#2Astateduals: Champion Braves Roll Past NSB In Semi

New Smyrna Beach’s Jamey Bruner (right) attempts to fend off a single-leg shot by Lake Gibson’s Hayden Whidden during the 2A state semis Saturday morning at Osceola HS in Kissimmee (Photo by Shannon Heaton; more New Smyrna Beach action photos are posted on the Matmen Instagram page, nflamatmen).

KISSIMMEE — In the world of wrestling, David doesn’t always take down Goliath.

Saturday, in the semifinals of the 2A state duals tournament at Osceola HS, the scrappy Davids of New Smyrna Beach had few answers for the juggernaut Lake Gibson program, which had won the 2020 state traditional title and won state duals in 2019.

The Braves jumped out to a 17-0 lead; after the ‘Cudas got on the board with Doug Dittmer’s second-period fall at 195, Lake Gibson then tacked another eight wins in a row to cruise to a 60-18 win over New Smyrna Beach.

In the final, the Braves held off Palmetto Ridge, 39-32, to win their third 2A state duals championship. New Smyrna Beach (16-2) goes back to the drawing board with an appearance at Flagler Palm Coast’s Flagler Rotary on Friday and Saturday.

“We knew it would be a tough go, and we had some chances to score some points, but you make a mistake, they will put you on your back, and that happened to us,” ‘Cudas coach Kevin Kehoe said.

“We ran into a buzzsaw, but we’ll be back and we’ll see some of those guys at states. We’re looking forward to it.”

Lake Gibson got out to the 17-point gap behind pins at 170 and 182, plus a tech fall at 160, before Dittmer won by fall in 2:40 at 195.

Things went from bad to mostly worse over the next eight weights, as the Braves took bonus points in seven of those, with pins at 220, 113, 132 and 138, tech falls at 120 and 126 and a 6-4 win at 106.

The ‘Cudas got some positive momentum in closing out the dual, with pins from Michael Shannon (145) and Hunter Childress (152), both in the first period.

In the other semifinal, Palmetto Ridge spotted Southridge a 12-0 lead and the Region 4 champs were able to maintain it through the 285 weight clas, but the Bears came back to win seven of the next eight matches, all of them with max-points (six by pin) to take a 52-22 win.

The championship dual saw the Braves trail just once, 22-18, following a Bernardo Barnhart pin at 113 in favor of the Bears. After that, Lake Gibson took wins in five of the final seven weight classes, with pins from Alex Walker (120) and Hayden Whidden (126), plus decisions from Blake Walker (8-6 at 132), Brendon Abdon (152) and Jason Lemmond (160) to secure the Braves’ third state duals win.

Box scores for all of the 2A matches from Friday and Saturday can be found HERE.

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