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Jesuit leads Tampa Bay with four state wrestling champs

The Tigers also tally their most ever points at state to finish second in Class 2A.
Jesuit 145-pounder Ethan Basile lets out a huge celebratory cry after sealing up an 8-7 decsion to win a Class 2A state title Saturday night. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)
Published Mar. 10

KISSIMMEE — Having placed five wrestlers in the finals and with seven placers in Saturday’s Class 2A state championships at Silver Spurs Arena, Jesuit already made school history. The Tigers weren’t done just yet.

The records kept falling as Jesuit added to those two milestones with four state champions for the first time (topping three in 2016) and a team runnerup finish to defending state champion Lake Gibson. The Tigers placed second in 1996 and 2014 as well, but their 163 points on Saturday marked their most ever.

“We came here believing we could win a state title,” said Sal Basile, now in his fourth season at Jesuit following a 16-year run at Springstead. “The bottom line is (the Braves) were a little bit better. I’m happy with my team. I’m really, really proud of them.”

Two of Jesuit’s state champions were Basile’s sons. Braden (113-pound weight class) improved to 57-1 with a 6-3 defeat of Palmetto Ridge’s Brennan Van Hoecke while Ethan (145) remained undefeated at 60-0 with a 4-1 win over Andreas Bond of Lake Gibson.

“It’s one of the best days I ever had,” said Basile, adding that his two sons have been wrestling since they were 5. “Our whole life is wrestling, so it’s really rewarding to see them achieve their goals.”

Jesuit’s other state champions were Kai Owen (106), who got the ball rolling with a narrow 2-1 decision over Ridgeview’s Matthew Rodriguez to finish his season at 55-4. Tom Crook (120) won a close 8-7 match against Donovan Cataldi of Charlotte and stay unbeaten at 58-0.

Jesuit’s other finalist, Mason Arnold (220), lost a 12-4 major decision Charlotte’s Jose Valez to finish at 50-10. Jesuit’s Jack Crook (126) placed third and teammate Sergio Desiante (138) finished fourth.

Also in Class 2A, Brandon had three finalists in Trey Lane (126), Hunter Lefevre (138) and Broc Spurling (170). Lane (71-1) turned in a gutty performance, overcoming ligament damage to his right knee to edge Lake Gibson’s Connor Williams 2-1 for his third straight state title. The Virginia signee said he likely will have surgery soon.

“There’s a lot of pain going on,” said Lane, who credited his coaches and teammates for spurring him on.

“His knee was torn up,” Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. “Most kids would’ve called it quits a long time ago. There’s no quit in him.”

Lefevre lost 5-2 to Shannon Hanna of Lake Gibson and Spurling lost 9-3 against Lake Gibson’s Miguel Hernandez.

Dunedin’s Desrion Arnold (182) also came up just short of a state title, losing 3-0 to Riverdale’s Jesse Martinez; as did Springstead’s James Spencer (285), who was defeated 5-0 by Adolphus Taylor of North Fort Myers.

Other notables in this class: Dixie Hollins’ Coleman Bryant (170) placed third. Brandon’s Jose Berdecia (113), Springstead’s Chris Morales (152) and Christian Reynolds (220), along with Pasco’s Timothy Johnson (195) and Leto’s Edwin Ramirez (285) took fourth. Brandon’s Onid Olavarria (160) placed fifth. Dunedin’s Jacob Krebs (126), Blake’s Dennis Glardior (160), Sunlake’s Cayman Wiseman (220) and East Lake’s Madison Davila (285) were sixth.

Zephyrhills Christian 285-pound junior Malik Jones celebrates along with coaches in the background moments after capturing a Class A state title. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)

Class A

Six local state champions came out of the smallest class. That group was led by Carrollwood Day’s Conrad brothers with Jonathan (152) defeating Lake Highland Prep’s Dominic Isola 5-3 and Jacob (160) edging Cameron Monzadeh of Lake Highland Prep 1-0.

Citrus Park Christian’s Marc-Anthony McGowan (106) defeated Tampa Prep’s Ethan Mojena 5-3, Admiral Farragut’s Caleb Lemmons (132) beat Mater Academy Lakes’ Omar Armengol 6-4, Tampa Prep’s Colin Nation (170) beat Lemon Bay’s Tyson Davids 5-1 and Zephyrhills Christian’s Malik Jones (285) pinned Wakulla’s Darius Wilkins in 3:04.

Citrus Park Christian’s Bas Diaz (120) placed third; Hernando’s Josh Pritz (138) was fourth; Tampa Prep’s Alan Morano (132) and Hernando’s Qwenton Coney (220) took fifth; and Hernando’s Bronson Tafelski (152) and Fernando Valdez (170) placed sixth.

Admiral Farragut junior Caleb Lemmons won the 132-pound Class A state title with a 6-4 decision in his final match. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)

Class 3A

Countryside had three finalists with Anthony Burburija (195) winning his team’s lone title with a pin of Columbus’ Carmine Dascoli in 1:38. Steven Nguyen (106) lost his final, 3-0 against Hagerty’s Ryan Rowland, and Steve Chopek (126) lost a narrow 3-2 match to South Dade’s Tyler Orta.

Also making finals: Newsome’s Jake Finken (170) lost 13-8 to South Dade’s Todd Perry, while East Bay’s Oluwatobi Onalaja (220) was pinned in 4:37 by Bryan Canedo of Palm Beach Gardens.

Durant’s Hendon Haley (132) and Steinbrenner’s Truman Noble placed fourth. Strawberry Crest’s Amneous Chambers (182) was fifth.

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