KISSIMMEE — No matter how Friday night’s 3A-Region 1 final went down at Osceola HS, a first-time state semifinalist was going to emerge.
And after some significant back-and-forth, it was first-time region finalist Flagler Palm Coast that became the first 3A-Region 1 champion not named Fleming Island that won the title, gradually overcoming Hagerty’s early lead and taking a 36-30 victory.
The win catapults the Bulldogs (12-7 in duals for the season) into Saturday’s state semifinal round against Region 3 champion Wellington, which pushed past Ft Pierce Central, 37-25. Start time is set for 11 a.m., but will in part be dependent upon the finishing time of 1A and 2A semifinal matches.
It was three-time Region 1 finalist Hagerty (2019 and 2020) that led for most of the dual, getting out to a 6-0 start on David Mejia’s first-period fall at 138. The teams then traded decisions at 145 and 152, with the Bulldogs’ Felipe Costa winning 5-4 at 145 and Huskies’ Blake Watts taking an 8-5 decision at 152.
The teams then traded pins at 160 (Kamdon Harrison at 160 for the Huskies, Blane DeFord at 170 for the Bulldogs), with decision wins at 182 for Hagerty’s Ethan Gomez (6-5) and at 195 for the Huskies’ Hunter Tate (4-3) giving the District 3 champions a 21-9 lead halfway through the dual.
But the District 2 champs had some answers up top, with Seth Davis racking up a pin at 285 and Dalton Schell collecting a 12-6 decision at 220, as Timothy McLean’s forfeit at 106 giving Flagler Palm Coast its first lead in the dual, 24-21. Hagerty (23-8) got an answering 9-3 win from Lochlann Higgins to tie it up with three matches left.
But in two of those three matches were the possibility of bonus points from Bulldog juniors Kole Hannant and John Hald, and the lower-weight duo did not disappoint, with Hannant (120) winning by fall and Hald (126) by first-period injury-default to clinch the dual. The Bulldogs then forfeited to Hagerty’s Logan Acey-Kriegshauser at 132 in wrapping up the dual.
FPC’s top-side fellow semifinalist, Wellington, also had quite a bit of drama in turning back Ft Pierce Central in the Region 3 final.
The Wolverines won the final five matches of the dual, building a 22-0 run that turned a 10-point Ft Pierce Central advantage into a 12-point Wolverines victory.
Patrick Jones (120) had a fall during that run, while Cameron Gibson (12-1 at 113) added a bonus point and the Marvels, Sam (8-7 at 126) and James (5-3 in sudden victory at 132), both added decisions to go with Quang Phan’s forfeit win at 106. Earlier, Juan Quintero (16-0 at 195) won by tech, with Seth Rhodes (13-5 at 152) adding a major and Cameron Howard (7-6 at 138) and Edol Adonis (11-5 at 182) taking decisions.
Riley Orr (170), Hernan Ortiz (220) and Gabriel Jacas (285) each had pins for the Cobras, with JT Apicella pitching a 10-0 shutout for a major at 160. Jacob Fleitas (12-6 at 145) added a decision victory for Ft Pierce Central.
Here’s a look at the rest of the 3A state bracket, which was far less dramatic Friday night:
Palmetto Ridge 54, Osceola 20: In the Region 2 final, the Bears gave up the first pin to the Kowboys’ Cooper Haase (138), but then put up a 27-0 run that kept Palmetto Ridge ahead by double digits the rest of the way.
Brennan Van Hoecke (145), Carson Miller (152), Aiden Vega (182) and Austin Foye (285) won by fall for the Bears, who also picked up forfeits at 170, 106, 113 and 132. Roman Garcia (3-1 at 160) and Bernardo Barnhart (10-3 at 120) added decision victories for Palmetto Ridge.
In addition to Haase’s fall at 138, the Kowboys got a fall from Jomar Sanchez (220), a 15-0 tech from Anderson Heap (126) and a 4-3 win from Bryan Gari at 195.
South Dade 54, Cypress Bay 21: The four-time defending 3A duals champion Buccaneers won their fifth Region 4 title, winning six straight matches from 152 through 220 (a 31-0) run.
William Strickland (170), Ansel Cervantes (195), Sawyer Bartelt (220), Luis Acevedo (113) and EJ Solis (132) all won by fall for South Dade, with Misha Arbos (16-1 at 138), Alex Couto (17-0 at 152) and Chris Sanchez (18-3 at 182) all adding TFs. Adrian Morales (120) won by forfeit and Cordell White (160) took a 9-5 win for the Buccaneers.
For the Lightning, Rafael Diniz (145) won by fall and Gabriel Herrero added a 6-5 win at 126, with Gozie Mosi (285) and Andrew Punzalan (106) winning by forfeit.
Box scores for Friday’s competitions can be found HERE.
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