North Florida Matmen staff report
ORANGE CITY — There was a prediction made that more or less suggested that Flagler Palm Coast would be the team to watch in 3A-District 2 for 2020-21. Might have been, leastways.
The Bulldogs have spent most of the 2019-20 season not waiting around for another spring and summer to seize control of the district, and took a significant step in actually seizing it on Thursday afternoon at University-Orange City.
After a bye in the quarterfinals, Flagler ran past 5 Star Conference rival DeLand, 77-6, in the semis, then withstood a furious comeback from Buchholz to push past the Bobcats, 39-36, and win the district title.
The Bulldogs make their second appearance in the 3A-Region 1 quarterfinals after missing the region round last year. Flagler Palm Coast will wrestle Oakleaf in one of two quarterfinals staged for 6 p.m. on January 16 at Fleming Island.
Buchholz did not have to engage in a dual for true second after its semifinal opponent, the host Titans, came back to finish third. The Bobcats will face off against Fleming Island in the other quarterfinal. Quarterfinal winners then face off in a semifinal round to get to the Region 1 final at Osceola on the 24th, the first day of state duals.
But the day belonged to Flagler Palm Coast, which had seven wrestlers win both of their matches Thursday. Six of them max-pointed (scored 6 points in all duals contested) and five — Kole Hannant (106, with the title-clinching pin against Buchholz), Brendan Buckles (126), Kyle Peacock (138), Timothy King (145) and Blane DeFord (152) — pinned both of their opponents.
Marcelo Gonzalez (160, pin) was also a max-pointer for the Bulldogs, while Andrew Dance (132, pin & decision) was also 2-0.
Buchholz reached the finals with wins over Forest (54-30) in the quarters and University-Orange City (57-22) in the semis.
The Bobcats had four wrestlers collect three pins in Aiden Moore (120), Matthew Vann (170), Armando Acosta (182) and Jacob Robinson (285). Kason Nichols (132, 2 pins) also was a max-pointer, with Venumadhava Mirel (113, 2 pins & decision) and Jason Martin (195, 2 pins & decision) also finishing 3-0. Cole Nixon (138, 2 pins) was 2-1.
The host Titans defeated West Port (48-32) in the quarters; after the semifinal loss, UOC took wins over Seminole (46-34) and Forest (60-24) for third. Jonathan Justice (126) pinned all four of his opponents put in front of him.
Grady Bryant (106, pin & 2 majors), James Houck (152, 3 pins), Kellan Flanary (170, 3 pins), Aaron Liberti (182, 2 pins) and Ethan Lasher (195, 3 pins) each were 3-1 for the Titans, while Malique Hargett (113/120, pin), Kolton Mixon (132, pin) and Christian Kennick (220/285, pin and injury-default) each won twice for UOC.
After falling in the quarters to Buchholz, Forest won twice in the consis to get to the third-place dual, defeating West Port (46-34) and DeLand (45-36). Jakob Zawosky (106) pinned all four of his opponents, while Tyrone O’Neal (160, 3 pins & major) was also 4-0 for the Wildcats. Steven Holmes (145, 3 pins) and Tyler Miller (152, 3 pins) were both 3-1, while Nick Stua (113/120), Wesley Marren (126, 2 pins), Casey Carr (170, 2 pins) and Alvont Graham (182, pin & decision in a part-time appearance) each won twice for Forest.
DeLand had both of its wins over Seminole, in the quarters (48-32) and for fifth place (40-39), as bookends to losses to Flagler and Forest. Noah Falk (132, 2 pins) was 3-1 for the Bulldogs, while Lane Wishart (138, 2 pins), Gavin Rodriguez (160, 2 pins) and Matt Moore (182) all won twice for DeLand.
Seminole was 0-3 on the day. The Noles got max-point efforts from Corry Sanchez (113/120) and Curtis Ruff (285), both of whom had three pins. Darian Raines (113/120, pin) also max-pointed and Jordan Smith (220, 2 pins & major) also was 3-0. Ethan Gorospe (126, pin) and Gabriel Lacrosse (145/152, 2 majors) both won twice for the Noles.
West Port was 0-2 in dual competition, but had a pair of wrestlers that had two pins in Tyler Pinkowski (138) and Larry Brooks (285). Frangello Baltodano (113, pin & major) and Bryce Dodge (145, pin & major) also were 2-0 for the Wolfpack.
Complete results from all rounds of the tournament can be found HERE.
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