HUDSON — According to River Ridge coach Mitch Geier, the general consensus had defending champion Fivay and perennial challengers Gulf and Pasco ranked as the favorites to win Saturday's Sunshine Athletic Conference Championship meet.
That was just fine with Geier and his Royal Knights, who appeared to have slipped ahead to win the team title before a scoring discrepancy was discovered as teams, coaches and fans were filing out of the Hudson gym.
Fivay's Nicco Lightfoot won the 170-pound final 7-5 over Gulf's Spencer Baxter but somehow Baxter got the credit for a win in team scoring. After the team finish had been announced, Lightfoot heard his name being called as the runnerup for his weight class, and he corrected meet officials, who then confirmed with the match scoring table that he had won. Then coaches, some who were walking out, were recalled and the team scores were recalculated.
So instead of River Ridge edging Gulf 166-165 with Fivay and Pasco close behind, the new cores resulted in the Falcons defending their championship with 168 points. River Ridge wound up second at 166, Pasco third at 164.5 followed by Gulf at 161.
"I was on my way out the door and somebody called me back and said we won," Fivay coach Andy Medders said. "I don't want to take a trophy away from anybody if it wasn't earned. It's amazing how close it was. All it takes is one mistake and it changes who wins the tournament."
Geier's earlier assertion — "One point, 100 points; it's still a win" — held true in the aftermath as well.
Added Gulf coach Travis Dewalt, "It was pretty exciting. It came down to the wire."
Fivay was the only team with four champions. Aside from Lightfoot, Andrew Scherer (145 pounds) defeated Anclote's Jonte Scott 11-5. Collin Hahn (182) scored an 18-1 technical fall over Gulf's Jarred Kruse, and Kelly Meus (285) beat River Ridge's Hayden Krautner 4-2.
The finals started with an upset. Land O'Lakes' Dominick Telesco, who had lost four straight times to Fivay's Cole Manion, took the 106 title with an 8-3 decision. "I finally beat him and it felt great," said Telesco, a sophomore.