NICEVILLE — For the third straight season, Pace will represent 2A-District 1 as dual team tournament champions.
The Patriots (4-0, ranked ninth in the matmenTEN poll) rolled past Milton (84-0) and host Niceville (59-12) before turning back a determined challenge from Ft Walton Beach, 39-31, in the district dual team tournament on Saturday.
Pace will face Chiles in the 2A-Region 1 quarterfinals on January 14 at Lincoln, while Ft Walton Beach (3-1) will take on the host Trojans.
The Patriots had 11 wrestlers win two matches on Saturday, with five going 3-0. Two of those five were “max-pointers,” scoring 6 team dual points in each dual that Pace wrestled.
Ft Walton Beach reached the final behind wins over Tate (83-0) and Gulf Breeze (45-33).
The Vikings had 10 wrestlers who won at least twice, and also had five go 3-0, with three max-pointers.
Gulf Breeze (2-1) got to the semis with a 70-12 quarterfinal win over Choctaw (0-2), while Niceville (2-1) took down Crestview, 54-30.
The Dolphins had five double winners, while Niceville had three.
Results for all seven duals can be found HERE.
Choctaw and Tate will be next to take the mats in a dual meet on Wednesday, while most of the field (Pace, Ft Walton Beach, Gulf Breeze, Niceville and Milton) will be at Rutherford next weekend for The Bash. Crestview’s next event is a home dual meet with the Eagles on January 12.
ACES OF THE DAY
Pace: Senior Joseph Cortez (160, #4 in matmenTEN) avenged his only loss of the season in the Ft Walton Beach dual, going 3-0 with an earlier pin in the semifinal win over Niceville.
Ft Walton Beach: Sophomore Santiago Mayic (106) earned key pins in the win over Gulf Breeze and loss to Pace, going 3-0 on the day for the Vikings.
Gulf Breeze: Senior Ian Daily (152, #3 in matmenTEN) won by fall twice for the Dolphins, with pins in both the win over Choctaw and the loss to Ft Walton Beach.
Niceville: Sophomore Ethan Pinto (120) was one of just three wrestlers for the host Eagles to win twice on Saturday, with pins in both the win over Crestview and in the loss to Pace.
Choctaw: Junior Chase Pelfrey (285) picked up one of the two Indians’ weight-class wins in the quarterfinal against Gulf Breeze.
Milton: Freshman James Reeves (285) was the only Panther to suit up and compete in the Pace quarterfinal. Reeves would lose by fall in the second period (2:33), but he competed.