reached the semifinals last year and Marist’s girls won the 2001 title.
Against Dalton, the Wolves took a 4-0 win as Colt Gaston, Seth Kines and Sky Yearous swept their singles matches, while Mark Dasher and Justin Laseter won in doubles.
Once the victory was secured, the doubles match involving Rome’s Chris Jester and Will O’Hara was halted.
The Lady Wolves took a 3-1 decision over the Lady Catamounts as Jessica Strucher and Molly Maddox won their singles matches in straight sets.
After Dalton won at No. 2 singles where Natalie Stone represented the Lady Wolves, Nichole Stone and Beth Watson clinched the win with a straight-set doubles win.
Lara Lindsey and Lauren Colwell’s doubles match was halted once the match was decided.
Darlington’s Tigers grabbed a shot at the region title when they handed Chattooga a 5-0 defeat, then ousted Chapel Hill 3-1 in the semifinals.
Darlington, which has clinched a Class AA state tournament berth, squares off today at 3 p.m. for the championship against Calhoun.
Against Chattooga, Darlington’s Nathan Starr, Porter Leslie and Ford Knight won in singles play, while Griffin Duncan and Drew Smith, and Padrick Dennis and Stan Ingram swept in doubles.
Starr and Knight provided the Tigers wins against Chapel Hill, and clinched the match via a doubles win by Dennis and Ingram