District wrestling: Lake Gibson edges Brandon again
BRANDON — The Class 2A, District 7 tournament came down to a close race between host Brandon and defending champion Lake Gibson. And just like last season when Brandon’s string of 41 district titles ended, Lake Gibson won again.
The Braves tallied 234 points behind five champions and 10 finalists while the Eagles scored 228.5 on the strength of eight finalists and four champions. Wesley Chapel took third at 128.5 and Pasco was fourth with 91.5.
“They did a good job,” Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. “Hats off to them. They came out ahead. It was a lot of fun. The kids were into it.”
For his part, Lake Gibson coach Danny Walker said topping Brandon for the second year in a row was tougher than ending the Eagles’ streak last season.
“Again, it was a lot like last year,” he said. “It was nip-and-tuck. You could tell (the Eagles) were trying to get every bonus point they could.”
Brandon and Lake Gibson squared off in five finals with the Eagles winning three of those matches. At 113 pounds, Trey Lane defeated Nathan Lawwell 5-2; Austin Deffenbaugh earned a 7-1 decision against Deyaveyun Joseph at 170; and Joe Marcano pinned Jaharie Martin in one minute, 11 seconds in the 220 match. For Lake Gibson, Ashton Habiel edged Noah Ridley 5-3 in the second overtime of the 145 final; and Christian Febus defeated Elier Cruz 8-2 at 152.
Alex Popke (182) won Brandon’s fourth title, pinning Wesley Chapel’s Jack Faysash in 48 seconds.
Wesley Chapel and Pasco each had three finalists and two champions. The Wildcats’ Rudy Hajaistron (138) beat Lake Gibson’s Clayton Leach 5-3 and teammate Jack Ward (195) pinned Brandon’s Josh Santana in 4:37.
For the Pirates, John DeAugustino (126) defeated Lake Gibson’s Austin Hosegood 10-6 and Miguel Angel Hernandez (160) pinned Brandon’s Brett Estep in 3:31. Pasco’s Chase Ayers (106) lost 10-3 to Lake Gibson’s Connor Williams.