KISSIMMEE — Palm Harbor University and Countryside finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with 99.5 and 93 points, at the Class 3A, Region 2 meet Saturday.
The Hurricanes had three wrestlers in the finals and captured two individual crowns. PHU's Aaron Hartman scored a 4-2 decision over Osceola's Alex Rivera in the 130-pound weight class and Jared Stippert (215) defeated Countryside's Kevin Kitchen 9-6.
"We knew it would be close," PHU coach Brad Sakevich said of Hartman's match. "Overall, for a freshman, he did a good job."
Hartman defeated two-time state champion Rossi Bruno of Brandon in the semifinals. Last year, Hartman was the state runnerup at 103 while wrestling for Northside Christain.
Perennial state contender Brandon earned its 22nd straight region title and 30th overall. Brandon scored 318 points, ahead of host Kissimmee Osceola (172.5).
"Things are going right down to the end and looking good," said Brandon coach Russ Cozart, whose team won nine individual titles and qualified 14 for state.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to the state meet that begins Friday.
2A-2: Springstead rallies to crown
AVON PARK — In the last Class 2A, Region 2 match of the night, heavyweight John Dreggors won his championship final to rally Springstead past Lake Gibson 222 to 218.50 on Saturday, giving the Eagles their first region team title in a decade.
Springstead trailed Lake Gibson by one point as Dreggors lined up to face the Braves' Devonte Terrell. The Eagles junior defeated Terrell 4-0 and erased last year's disappointment at the Class 2A state event.
John Coscia, Special to the Times