#BenRichards: Evans 14th, 5 Placers

NEW PORT RICHEY — Evans began its Matmen membership with a trip over to the central Gulf part of the state Saturday, competing in Gulf HS’ Ben Richards Memorial.

The Trojans were 14th in the 18-team field, scoring 58 points as a group. Tampa Jesuit rolled to the title, outpointing Bloomingdale, 239.5-186, for the team win. Palmetto (132), Berkeley Prep (126) and Steinbrenner (125.5) rounded out the top five teams. Other than Evans, the rest of the field was Tampa/St Pete/Clearwater-area based, with a couple of teams hedging toward the southern part of the Gulf side.

The Trojans’ top effort came from a non-scoring wrestler, as it turned out, as Jermael Paul placed fourth at 285. Paul had pins over Riverview’s Nicklaus Martin (3:35, rd of 16) and Bloomingdale’s Brian Courtney (3:33, quarters), but then lost by fall (3:57) to eventual runnerup Aidan Larkin of Berkeley Prep in the semi and again to Robinson’s Richard Furey (1:46) in the third-place match.

Also placing for Evans were Tyran Schanck (5th at 145), Kevn Gustav (5th at 285), Leon Boykin (6th at 160) and Edward Clayton (6th at 195).

After losing to the eventual third by fall in the quarters, Schanck rallied for two pins in the 5th-place bracket at 145 for a 3-1 day. Likewise, Gustav also fell in the quarters at 285 (to eventual champ Nelson Cortes of Plant City, who pinned his way through the bracket), but completed a 3-1 day as well with two pins in the 5th-place bracket.

At 160, Boykin lost by fall to the eventual runnerup in the quarters, going 1-1 in the 5th-place bracket for a 2-2 day. Clayton, at 195, had a forfeit into the quarters, where he lost to the eventual fourth, with a 1-1 effort in the 5th-place bracket.

Next up for Evans includes a date to district rival Wekiva’s roundrobin duals event on Thursday, with an eye toward hosting 3A-District 4 duals on Saturday, the coverage area’s first such event of the FHSAA duals post-season.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.

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