TAMPA — Brandon wrestling coach Russ Cozart was gearing his team to peak at a late December tournament in Minnesota.
The Eagles may be a bit ahead of schedule already though.
Brandon defended its Cougar Invitational title, a 32-team tournament at the Tampa Convention Center on Saturday night. With their depth, the Eagles tallied 245 points, well ahead of runnerup Camden County, Ga. (192).
Springstead finished sixth (131.5) and host Durant eighth (92) to give the Tampa Bay area three teams in the top 10. Palm Harbor University (84) just missed being included in that mix by taking 11th, just four points behind Lake Highland Prep.
"We're on a little different timetable," Cozart said, alluding to the Minnesota trip. "This is a good, tough tournament to get some good matches in."
Durant coach Dennis Kitko was pleased with his team's effort, noting that it placed ninth in each of the past two invitationals.
"This is the best of the best," he said.
As has been the case in most tournaments, Brandon, which has won 11 straight state championships, had the most individual winners, with four. Four-time state champion Rossi Bruno and three-time state champ Kevin Norstrem won the 126-pound and 132-pound finals, respectively.
Newcomer Jacob Haydock, a state champ from Oklahoma, won at 170 and 182-pounder Kyle Koziel had the other title for the Eagles.
Clark Glass, another four-time state champ, nearly made it five individual winners for Brandon, but he lost 6-4 in overtime to Pine Castle's Geordan Speiler at 160 pounds.
That match was one of five that went to overtime. Springstead's Cody Ross (152) and Thomas Gupton (195), along with Palm Harbor's Jarred Prince (113) had overtime losses.