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Cougars finish second; Eagles get popular wins

Even though Countryside had eight placewinners at the East Lake Invitational on Saturday, the Cougars couldn't loosen the grip Brandon had on the team title.

Last year the Eagles won the championship with seven individual champions and 305 points. This year Brandon did even better with eight champions and 305.5 points.

Countryside (179.5) was second followed by Bloomingdale (170).

The Eagles had 11 wrestlers in finals and four won East Lake titles for the second consecutive year: Eric Grajales at 112 pounds, Kyle Keller at 119, Kevin Timothy at 130 and Sean Joyce at 145.

The Cougars had one champion, freshman Shaun Sprentall, who defeated Brandon's Eddie Ciesla at 103.

"It's a pretty big deal beating someone from Brandon," he said. "It feels pretty good."

Kyle Paladini of Bloomingdale was named the most valuable wrestler with a title at 152 pounds. He posted two pins and a decision to reach the final and defeated Brandon's Keith Koziel 2-1 for the championship.

The loudest cheer was for East Lake's Matt Tyson, who took advantage of four penalty points to edge Jamil Jones of Southridge 8-6 for the title at 189. Tyson won six matches last season. Saturday he was 5-0 with three pins and stood atop the award podium in front of the home fans.

"Matt Tyson really improved from last year," said coach Pete Collins, who saw his Eagles go 2-for-2 in the finals. "I'm going to expect more from him the rest of the season."

"I thought I'd be third or fourth," Tyson said. "I had no idea. This is such a relief after last year."

Jordan Anastassiou of East Lake ended the night by winning the 285-pound title.

Largo coach Jeremy Frioud performed an emotional dance after the 215 title bout. Adam Gibson, who took third last year, defeated Phil Uno of Brandon 12-10 in overtime.

"How about that match!" Frioud said.

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