#KnockoutGirls: 4 Area Champs Bring Back Brackets

KISSIMMEE — Four wrestlers in the FHSAA boys’ Region 1 coverage area won titles Monday in the 2021 Girls Knockout Christmas Classic, the inaugural event under the name and second girls’ tournament connected with the Knockout, at Osceola.

Dr Phillips’ Juliana Diaz (115) Tocoi Creek’s Brielle Bibla (120), Clay’s Madisyn Blackburn (130) and Timber Creek’s Madison Waltz (140) all were victorious in their respective weight classes.

Diaz didn’t give up a single point all tournament, opening with a 19-second quarterfinal pin over Beebe Trained, followed by a 7-0 win over Miami in the semis. That got her to a familiar rival in Freedom’s Cameron Galvin for the title round.

There, Diaz broke open a scoreless tie 13 seconds into the third period; another 12 seconds later, Diaz scored the match’s only takedown, and made that stand up for a 3-0 decision over Galvin for the title.

Bibla, the top seed at 120, began her day with a second-period fall over Patriots WC (AL) (2:55), then falled Oakleaf Knights’ Kailani Barrientos (1:16) to get to the final, where she took on Columbus (GA)’s Jasmine Jenkins-Bey.

Bibla scored the first takedown in the first period, bagging a 3-point nearfall a minute later before a late reversal put her up, 5-2. After a penalty point was assessed in the second period, Bibla — who rode in both the second and third periods, riding out Jenkins-Bey in both — secured another 3-point turn to put the match away with an 8-3 win.

At 130, Blackburn, the top seed, had a bye into the quarters, where she grabbed a second-period fall (3:27) over Ft Myers, taking a 2nd second-period fall (3:01) in the semis over Tocoi Creek’s Kendall Bibla. That brought on Creekview (GA)’s Grace Botts in the final; Botts was one match short of placing in the GHSA state tournament at 132 in 2021.

Blackburn scored a first point when Botts was hit for a second stall warning midway through the second period, then grabbed a quick turn near the end of that period to go up 3-0. From bottom to start the third, Blackburn needed only 10 seconds to get out before grabbing the first takedown on the match to pull away for a 6-0 decision and the Knockout title.

Waltz, the top seed, also had two pins to reach the final as Bibla and Blackburn had, with falls over Mater Lakes’ (3:39) and Patriots WC (:53) to get to the title match against Osceola’s Brianna Espinosa.

But Waltz put herself in position from the first, needing only a takedown 12 seconds in that turned into a fall nearly a minute later, as she pinned Espinosa in 1:22 for the championship.

Below follows a summary of the rest of the top-four performances from wrestlers within the coverage area:

100 — Middleburg’s Gracie Bradshaw, wrestling this tournament with RPA Riot, bounced back from a quarterfinal loss to Freedom’s Maite Coutinho (6-4) with three victories in the consis to wrestle back for third, sandwiching a consi-semi pin over South Sade with decisions over Milton’s Maya Alvarado (7-3) and Coutinho, 6-5, in the medal round.

120 — Barrientos, who had a front-side pin (:13) over Ft Myers to get to Bibla in the semis, took consi-side pins over a second Ft Myers wrestler (1:24) and over Patriots WC in 1:31 to secure a third-place medal.

125 — After a quarterfinal loss (front-side pin over Lincoln’s Kierra Cooper in a pigtail) to the eventual runnerup from Osceola, Clay’s Aubrianna Apple fought all the way back to third, with four wins in the consis, including a pin over Boca Ciega (:42), decision over Hagerty’s Megan Kaplan (6-0), and pins over Riverview (3:27) and Freedom (1:34) in the third-place match.

130 — Timber Creek’s Bailey Waltz fought back to third after a front-side bye and 2-1 quarterfinal loss to Botts, taking pins over South Dade (:59) and Gulf (2:32) plus an injury-default win over Kendall Bibla in the consi semis. After that, Waltz shut out Freedom, 5-0, for third place.

135 — Hagerty’s Lauren McLeod fought her way to the podium after a bye into the quarters and loss by fall to Wildcat Nation in that round. McLeod took three pins over Lincoln’s Holly Sanders (:23), Immokalee (4:47) and South Dade (3:12) before a loss by fall to Charlotte (:34) in the medal match.

140 — Clay’s Alexis Buck, after losing by fall in the quarters to Espinosa, took two pins in 90 seconds to earn a podium space, with falls over Boca Ciega (:41) and Patriots WC (:45) before losing by fall in the third-place match to Mater Lakes (1:45).

155 — Dr Phillips’ Amy Etienne was a semifinalist (bye and quarterfinal pin), falling in that round by fall to Colquitt County (GA), the eventual runnerup. In the consis, Etienne added a pair of pins to take third, with falls over Gateway (2:05) and Boca Ciega (2:33) to claim the bronze.

170 — RPA’s Jayla Harrison also was third, with a pin over Palm Harbor and 13-1 major over Ft Myers before losing by fall to the eventual champion from South Dade in the semi. In the consis, Harrison added two more bonus-point wins, both by pin over Freedom (1:41) and a second Ft Myers wrestler (:58), in taking third.

190 — Lincoln’s Maggie Moss was third and Middleburg’s Cheyenne Cruce, wrestling for RPA, took fourth. In the third-place match, Moss won by fall in 30 seconds. Prior to that, Moss had a quarterfinal pin (1:08) over Miami before losing by fall to the eventual champ from Palmetto Ridge. Cruce fell, 10-8, to Palmetto Ridge in the quarters, with consi-side pins over Miami (1:33) and Ft Myers (2:25).

Full brackets for the tournament can be found HERE.


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