Girls’ Region 2
Where: Osceola HS, Kissimmee, Saturday. Still unsure of start times.
Team favorite: Much easier to determine than Region 1. Heavy favorite is going to be Orlando (Freedom) (team ranked 1st), which has wrestlers at every weight and a lot of them are very good, from the times I’ve seen them up here. Dr Phillips (#2) should be the runnerup favorite, without too much question, again from a sheer numbers standpoint if nothing else. After that? Probably McKeel Academy (#14), with Gateway (#15), Timber Creek (#5), East River and the host Kowboys (#20) all chasing for potential top-five spots. Timber Creek could wrestle to their ranking, but need more than three or four hammers to get third, I think. The coverage area has six additional teams beyond the Lady Panthers and Lady Wolfpack, as Apopka, Ocoee, Olympia, Wekiva, West Orange, Windermere and Winter Park — all Region 1 for boys — are in Region 2 for girls’ wrestling.
Rankings are per Matmen-endorsed statewide rankings source Brant Parsons of Kabrawrestling.com.
Brackets can be reviewed HERE: REGION 2
Matmen’s state picks, sure to be wrong
The picks: 1. Gabriele Tedesco (Lake Gibson, 2nd). 2. Maite Coutinho (Freedom, 5th). 3. Victoria Ceballos (Dr Phillips, 6th). 4. Madalyn Helms (McKeel, 11th).
Local impact: Ceballos is the only coverage-area wrestler at this weight and could have a decent quarter with #14 Valentina Borges of Tohopekaliga, but the make-or-break is going to be the semi with Coutinho. If Ceballos can make that matchup happen, she’s a virtual shoo-in for state.
The picks: 1. Ava Ceballos (Dr Phillips, 10th). 2. Aliyah Gonzalez (Winter Park, 15th). 3. Stacy Pule (Osceola, 19th). 4. Isabel Duarte (Freedom, 16th).
Local impact: This is another weight where the runnerup pick has a “safer” route to the final than the champion pick, because either Pule or Duarte will give Ceballos a good go; don’t count out the home factor on this one. Gonzalez’s top challenge looks to be Lake Wales, which I don’t know much about — yet.
The picks: 1. Aleksandra Vukajlovic (East River, 2nd). 2. Shelby Sherman (Apopka, 9th). 3. Maranda Borglund (McKeel Academy, 7th). 4. Mayaangeliw Colon (Mulberry, 6th).
Local impact: Sherman is the only coverage-area wrestler at this weight; she’s seen Mulero at Timber Creek’s girls roundrobins and the match with Colon should determine a finalist. Even if she falls into the blood round, she’ll have a solid chance to move on and wrestle for third/fourth at lowest. I see Ocoee’s Isabel Perez have the most likely path through the top-half of the consis. She could get a chance at the blood round.
The picks: 1. Cameron Galvin (Freedom, 1st). 2. Javanica Mickens (Jones, 4th). 3. Margo Menge (McKeel, 6th). 4. Kathleen Belizaire (Dr Phillips, 12th).
Local impact: Belizaire is the only coverage-area wrestler at this weight; Mickens in the quarters is going to be a tough customer, but I’m not seeing, even in the event of a loss, anybody on the consis that will be a scare. Could see a good battle with Colonial, maybe, in the blood round.
The picks: 1. Juliana Diaz (Dr Phillips, 1st). 2. Sophia Lahik (Windermere, 8th). 3. Tenaisha Lopez (Tohopekaliga, 6th). 4. Madyson Donnelly (McKeel Academy, 18th).
Local impact: Three locals at this weight, Diaz is a slam-dunk choice to win the region, and both Lahik and Taylor Thomas (Timber Creek, 20th) have very solid chances. Lahik’s path isn’t an easy one, but it’s a doable one, and I’ve seen good results; if she can get past Donnelly and make the semi, she will get out in some form.
The picks: 1. Kailey Rees (Freedom, 1st). 2. Samantha Sherman (Apopka, 12th). 3. Kelliana Mack (Osceola, 7th). 4. Danalie Dauphin (Lake Buena Vista, 14th).
Local impact: The bottom half of the bracket is pretty solid, which bodes well for Sherman in the top half — so long as she keeps on the front half as long as possible. A lot of bottom-half solid depth is going to go up to the top half of the consis, so losing the semi is not an option against most likely Alyssa Grissom of East River (13th). Dr Phillips’ Bruna Rodrigues is not in a great quarter for advancing forward, but she could go deep into the consis.
The picks: 1. Bailey Waltz (Timber Creek, 2nd). 2. Rachel Ferreter (Freedom, 8th). 3. Talia Lugo (Osceola, 4th). 4. Julia Ferreira (Dr Phillips, 7th).
Local impact: Top half biggest match is looking to be Ferreira v Ferreter in the quarters, bottom half is Lugo vs Waltz in the semi — the winner of that probably wins the bracket. For Ocoee’s Amariyah Myrie, best hope is to advance to the blood round, and there’s an outside chance of getting that far. But the road is more uphill than it is for Waltz and Ferreira.
The picks: 1. Madison Waltz (Timber Creek, 3rd). 2. Keyla DeLeon (Freedom, 4th). 3. Angellyn Glazier (McKeel Academy, 7th). 4. Grisbet Guzman (South Lake, 14th).
Local impact: Waltz has tests all along the path, I think Glazier could very well be a couple of spots up the rankings, so staying on game is going to be crucial. Dr Phillips’ Leah Fountain‘s best path is probably through the top-half of the consi bracket and a blood-round appearance isn’t impossible.
The picks: 1. Zoe Williamson (South Lake, 3rd). 2. Nehemie Gregoire (Apopka, 7th). 3. Hayden Proulx (Timber Creek, 10th). 4. Alissa Brown-Washington (Freedom, 19th).
Local impact. Pretty solid draw for Gregoire, although there’ll be a decent challenge from the home side in the quarterfinals and whoever makes it out of the bottom quarter will not be easy. Proulx has a solid path to the semis, and could get a challenge in the blood round, but should move on through. Key match for West Orange’s Ariana Martinez (17th) will be Brown-Washington in round 1 with team points on the line for the Lady Patriots, but regardless of outcome should have a decent chance for the final six if not qualifying out. Dr Phillips’ Jessy Jarret should get at least to the consi quarters, and could surprise people.
The picks: 1. Jennah Mustafa (Lake Wales, 2nd). 2. Kaylie Collado (Poinciana, 6th). 3. Jenna Gerzenshtein (McKeel Academy, 7th). 4. Isabel Perez (Freedom, 11th).
Local impact: Some solid talent in the top half, which isn’t great initially for Timber Creek’s Sarah Kron, but she could piece her way through the consis in the event of a first-round loss to Gerzenshtein. Same for Windermere’s Sarah Viers, who gets Collado in the first round. Ocoee’s Anaelis Marte could have a tough quarter with Edgewater’s Tamara Outlaw (8th), but will also be in the mix for the top half of the consis; Marte needs to win round 1, though. Expect Olympia’s Alzira McNeil to also make an impact in the top-half of the consis after facing Mustafa in the quarters.
The picks: 1. Chloe Shull (Timber Creek, 2nd). 2. Amy Etienne (Dr Phillips, 4th). 3. Josie Glass (Gateway, 7th). 4. Sariana Jones (Auburndale, 16th).
Local impact: Could be an all-Matmen region final, with Shull and Etienne. Shull has a pretty decent path with a test from Glass in the semi, Etienne encounters ranked opposition in the quarters with Freedom’s Natalia Mulero (14th) in a critical match for the Lady Panthers to win from the team-race standpoint. Ocoee’s Hannah Haworth will face two ranked opponents in her first two matches; a third match would be a good tournament. West Orange’s Michelle Wang (18th) has some possibilities in the top-half of consis and could wrestle in the blood round (if not further). Apopka’s Michelle Hernandez (20th) won’t be a walkover for Glass and also has blood-round chances, if not more.
The picks: 1. Lilly Yambor (Gateway, 3rd). 2. Hayeni Costa (Celebration, 4th). 3. Emily Riveira (Dr Phillips, 6th). 4. Hadassah Paul (Windermere, 15th).
Local impact: Riveira has a solid semifinal track, but will face a very solid wrestler in the blood round (if she can’t get past Yambor in the semis); could be Banishca Derilus (Freedom, 9th), potentially Paul or Mulberry’s Kira Hendrix (8th), so there’ll be some highly-ranked kids not get out. I like Paul to move into the semis from an experience standpoint and it’s a homer pick, too; Windermere has embraced our coverage this year. Ocoee’s Cierra Young gets a tough first-rounder in Costa, but might be able to make a move to the blood round in the bottom half of the consis.
The picks: 1. Emiliana Martinez (Gateway, 5th). 2. Jada Jones (Apopka, 7th). 3. Ramiyah Steele (Wekiva, 12th). 4. Frankesca Robles (Dr Phillips, 13th).
Local impact: Jones’ toughest match will probably be Freedom’s Salexa Lontoc-Ortiz (8th) in the semi, and Lontoc-Ortiz is probably the roadblock for Steele to overcome in the consis, as Martinez should be favored in that quarterfinal. Robles has a very good draw to get out, with a very winnable first-rounder and a walkover to at least the blood round, with a very winnable match there. Ocoee’s Melanie Saucedo (18th) probably has to beat Lontoc-Ortiz in round 1 for best chance to qualify out, with a loss probably meaning a matchup with Steele in consi round 2.
The picks: 1. Kiara Brin (Freedom, 2nd). 2. Madison Benson (Windermere, 8th). 3. Tanyah McCain (Dr Phillips, 10th). 14. Fedline Joseph (Gateway, 14th).
Local impact: While Benson’s path to the final isn’t totally secure, she has a bye into the semis and can get a look at her potential opponent. McCain isn’t guaranteed a semis berth, with McKeel’s Kaelynn Crowder (16th) in the way, but her chance is reasonable. Olympia’s Amanda Hudson (19th) will probably have to go through the consis to get out, and would have to get past either McCain or Crowder in a consi-quarter, with probably Joseph awaiting in the blood round. Possible, but with six ranked kids in a seven-person group, two ranked kids won’t be moving on.