By D. Mark Mitchell
The Opelika wrestling team participated in the ‘Hornet Slam 4’ at Beauregard High School.
They wrestled Holtville, St. James and Central, finishing with three-way split in the meet.
Opelika beat Holtville 54-24, lost to St. James 45-33 and tied Central 36-36.
The following wrestlers displayed strong performances in the tournament:
– Zeak Jones (152 lbs.) finished 5-0
– Benjamin Tolbert (170 lbs.) finished 3-0
– Timmy Tolbert (160 lbs.) finished 3-0
– Tory Birdsong (138 lbs.) finished 4-1
– Cameron Reese (195 lbs.) finished 4-1
– and heavyweight James Dawson finished 4-1.
Opelika is 19-12 in dual matches this season. The team will hold its Senior Night during a meet against Auburn Thursday night, which will begin at 6 p.m.
The Opelika Lady Bulldogs wrapped up the area championship last week.
Opelika defeated Wetumpka and Benjamin Russell last week to finish 4-0 and clinch Coach Devin Booth’s sixth-straight area title.
The Lady Bulldogs defeated Wetumpka 68-38 on the road last Tuesday.
Anita Payne led the team with a team-high 28 points. Teammate Alexis Browning added 12 points.
Opelika hosted Wetumpka the following night at the OHS Sports Arena, winning 67-21.
Payne scored 22 points and Quala Walton chipped in 10 points.
The Lady Bulldogs finished the week with a 78-51 rout of Benjamin Russell last Friday night.
Payne scored 20 points, giving her 70 points for the week.
Walton scored 19 points and Abrea Green added 13.
Opelika currently stands at 17-8 overall and 4-0 in area play. The Lady Bulldogs will hold its Senior Night Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. against Smiths Station.
The girls travel to Auburn Thursday for their final regular season game.
The Opelika girls basketball team will host the area tournament, but no dates or times have been announced.
The Opelika boys basketball team won two of its three area games last week. Opelika defeated Wetumpka twice, but lost to Benjamin Russell.
The Bulldogs finished 3-1 in area games and are guaranteed no worse than a tie for the area title.
Wetumpka and Benjamin Russell play two games this week. Opelika will need a split to win the area title without a coin toss.
Head coach John Wadsworth prepared his team for area competition by playing a tough schedule.
The Bulldogs swept Wetumpka, winning 58-55 on the road and 51-49 at home.
Jorden Heard nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer in overtime to beat the Indians by three points.
Heard and Taye Fields were the high scorers with 10 points each, and Jaylin Cumins and Jamius Mitchell scored 9 points apiece.
The Bulldogs hosted the Indians the following night, which finished with another close contest.
Cumins scored a team-high 13 points, Fields added 9 points and Heard contributed 7 points.
Opelika travelled to Benjamin Russell last Friday, losing 62-49.
It was the third game in four days for the Bulldogs.
Jaylin Cummings scored a game-high 11 points. Austin Pitts and Jared Willis scored 9 and 8 points, respectively.
Opelika will hold its Senior Night Jan. 31 against Smiths Station.
Details on area tournament play will be announced soon.
MIDDLE SCHOOL BASKETBALL
The OMS eighth-grade basketball team split last week, beating Russell County 45-19 and losing to South Girard in overtime 45-42.
Greg Bynum scored 14 points to lead the team against Russell County while Rashaad Frye scored a game-high 10 points in the loss to South Girard.
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.