NEW ORLEANS, LA — A small but power-packed Pace squad sent seven wrestlers to the two-day Trey Culotta Invitational, hosted by Brother Martin School Monday and Tuesday.
While the Patriots didn’t threaten team champ and host Brother Martin, or runnerup Christian Brothers (TN), Pace did finish eighth in the 19-team tournament, with 134.5 points, and the Patriots were just two extra bonus-point collections away from sixth.
Brother Martin outpointed Christian Brothers, 335.5-300.5 for the team title, with Vestavia Hills (AL) third at 242 and Louisiana teams East Ascension (214) and Parkway (197) rounding out the top five.
All seven Pace wrestlers finished ninth or higher that competed Monday and Tuesday, with three finalists and one champion in senior Atticus Waters (160).
Waters opened Monday by winning Pool C, with a 9-3 decision over Ada (OK), a fall (1:22) over Christian Brothers, and an 11-2 major over Holy Innocents (GA).
On Tuesday in the top flight, Waters (18-1 for the season) opened with a quarterfinal pin over Brother Martin (2:25, eventual 6th), followed by what was his closest match of the tournament, an 8-6 win over East Ascension in the semis, for that wrestler’s first loss of the season. Waters then faced Archbishop Hannan (LA)’s Grayson Pennison in the final, taking takedowns in each period and putting together a pair of nearfall turns in the first period to go on for a 13-4 major, handing Pennison his first loss of the season. Waters became just the second Pace wrestler to win a Trey Culotta title.
The Patriots’ Jordan Baxter was his team’s first wrestler to compete in the finals of the tournament at 152. Baxter won Pool C in that weight class with a 5-0 record Monday, with two pins, a major and two decisions. In Tuesday’s top flight, Baxter had a quarterfinal pin (4:39) over East Ascension and a 10-6 semifinal win over Brother Martin, but couldn’t slow down the offense of Ada’s Tre’ Ivy in the final, as Ivy took a third-period TF win (16-0 in 4:58).
At 220, Hale Wood pinned his way through Pool D, with pins over Christian Brothers, St Thomas Catholic (TX) and Parkway. Wood kept up his pinning ways on Tuesday, with falls in the quarters over Vestavia Hills (3:58) and Houston (TN) (5:05) in the semis, but couldn’t stop unbeaten Timbrook Hodge of Christian Brothers in the final, as Hodge had a takedown and back points in the first period, making the second takedown in the second period count before a pin in 2:36.
Complete team scores and brackets from this tournament can be found HERE.