PUNTA GORDA — A pair of impressive championship matches catapulted Armwood to a fourth-place finish at the Class 2A, Region 3 tournament Saturday at Charlotte High.
Riverdale won its fifth consecutive regional with 186 points. The Hawks led all bay area teams with 80 points and two individual champions — Donoven Hough and Tylor Dutrieaux. Dixie Hollins placed fifth with 79 points as Dana Harrington (40-1) defended his region title.
Any wrestler who placed among his respective top four automatically qualified for next weekend’s state finals in Lakeland. A total of 18 area grapplers advanced .
But none were more impressive than the duo from Armwood. Hough (45-3) started off the championship finals with the night’s first title at 106. Ranked second in Class 2A, Hough scored a 7-4 decision against King’s third-ranked junior, Jacob Wasserman.
“We expected him to be good but he’s been better,” Hawks assistant coach Jake Campbell said. “I didn’t expect him to be this good this quick. …When he’s on no one can beat him.”
Dutrieaux (43-6) kept Armwood’s finals momentum rolling at 160 with an upset of Osceola senior Jordan Harriott (33-1). Tied 7-7 in the third period, Dutrieaux scored a pin in four minutes, 36 seconds.
Armwood’s Travis Macon (39-9) also reached the championship finals, but the senior 182 lost a 12-2 major decision to place second.
The only other title belonged to Harrington, who scored an impressive 16-6 major decision against Cypress Lake senior Jim Ilias.
“It’s not pressure,” Dixie coach Nick Spataro said. “His dad was a state champ and he expects to be a state champ …it just kind of runs in the family.”
Brandon Bell (36-4) also reached the finals for Dixie but placed second with a tough 3-2 loss at 170 to Palmetto Ridge senior Esteban Rua. Bell was called for stalling with five seconds left in the match.
Largo advanced a pair into the championship finals but seniors Derrick Doss (33-4) and David Vogeney (39-4) each finished second, losing to the top-ranked wrestler in their respective weight class.
“Now we see what we have to do to win at Lakeland, which matters the most,” Packers coach Jeremy Frioud said. “Both my kids still have plans to be state champs.”
Jesuit also had a finalist Saturday in junior Wyatt Roop (43-5). The 113-pounder lost a tough 2-1 decision in the final seconds against Barron Collier sophomore Tanis Taylor.