KISSIMMEE — It didn’t feel as close as even 55 to 19.
Fleming Island dominated the scene Friday night in the 3A-Region 1 final, rolling up eight straight wins between 138 and 220 against Timber Creek at Osceola HS, taking seven of those wins by pin, and most of those in very short order.
The result was a 55-19 victory and fourth straight Region 1 championship for the Golden Eagles (14-0), and it felt like even more of a blowout than it actually was. Several first-period falls over the Wolfpack had a lot to do with that.
“Kids had a great week, great week of practice,” Fleming Island coach PJ Cobbert said. “So many young kids, still behind on matches, numbers of matches that we’d like them to have going into the district tournament.
“But they’re getting there.”
The win marks Fleming Island as the only northern team to win four region duals titles.
Fleming Island will face Riverdale in the 3A state semifinals on Saturday morning. Riverdale knocked off 2020 state finalist Osceola, 39-26, to win the Region 2 title Friday afternoon.
Start time is a little bit fluid, around 11 a.m.; as soon as 1A/2A semifinal mats are open, 3A semis will begin. The winner will compete in the state final, which are set in all classes for 1 p.m., even with the later start for the two 3A semis. A Golden Eagles win would be their third appearance in the final, joining earlier efforts in 2018 and 2019.
The Golden Eagles never trailed against Timber Creek, dominating from jump on Riley Holton’s third-period tech fall in 5:16 at 126. While one of the Wolfpack’s aces picked up a decision at 132, that would be the last points that they would score until the meet was put far out of doubt.
In the meantime, Fleming picked up falls from Garrett Cole (1:28 at 138), David Parkes (1:46 at 152), Joshua Sandoval (1:17 at 160), Jhoel Robinson (1:00 at 170), Gavin Smith (:34 at 182), Hunter Williams (3:17 at 195) and Raul Gonzalez (1:40 at 220). In barely more than 11 minutes, the Golden Eagles racked up 42 points, with a decision win from Matthew Kotler as well, by a 10-9 count at 145.
“It went mostly like I expected, the four that we won were the four I expected we would win,” Wolfpack coach Jonathan Cone said. “Those will be big in the region and in the state. We competed, we wrestled hard, and it was a good experience for the guys.”
But the Golden Eagles weren’t done yet, even after the Wolfpack tacked on 10 more points via fall at 285 and a 19-5 major at 106. Hunter Herrington needed just 92 seconds for Fleming’s eighth pin of the night. Timber Creek would close out the dual with a fall at 120.
“Our younger kids have got to stay off their backs. You can’t go to your back, especially in duals. Any time in wrestling really. We just have to get tougher mentally,” Cobbert said.
“Now, we’ll just go back (to the hotel), relax, put our feet up, and tomorrow we’ll dance with what we brought.”
Ft Pierce Central rolled past Wellington, 51-20, to win the Region 3 title, while South Dade put itself in position to reach its fourth straight 3A final, and possible championship, with a 62-9 win over Cypress Bay. Summaries on the other three regions follow:
Region 2: Two 15-0 runs propelled Riverdale to the Region 2 title, with three wins in a row from 160-182 (including pins from Dominic Rodriguez at 170 and Jonathan Lavandera at 182) and again from 220-106 (with pins from Shayne Parris at 220 and Jon Baxter at 285).
Region 3: After spotting Wellington leads of 5-0 and 14-5, Ft Pierce Central dominated, with six straight wins between 170 and 106, with pins from Kevin Finn (170), Charles Allison (182), Steven Krantz (195) and Gabriel Jacas (220), plus a major from its backup 285, Henry Jones (12-3).
Region 4: The Buccaneers tore through the first 10 matches, building a 51-0 lead, with pins from Misha Arbos (126), Gavin Balmeceda (132), Adrian Neco (145) and Joshua Swan (170), plus three forfeit victories. Cypress Bay scored its only wins at the bookends, with a double-overtime decision at 285 and fall at 106.
Box scores for all of these duals can be found HERE.