Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

Region wrestling: No title for Springstead this time

Springstead has dominated over the past four seasons with three state titles and a runnerup finish to go with four region titles. But this season, the Eagles welcomed perennial powerhouse Brandon back into its region.

The Class 2A, Region 2 meet at Brandon was nicknamed the "Region of Doom," and for good reason. The presence of Brandon, Jesuit, Springstead and Lakeland Lake Gibson made it feel like a state meet one week early.

Brandon emerged with its 24th consecutive title and 35th overall, amassing 300 points to Jesuit's 164.5 and Springstead's 145.

Springstead took a hit early when 106-pounder Matt Landgraff, who has placed at state twice, failed to make weight and forfeited his matches. Its lone champ was Mike McDonald (120). At 40-0, the junior cruises to state after pinning Brandon's Ty Lucas in the final.

Springstead's most surprising state qualifier was Vincent Buonanno (160). For the second straight week, he took second at a major tournament. Saturday, he lost to Brandon's Dakota Greene in the final to fall to 27-14.

Andrew Smith (126), Jordan Rivera (145) and Corey Humphrey (195) also fell in finals while Billy Swift (170) took third to advance.

Jarred Lanier (113) of Wiregrass Ranch's reached the final before being pinned by Brandon's Kyle Norstrem. The lone Land O'Lakes representative will be Luis Casado (120), who placed fourth. After falling in his first match Friday, he won four straight.

A-2: Host Green Cove Springs Clay and Orlando Lake Highland Prep distanced themselves, Lake Highland (207) winning by 20. But Pasco continued a strong postseason with a third-place finish.

The Pirates have just seven state champions in school history, including J.P. Gamez in 2012. But the three moving on from region this season have a legitimate opportunity to add to the total.

Skyler White (138) headlines the group after placing second in Class A last season. Saturday, he lost 4-2 in the final to Lake Highland's Anthony Petrone, the defending state champ at 132.

Lukas Twardosky (106) sustained his only loss in the semifinals before rebounding in the third-place match to improve to 37-5. Andrew Ivie (285) had no such hiccups. He pinned all four of his opponents in a combined 2 minutes, 36 seconds.

Nature Coast, which lost three who placed at last season's 2A state meet (including champion Brandon Vovan), also qualified three: Mark Espinosa (126), Le'Shaun Gray (170) and Anthony Contegiacomo (220).

Contegiacomo lost in the final to Hernando's Jesse Gaudin. But at 51-12, the sophomore is one win from the school record. Gaudin, who placed third at state last season, hopes to become the Sharks' first champ since Daniel Pritz in 2010. Brennan Ertl (160), a finalist as well, also qualified.

Dante Padilla, previously the only state qualifier ever for Weeki Wachee, will return after losing 11-5 to Lake Highland's Bryce Rogers in the 120 final. But he will have company. Jesus Nieves (132) was fourth. And heavyweight Anthony Vines lost in the final to Ivie.

Central's Brandon Brown won the 182 title by upsetting Gulf's Jarred Kruse with a 13-5 major decision in the final. Wesley Chapel's Jon Galvan suffered only his second loss of the season in the 126 final, 8-7 to Crystal River's Michael Allen. Teammate Nathan Love finished third at 182.

Kruse and Robert Napolitano (145) will represent Gulf while Anclote also will boast two in Brandon McQuinn (113) and Jonte Scott (152). McQuinn's loss came in the final to Lake Highland's Jake Brindley, the defending state champion.

Hudson's Drake Carson (195) took a difficult road to advance. After an opening-round loss, he pinned four straight opponents.

2A-3: Fivay got three to state while finishing 10th at Punta Gorda Charlotte. Cole Manion took fourth at 120, Andrew Scherer second at 160 and Nicco Lightfoot second at 182. Lightfoot lost in the final to Max Reynolds, River Ridge's only qualifier.

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