Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sports

Wrestling: Gulf sees positives loss to Dixie Hollins in Anclote Challenge Duals final

HOLIDAY — Dixie Hollins, preparing for a postseason that is only two weeks away, capped a dominant tournament run with a 46-29 championship match victory over Gulf at the Anclote Challenge Duals on Saturday.

State-ranked Rebels wrestlers Luis Aldana (170 pounds) and Andre Matthews (285) went undefeated at the event.

But the finals appearance for Gulf was a step in the right direction. At their home tournament a month ago, the Buccaneers were unable to get past Nature Coast, but with another shot at the Sharks on Saturday, Gulf scored a 48-26 victory during round-robin pool matches.

At 160 pounds, Gulf's Spencer Baxter, third at state last year, avenged a previous loss this season to Nature Coast's Brandon Vovan with an 8-4 decision.

And Gulf 182-pounder Jared Kruse pinned Nature Coast's Dylan Savoury in 4:55.

The Sharks were not satisfied with how the regular-season finale played out, but now they will prepare for the postseason, Nature Coast coach Mike Lastra said. "The whole team is fatigued," he said. "Everyone seemed tired. The next couple of weeks will be important for us to get rested for (district)."

Nature Coast's Sean Nguyen, a state runnerup who was wrestling at 112 earlier this season, made weight at 106 pounds for the first time this year and went 5-0 Saturday without being tested to run his record to 36-1.

Anclote finished fourth, losing 57-18 to Nature Coast in the consolation final, but the host team's performance was highlighted by Dmitri Gravas (145). The four-year wrestler won his 100th career match as he went 5-0 in the event, including a win over Dixie Hollins' Adam Lovell.

Ippolito: Springstead (155 points) was third behind host and champion Brandon (371) and North Port (160.5) at the Ippolito Invitational. Springstead sent two to the finals but both Matthew Landgraff (106 pounds), Michael McDonald (113) settled for second. The Eagles' had three consolation final winners: Joseph Russo (152), William Swift (160) and Conor Ross (170). Pasco was ninth (91).

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