LAKE BUENA VISTA — Brandon missed a chance to wrestle Oviedo in a battle of national powers Saturday night, but the Eagles got the next best thing: a shot at Homestead South Dade.
With Oviedo stumbling to South Dade 34-25 in the semifinals of the O'Town Showdown at the Walt Disney Wide World of Sports Complex, Brandon got the opportunity to wrestle the school that ended its 459 consecutive dual-match win streak in 2008 and took full advantage in a 54-12 rout.
In beating Class 3A South Dade, 10-time defending state champion Brandon capped an 8-0 run in the two-day, dual-meet tournament that featured mostly schools from the Orlando area.
Individually, the Eagles' Colton Howell (112 pounds), Kevin Norstrem (125), Rossi Bruno (130), Tyler Liberatore (135), Brice Jones (140), Travis Berridge (145), Clark Glass (152), Wally Figaro (160), Kyle Koziel (171), Mike Ettore (189), Lorenzo Martinez (215) and Joe Dudley (285) all won matches against South Dade.
"I would have loved to have wrestled Oviedo, but South Dade is the one that broke our streak," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. "I think the kids wrestled well for the first match of the year."
Norstrem, the defending state champion at 125 and the nation's second-ranked sophomore, said the missed opportunity to wrestle Oviedo didn't minimize the Eagles' performance Saturday.
"We were a little disappointed about not wrestling Oviedo," Norstrem said. "But, we're trying to beat the best teams in the state of Florida. We wanted to wrestle Oviedo, but beating South Dade is just as satisfying."
Brandon had no trouble in the championship bracket of the 30-team event, beating Space Coast 74-6 and Winter Springs 64-15 before South Dade.
Oviedo, which is ranked seventh nationally by Amateur Wrestling News, blew leads in the closing seconds in three matches against South Dade. The Lions rebounded to beat Winter Springs 56-16 in the third-place match.