North Florida Matmen staff report
PACE — When it’s winning time in the north among Class 2A teams, no team has done it better — over the past decade — than Lincoln.
And even against a Pace team with tons of talent in the lineup, the Trojans proved again Thursday night that experience counts in large amounts, as Lincoln will make its third trip to the FHSAA 2A state duals tournament after wins over District 1 teams Ft Walton Beach (40-27) in the quarters and the host Patriots (37-34) in the semis.
Lincoln will wrestle Fletcher in the Region 1 finals at Osceola HS on January 24 at 4 p.m. If the Trojans win on the 24th, they’ll advance to the state semifinals for the second time, against either St Thomas Aquinas or Miami Southridge, on the 25th.
The Trojans’ quarterfinal dual with the Vikings was a close affair, as the teams traded points at 132-138 (pins from Lincoln’s Steven Leger at 132 and FWB’s Martin Muniz at 138), 145-152 (decisions from Lincoln’s Patrick Blanca — 13-10 at 145 — and from the Vikings’ Jean Maldonaldo, 3-2 at 152), and again at 160-170 (pins from FWB’s Caleb Tourgee and Lincoln’s Andrew Collins at 160 and 170, respectively) for a 15-15 dual through six weights.
After the Vikings’ Patrick Adams took a 3-1 win at 182, Lincoln won five straight between 195 through 113 to clinch the dual, with pins from Tyler Moss (285), Elijah Hendley (106) and Jimmy Martin (113), plus an 11-2 major from Tanner Washburn (195) and a 6-4 win from Jeremiah Brown at 220.
Ft Walton Beach would close the dual out with victories from Brandon Mallin (8-2 win at 120) and Weston Burbidge (fall at 126).
Meanwhile, the Patriots jumped out to leads of 9-3 and eventually 42-9, with pins from Seth O’Gara (138), Joseph Cortez (152) and Gabe Jacobs (182), plus decisions from Atticus Waters (7-2 at 132) and Wyatt Dillon (10-7 at 195), plus three forfeits, to clinch the dual.
Chiles, which had gotten a pin from Kevonte Times (170) and a 9-4 win from Olufemi Egberongbe at 145, cut the lead to 42-21 on pins from Garrett Marschka (106) and Hunter Brown (113).
But the Patriots would answer those pins with falls of their own to wrap up the dual, as Derrick Lancero (120) and Ethan Billhimer (126) both picked up falls.
The semifinal was both close and also not quite as close as it looked, as Lincoln used two different three-match surges of 18 and 16 points, respectively, to advance out to state duals.
The first of those was at 160-182, where Cayden Bevis (160), Collins (170) and Wyatt Yown (182) all had pins.
The second began with Moss’ 11-2 major at 285, followed by pins from Hendley (106) and Martin (113), whose fall clinched the victory at 37-16 with three matches to go. Blanca added a 7-1 win earlier in the dual, at 145.
Pace closed out the dual with back-to-back-to-back pins from Lancero (120), Billhimer (126) and Waters (132); earlier, O’Gara had won by pin and Cortez took an 11-1 major, with decisions from Jacobs (12-5, this time at 195) and Dillon (6-3, this time at 220).
Complete dual results for the competition at Pace — along with five other region-duals locations — can be found HERE.
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