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King for a day: Allen’s win biggest upset of Dream Team Classic
By Rob Sherrill
He’s a two-time Georgia state champion and four-time finalist, but Alonzo Allen of Conyers Rockdale County has flown under the national radar during much of his career.
Allen, who finished third in the NHSCA High School Nationals in Virginia Beach, Va. two weeks ago, was an afterthought in a Georgia line-up which took on a U.S. team in the annual Cliff Keen Athletic/Wrestling USA Dream Team Classic, held Sunday at Lassiter High School in Marietta.
As expected, the U.S. team prevailed, 37-15. But Allen turned in the biggest upset in the 13 matches — at least on paper — with a 9-4 victory over Brian Rossi of Lockport (Ill.) in a battle of state champions at 113.
Allen was the only unranked wrestler to post a victory in the event. Rossi was ranked No. 7 by WIN.
Allen’s win gave the Georgia squad its second and final lead, 9-6. Matthew Moore (220) of Winder Apalachee, ranked No. 14, had given the hosts a 6-0 lead with a pin, which another No. 14 wrestler, Billy Miller (285) of Perry (Ohio), answered in the following match. Miller pinned Georgia champion M.J. Couzan of Archer in the first of five matchups involving ranked wrestlers. Couzan entered the match ranked No. 19.
Also giving the host fans something to cheer about was three-time state champion Ryan Millhof (126) of Suwanee Collins Hill. Ranked No. 8, Millhof continued his spectacular post-season run with a 5-3 victory over No. 3 Zeke Moisey of Bethlehem (Pa.) Catholic. Millhof allowed just two points in six matches in navigating his way through a tough 126-pound class in the NHSCA High School Nationals. His Collins Hill teammate, Sean Russell, was one of three No. 2 wrestlers to post victories. Russell beat No. 4 Scott Parker o Perkasie (Pa.) Pennridge, 5-2.
Jason Nolf (145) of Kittanning (Pa.) and Bo Nickal (182) of Allen (Texas) were the other No. 2s to post wins. Coming up a weight from 170, Nickal scored a 12-3 major decision over No. 4 Chip Ness of Buford, who came down a weight from 195.
Nolf and Nickal were two of four wrestlers to post wins in both the Dream Team Classic and the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic in Pittsburgh, Pa. The others were No. 15 Tyler Smith (132) of Murrysville (Pa.) Franklin Regional and No. 4 Garrett Peppelman (160) of Harrisburg (Pa.) Central Dauphin.
Smith’s win, however, came as a member of the WPIAL team in the Dapper Dan warm-up match. Smith won by major decision as the WPIAL lost to Oklahoma, 37-10.