Sunday, March 18, 2018

Brandon’s state wrestling dominance ends after 18 years

KISSIMMEE — Brandon saw its national-record streak of 459 consecutive dual-meet victories end in 2008. Now, 10 years later, another long-standing mark has finally run its course.

The Eagles, winners of 18 straight and 27 overall state titles heading into the Class 2A tournament, placed second Saturday at Silver Spurs Arena.

Lake Gibson, which has won two of the past three district titles at Brandon's expense, won after finishing second to Brandon in last season's state series. The Braves had 160.5 points to Brandon's 139.5 on Saturday.

"We've had a great run," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. "We set records for other people to try and break, so good luck with that."

Brandon could take solace in its two state champions — Trey Lane and Noah Ridley who each went unbeaten — and six others who cracked the top six to place. That group included: Andreus Bond, second at 145 pounds; Onid Olavarria, fourth at 160; Jose Berdecia, fifth at 106; Tyler Forrest, fifth at 113; Hunter Lefevre, fifth at 126; Alex Rosario, sixth at 132.

RELATED: ZCA's John DeAugustino leads plethora of Class A champs

"I'm proud of this team now," Cozart said. "We have eight place winners and two state champions."

Lane, a junior with a 63-0 record, won his second state title with a 9-5 decision over Alexander Godinez of Hialeah Miami Lakes at 120 pounds.

"(Going unbeaten) means a lot," said Lane, who placed second in last year's state tourney. "Just knowing that I'm the best and I haven't gotten beat all year."

Lane added that he hopes the Eagles can win another state title next season, putting this year's team finish in perspective by saying, "It's sad, but there's obstacles in life. You can't let those set you back."

Ridley capped a perfect 81-0 season with a pin of Tate's Nathan Golmon in 4:31 of the 152-pound class. For Ridley, it marked his fifth state tourney, but first championship.

"I fell short all four years and worked my butt off to finally get a state title," said Ridley, whose previous best was second place as a sophomore. "It feels great."

RELATED: Countryside, Plant land Class 3A champs

Brandon senior Noah Ridley gets a hug from coach Russ Cozart moments after Ridley captured the Class 2A state title at 152 pounds. Ridley finished his senior season with an 81-0 record. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)

Leopard Slam: Final inning, two outs and Sunlake finds a way

BROOKSVILLE — Quite simply, an emotional way to end an exciting weekend of softball.One out away from losing the seventh annual Leopard Slam tourney on Saturday to two-time defending champion Springstead, Sunlake stepped up one last time.The he...
Published: 03/18/18

High school scoreboard for March 16

Friday’s scoreboardBaseballNortheast 3, Mitchell 2SoftballSpringstead 5, Bloomingdale 3Springstead 15, Dunedin 0
Published: 03/16/18
King edges Alonso for first Saladino title since 1992

King edges Alonso for first Saladino title since 1992

BRANDON —  King needed just needed one out. But with the way the Saladino Tournament championship game against Alonso had unfolded up to that point, nothing was guaranteed.Up by a run with Ravens on second and third, assistant coach Anthon...
Published: 03/16/18

Leopard Slam highlights: Bloomingdale’s Alexys Lawson dominant in return

BROOKSVILLE —Bloomingdale ace Alexys Lawson was the starter for the first preseason game.She lasted one inning.The Florida International signee left with soreness in her arm. The injury lingered, keeping her off the mound for nearly a mont...
Published: 03/16/18

High school scoreboard for March 15

Thursday’s scoreboardSoftballAdmiral Farragut 7, Bradenton Chr. 2BaseballCalvary Chr. 8, Berkeley Prep 1Boys tennisBerkeley Prep 5, Clearwater Central Cath. 2Girls tennisBerkeley Prep 7, Clearwater Central Cath. 0...
Published: 03/15/18

Baseball: Tristan Morton comes through in sixth for Dunedin

DUNEDIN — This could be just the pick-me-up that Tristan Morton has been looking for.Struggling with a sub-.200 average, the Dunedin second baseman got a prime opportunity to produce Thursday and didn't shrink from the task.With two out in the ...
Published: 03/15/18

Saladino Tournament: Alonso cruises, King needs extra innings to advance to semifinals

BRANDON — King has developed a knack for the comeback in the early season. The Lions pulled off one of their biggest on Thursday night against Riverview in the quarterfinals of the Saladino Tournament.King trailed 6-1 in the fifth inning but sc...
Published: 03/15/18
Saladino Touranment: Sickles, Plant advance from early quarterfinals

Saladino Touranment: Sickles, Plant advance from early quarterfinals

BRANDON — It was tied 7-7 in the seventh inning of Sickles' final Saladino Tournament pool play game Wednesday when, with a Wharton runner on base, Jordan Montes was brought in to pitch. The senior reliever only spent two-thirds of an inning on...
Published: 03/15/18
Pinellas all-star boys basketball game Friday night

Pinellas all-star boys basketball game Friday night

The Pinellas County senior all-star boys basketball game is Friday night at Seminole. The middle school game starts at 6:30 p.m., followed by the boys game at 7:45. There will be dunk and 3-point at halftime of the high school game. Admission is $6.N...
Published: 03/15/18

East Lake’s Nikki Steiniger comes through in the clutch

Nikki Steiniger has a knack for coming through in clutch situations.Last week, the East Lake junior hit a two-run homer to give her team enough of a cushion to hold on in a 5-4 win over Tarpon Springs.On Wednesday, Steiniger delivered again.In the bo...
Published: 03/15/18