KISSIMMEE — Going up against a giant program like Tampa Jesuit, mistakes have to be absolutely minimized, if not zeroed out completely. And some, if not several, breaks have to go the right way.
Fleming Island got a couple breaks but not enough, made as few mistakes as possible against a team like their 2A state semis opponent, the Tigers, can usually force, which is, usually, quite a lot.
And yet, despite doing a lot of good things, the Golden Eagles came up just short in their bid to reach the FHSAA state dual finals for the fourth time, falling to Jesuit, 34-28, in Saturday morning’s 2A state semifinals.
Saturday marked Fleming Island’s fifth straight appearance in the final Saturday of the FHSAA duals post-season. No team in the north’s done that. And Saturday also marked the Golden Eagles as a team that can hang, and then some, against the giants of Florida 2A.
The starting weight, 182, largely favored the Golden Eagles, with a much fuller lineup up top. And Fleming (unknown season record) played that advantage to the hilt, bumping its lineup to move around Jesuit’s talented 195, Sergio Desiante, getting out to an 18-6 lead with pins from Jhoel Robinson (:52 at 182) and Walter Poe (:27 at 220), plus an Ethan Hoffstetter forfeit at 285.
But they weren’t done building a lead, extending out to a 25-6 gap behind Shane Duhaylungsod’s 5-4 win at 106 and Jayce Paridon’s 10-0 shutout for a major at 113.
The second half of the dual played into Jesuit’s considerable strengths, as the Tigers set about cutting into the Golden Eagle lead. Early on, Fleming Island took competitive decision losses, as Jesuit’s Danny Vargas (4-0 at 120), Nathan McGill (8-2) at 132 and Braden Basile (10-3 at 138) could not pick up bonus.
The Basile loss, by the Golden Eagles’ Kaden Schaefer, carried significant positive weight, given Basile’s status as a Division I signee and multiple-time state champion. But a 19-point gap was just four now, 25-21.
And the giants of the Jesuit program, twin seniors and Division I signees themselves in Tom (145) and Jack (152) Crook, next put their stamp on the dual with back-to-back tech falls (Tom 22-6 at 145, Jack 20-5 at 152) to give the Tigers their first lead of the dual, 31-25.
Ronan Bozeman (3-0 at 160) got three back for Fleming Island, bringing it down to the final match, where Jesuit’s Josiah Jenkins made a single point loom epically large, taking a 2-1 win at 170 for the final margin of victory.
In the final, Lake Gibson — which routed Merritt Island, 72-6, in its semifinal — took home its fourth 2A state duals state title, turning back Jesuit, 36-30, in the championship round.
That dual was built on three runs, with Lake Gibson putting on an 18-0 run at the bookends after Desiante’s pin at 195. Jesuit then answered with a 24-0 run on a forfeit at 120, a second tech from Jack Crook at 152, a 12-4 major from Tom Crook at 145, and decisions from Roman Lermer (2-0 at 113), Jayden Bowles (7-0 at 126) and Basile (3-1 in sudden victory at 132).
But the third run proved decisive, as Lake Gibson added another 18-point streak to run down the victory, behind pins from Jace Brownlow (160) and Brendon Abdon (170), plus decisions from Blake Walker (9-3 at 152) and Frank Solorzano (7-2 at 182).
Box scores for the entire weekend can be found HERE.
MISSING: We have a lot of missing results, from several teams around the coverage area, and we need YOUR help to clean that up. Please check out our SCHEDULE PAGE; if your school is listed as pending, or an event in which you took part is pending, see if your coach can send in your team’s part of that event. We will post results at any time of year, no matter how late they are when they are sent.