KISSIMMEE — Freedom has been looking like the girls’ team to (try to) beat all season.
Friday, in the inaugural FHSAA girls post-season series, Region 2 was the first region-round tournament conducted, and the Lady Patriots put on a show at Osceola, more than doubling up runnerup Dr Phillips, 199-98, in the team points standings.
The Lady Panthers, with their runnerup finish marking them as the top school in the coverage area, will take five wrestlers to state, with one region champion, two 3rds and two 4ths.
In all, seven teams from the Matmen coverage area will have representation in the inaugural state girls’ tournament at Silver Spurs Arena, which begins on March 3.
Timber Creek (87 points) and Apopka (58) both finished in the top five, going for third and fifth, respectively. The Lady Wolfpack won two region titles and will send four wrestlers to state, with one third and one fourth). Apopka will send three wrestlers, all taking thirds on Friday.
Windermere, with 29 points, was the next coverage-area team in the field, placing T-12th with one 4th-place finisher. Winter Park, with one champion, was T-17th in the 39-team field with 22 points, while Ocoee was T-23rd with 17 points and one 4th-place finisher.
Olympia was 27th with 11 points, while West Orange (10) placed T-28th and Wekiva (six) was T-32nd.
Below follows a summary of the day —
100: Dr Phillips junior Victoria Ceballos was fourth, one of two Lady Panthers to finish fourth. After a quarterfinal pin over Tohopekaliga (1:09), Ceballos took an 11-10 loss in the semis to Freedom. She would bounce back to punch her Silver Spurs ticket with a consi-semi pin (2:12) over Celebration, but then fell to McKeel Academy, 10-3, in the third-place match.
105: Winter Park sophomore Aliyah Gonzalez was the first of four wrestlers from the coverage area to win a region title, pinning her way through the weight class. Gonzalez (8-3) had falls, after a bye into the quarterfinals, over Tohopekaliga (2:23, quarters), over Lake Wales (:48, semis) and over Osceola’s Stacy Pule (3:44) in the championship. There, Gonzalez attacked from the jump, with two takedowns and a first-period 3-point turn before her subsequent ride and fall in the second. Dr Phillips’ Ava Ceballos was 1-2 and one match from states, with a front-side medical forfeit, dropping a 5-4 semifinal loss to Pule and a 9-1 blood-round loss to the eventual 3rd from Tohopekaliga.
110: Apopka sophomore Shelby Sherman qualified out in third, losing only by fall (5:49) in the semis to the eventual runnerup from Mulberry. Shermann had front-side pins over Lake Region (:21, rd of 16) and Freedom (3:53, quarters), taking a forfeit in the consi semis over George Jenkins and a third pin over Freedom a second time, this time in 2:18. Ocoee’s Isabel Perez was 0-2, with losses by pin on the front to George Jenkins (1:15) and in the consi quarters to Freedom (:23).
115: Dr Phillips’ Kathleen Belizaire was 2-2, taking a 16-4 loss in the consi quarters, falling to the eventual 3rd from McKeel Academy. Earlier, Belizaire pinned East River (1:28) in the round of 16, but then lost by TF (17-1 in 3:08) in the quarters to the eventual runnerup from Jones. Belizaire picked up a second win, this time by forfeit, in consi round 2 to get to McKeel.
120: The only all-coverage area final happened at this weight class (the Matmen area went 1-2-3), as Dr Phillips senior Juliana Diaz (6-0 post-season) pinned her way through the draw, including a 47-second fall in the finals over Windermere senior Sophia Lahik (10-6). Diaz had earlier pins over East River (2:27, rd of 16), Harmony (4:31, quarters) and Freedom (2:46, semis) in reaching the final, while Lahik sandwiched a quarterfinal forfeit with pins over Boone (4:26, rd of 16) and Timber Creek sophomore Taylor Thomas (1:44, semis). Thomas (front-side pin over South Lake in 4:20 & 15-7 major over McKeel Academy in the quarters) added two more wins in the consis to qualify out in third, with a blood-round fall (2:33) over Harmony, followed by a 7-3 win over East River to claim third.
125: Apopka’s Samantha Sherman got to the blood round, losing by fall to the eventual 3rd from Osceola (3:30) there. Earlier in the day, Sherman pinned Jones (:46) and Boone (1:09) to get to the semis, where she fell by an 11-3 count to the eventual runnerup from Satellite. Dr Phillips’ Bruna Rodrigues was 0-2, with losses by pin on the front to Osceola (:57) and East River (2 minutes) in the consis.
130: Timber Creek senior Bailey Waltz (22-2) won the coverage area’s second championship; after a bye into the quarters, Waltz sandwiched an 8-2 semifinal win over Osceola with pins in the quarters over Lake Buena Vista (1:25) and again in the finals over Freedom’s Rachel Ferreter in 2:51 to collect the region win. Waltz had a takedown and turn in the first period to go up, 5-0, and then rode from top, earning the subsequent second turn and eventual pin from there. Dr Phillips’ Julia Ferreira (5-1 post-season) was a second area state qualifier, taking third. After a bye, Ferreira fell, 5-4, in the quarters to Ferreter, and then stormed through four consi-side victories to wrestle back to third. Ferreira won by forfeit in round 2, then took a fall (1:43) in the quarters over Mulberry. After a nervy escape provided the difference in a 1-0 double-overtime blood-round win over Osceola, Ferreira shut out Bayside, 7-0, for third. Ocoee’s Amariyah Myrie was 0-2, with losses by fall on the front to Osceola (:12, quarters) and in consi round 2 (1:39) to Tohopekaliga.
135: After two front-side pins in the quarters and semis, Timber Creek senior Madison Waltz (31-4) forfeited in the final to Freedom’s Keyla DeLeon. Waltz, who had a bye into the quarterfinal round, pinned South Lake (1:42) in that round and went on to pin McKeel Academy in 46 seconds in the semis.
140: Apopka sophomore Nehemie Gregoire (21-5) was third in the weight class, with only a 3-0 loss in the quarters to the eventual runnerup from Osceola. Gregoire had falls in the front over Edgewater (2:48, rd of 16) and wins in the consis over Dr Phillips’ Jessy Jarret (:29, rd 2), Freedom (3:30, quarters), Bayside (6-2 decision, blood round) and a 16-9 win for third place over Poinciana. Timber Creek’s Hayden Proulx also was a quarterfinalist and got to the blood round, with a rd-of-16 pin over Jarret (1:02), only to lose by fall to a fellow blood-rounder in Bayside (3:20). Proulx rallied for pins over Edgewater (:39) and West Orange’s Ariana Martinez (:41, quarters) in the consis before losing by fall (4:24) to Poinciana. Martinez was 2-2, losing by pin on the front to Freedome, with consi-side pins over Lake Region (:34) in rd 1 and Gateway (2:17) in rd 2.
145: Olympia’s Alzira McNeil was 2-2 and the coverage area’s top wrestler, with a front-side rd-of-16 pin over Toho (3:09) before falling by pin (1:09) to the eventual champion from Lake Wales in the quarters. McNeil pinned Timber Creek’s Sarah Kron (4:13) in consi rd 2, but then fell in sudden victory, 2-0, to Bayside. Kron and Ocoee’s Anaelis Marte were both 0-2. Kron lost by 14-0 major in the round of 16 to McKeel Academy, while Marte took losses by pin on the front (1:03) to Bayside and in the consis (:53) to Freedom, the eventual 4th.
155: Timber Creek sophomore Chloe Shull (29-0) won her team’s second title and the area’s fourth and final, max-pointing through the day. After a 13-second pin in the rd of 16 over Poinciana, Shull won by forfeit in the quarters. That set up a semifinal pin over Gateway (1:02) and put Shull into the final against Cypress Creek’s Gio Frascarelli. Unfazed, Shull needed just one takedown 35 seconds in, working for her third fall of the day a bit later, falling Frascarelli in 1:20 for the championship. Dr Phillips junior Amy Etienne was fourth, reaching the semis behind a bye and quarterfinal pin (1 minute) over Freedom. After a loss by fall to Frascarelli (1:27) in the semis, Etienne secured her state space with an all-area blood-round win by fall (:38) over West Orange’s Michelle Wang. Etienne then lost by pin (4:21) to Gateway in the third-place match. Wang was set to wrestle Shull in the quarters and forfeited, but won twice in the consis, with a 4-3 win over Merritt Island in round 2 and fall over Apopka’s Michelle Hernandez (2:23) in the quarters. Hernandez and Ocoee’s Hannah Haworth both fell in the consi quarters. Hernandez had a bye into the front-side quarter, where she lost by fall (3:46) to Gateway, coming back with a consi-side pin (1:45) over Lake Nona to get to Wang. Haworth had a front-side rd-of-16 wild win (17-12) over Auburndale, but then lost by fall to Frascarelli (:13) in the quarters. Haworth then pinned Poinciana (1:51) and lost by pin to Freedom (:36).
170: Ocoee junior Cierra Young earned the Lady Knights’ lone region medal, taking fourth, with an all-area blood-round win by fall (2:51) over Windermere’s Hadassah Paul. After a loss by fall in the rd of 16 (3:56) to the evental champion from Celebration, Young won three times in the consis, with pins over Edgewater (:16) and Poinciana (2:59) before pinning Paul, an in-district rival. Young then lost by fall in the third-place match (:35) to Freedom, which had knocked out Dr Phillips’ Emily Riveira in the blood round by medical forfeit. Earlier, Riveira had pins over Tohopekaliga (:11, rd of 16) and Lake Region (:22, quarters) but then lost by fall (1:19) to the eventual runnerup from Gateway.
190: Apopka sophomore Jada Jones was a semifinalist and placed third. After a bye into the quarters, Jones pinned Bayside in 2:11 in that round, but then lost by fall to the eventual runnerup from Freedom (1:52) in the semifinal round. Jones secured her Silver Spurs space with a 35-second pin over Wekiva’s Ramiyah Steele, adding a second 35-second fall in the third-place match over Bayside. Steele’s only front-side match was a loss by fall (1:52) to the eventual champ from Gateway, but she bounced back with pins over Ocoee’s Melanie Saucedo (3:16, round 2) and Windermere’s Liliana Jensen (:31, quarters) before falling to Jones in the blood round. Dr Phillips’ Frankesca Robles also fell in the blood round; after a quarterfinal pin over Jensen (3:06), Robles then lost by pins to Gateway (:12, semis) and to Bayside (1:38, consi semis). Jensen and Saucedo were both 0-2, with Saucedo losing by fall to Freedom (1:32) on the front side.
235: An all-coverage area third-place match staged at this weight, as Dr Phillips freshman Tanyah McCain majored Windermere senior Madison Benson, 11-2. McCain reached the semis behind a bye and quarterfinal forfeit, but then lost by fall (1:18) to the eventual champion from Freedom in the semis. McCain then punched her Silver Spurs ticket with a 40-second pin over Colonial in the consi semis. As for Benson, she had two byes into the semis, where she lost by fall (3:57) to the runnerup from Gateway, and had to bounce back in the blood round, pinning Olympia’s Amanda Hudson in 1:22 to join McCain at state. Hudson was 1-2, with a front-side loss to Freedom (:53) in the quarters and byes/forfeit carrying her to the match with Benson.
You can see complete brackets from this tournament HERE.