MACON -- The area's top wrestling teams got off to an impressive start on Thursday in the state duals tournament in Macon, as three squads picked up opening round victories.
Chestatee, Lumpkin County and North Forsyth each stormed through their initial match-ups to keep their hopes of a state title alive, while Flowery Branch suffered an opening-round setback.
The War Eagles and Indians each got to grips with victories in Class AAAA, while North Forsyth battered Marietta in Class AAAAAA. All four teams will wrestle again Friday.
Meanwhile, four more area programs -- Banks County, Buford, Commerce and Jefferson -- will begin their own title quests on Friday, as Classes A-AAA begin competition. (Classes AAAA-AAAAAA feature 16 teams in each bracket, as compared with eight in the three smaller classes.)
North Forsyth put up the most dominant score on Friday, thumping Marietta 42-18 to set up a second-round match with Grayson.
Meanwhile, Chestatee defeated Locust Grove 49-26 in Class AAAA and will face Marist in the next round. Fellow Area 8-AAAA competitor Lumpkin County also won, defeating Upson Lee 46-30 and will face Alexander in the next round.
In Class AAAAA, Flowery Branch fell to Effingham County 42-27 and will face Lee County on Friday in an elimination match.
In Class A, Commerce will begin the tournament against Strong Rock, while in Class AA Jefferson will get the defense of its title underway against Pepperell. The Dragons are gunning for their 13th straight duals crown.
Meanwhile, defending Class AAA champ Banks County will open competition against Blessed Trinity, while Buford will take on Sonoraville.