PONTE VEDRA — Three of last year’s top six girls’ teams were on hand for Saturday’s inaugural Ponte Vedra Girls IBT, the first girls’ tournament ever staged in the greater Jacksonville area.
As for the host Lady Sharks, well, they were 51st in last year’s state field.
After Saturday, though, expect Ponte Vedra to leap up the state table come February, as the Lady Sharks finished the day tied with Osceola for the team title, as both teams scored 73 points, six up on third-place South Dade.
“They’ve been working their butts off, and it’s showed,” Ponte Vedra girls coach Nadine Fiege said. “We’ve been working offense and top, especially takedowns.
“The biggest thing has been getting over the mental blocks and just believing in themselves. Now they’re building their skill sets. I’m just really proud of them.”
Four individual champions with local ties were crowned, one each from fifth-place Orange Park, sixth-place Clay, seventh-place Nease and ninth-place Bartram Trail. Osceola had two champs, third-place South Dade had two, with south Florida teams Hialeah-Mater Lakes and Mater Lakes Academy collecting the other two.
Most of the area girls’ contingents will reconvene this coming Saturday in Palm Coast for Matanzas’ Lady Pirate Invitational; Ponte Vedra and Matanzas will also stage a full girls’ dual on Wednesday night, back at Ponte Vedra.
Results from the tournament can be found HERE. (Matmen will also have a full photo albums of the tournament up later tonight on Instagram at nflamatmen; several weight classes were already put up on Saturday).
Team scores: 1. (tie) Ponte Vedra & Osceola 73. 3. South Dade 67. 4. Matanzas 65. 5. Orange Park 61. 6. Clay 40. 7. Nease 34. 8. Mainland 26. 9. Bartram Trail 24. 10. Hialeah-Mater Lakes 22. 11. (tie) Mater Lakes Academy & Northside Methodist AL 20. 13. Middleburg 16. 14. Wewahitchka 15. 15. Oakleaf 10. 16. Brunswick 6. 17. Union Cty 0.
Championship matches —
100: Vega (Osceola) p. Tiana Fries (Matanzas), 2:39.
106: Brielle Bibla (Nease) p. Duran (South Dade), 3:21.
112/117: Godinez (Hia-ML) p. Charlotte Weiler (PVedra), 1:58.
122: Lugo (Osceola) p. Marissa Roberts (Matanzas), 2:38.
128: Bellon (MLAcad) d. Olivia Richie (PVedra), 4-0.
134: Madisyn Blackburn (Clay) p. Josie Sagasser (PVedra), 5:58.
140/147: Talia Megas (BTrail) p. Tristin Robinson (NMethodist), 1:51.
154/162: L. Gallo (SDade) p. Morgan Morrison (Matanas), 5:51.
172/184: Y. Gallo (SDade) p. Emma Dix (PVedra), 1:33.
222/287: Andrea Smith (OPark) p. Tayana Labady (OPark), 4:18.
ACES OF THE DAY
Ponte Vedra: The Lady Sharks collected eight top-four finishes on the day, and although they had no individual wins, their depth helped them tie with Osceola. Leading the charge was the battle that Olivia Richie (128) put up against a prior girls’ state champion from Mater Lakes Academy, falling 4-0 in the final. Richie had a second-period pin over Wewahitchka in the semis to get to that title match.
Matanzas: The Lady Pirates finished the day with six placers, three of them runners-up. Of those, we’ll go with Marissa Roberts (122), who had a second-period fall in the semis in order to reach the championship match, and then hung in against a highly-ranked Osceola wrestler before losing by fall in 2:38.
Orange Park: Andrea Smith (222/287) was one of four Raiders to place on Saturday, and won an all-local match, falling teammate Tayana Labady in the third period (4:18) for the title and champions T-shirt. Smith had earlier wins by fall over Osceola and over Mainland by injury default.
Clay: Madisyn Blackburn (134) pinned her way through the 134 bracket, with three falls on the day for her gold medal and champions T-shirt. Blackburn had pins over Wewahitchka and Orange Park, then had perhaps the marquee match of the night in which she earned an escape early in the third to break a scoreless tie, then went on to get a fall over Ponte Vedra for her championship.
Nease: Brielle Bibla led the St Johns Panthers’ contingent, which had two placers on the day, with two pins over South Dade wrestlers for her title at 106. Bibla went into the second period for her second fall, netting her the gold medal and champions T-shirt.
Mainland: The Buccaneers had four placers on Saturday, led by Cheyenne Wigley‘s third at 222/287. After losing by fall in the quarters, her opening match, Wigley had three max-point wins in the consis, including a fall in 3:53 over Osceola for third.
Bartram Trail: Talia Megas (140/147) was a one-woman team that propelled the Bears to a top-10 finish, with three pins en route to the weight-class win. Megas falled wrestlers from Wewahitchka and Osceola to reach the final, where she pinned an Alabama competitor in 1:51 for her champion T-shirt and first-place medal.
Middleburg: The Broncos’ Gracie Bradshaw (100) was 3-1 as a one-woman team, losing to the eventual runnerup in the semis. Bradshaw pinned her way back to third with pins over Wewa and Matanzas.
Wewahitchka: After losing by fall to the eventual champ in the first round, the Gators’ Kaylee Easter (140/147) ran the table in the consis, with four falls en route to a third-place finish.
Oakleaf: Jazzmine Moore (172/184) was a one-woman team Saturday, rallying for a semifinal loss by fall to take a pin in the third-place match in 1:27.
Union Cty: The Tigers’ Savannah Cliett (154/162) was 0-2 on the day, but went a full six minutes in her first match, getting the most mat time on the day.