By MATMEN, Tuesday, 11:50 p.m.
ORLANDO — For the teams in the coverage area that competed in Saturday’s Let Freedom Ring, the one-day IBT that served as a keynote event prior to the state tournament, all came to one conclusion.
Freedom isn’t going anywhere just yet.
The Lady Patriots had just one champion on Saturday, but plenty of depth to spare on Saturday, rolling out to a 42.5-point margin of victory over runnerup Matanzas in the 57-team event, with 163.5 points to the Lady Pirates’ 121.
Apopka (96 points) was fourth and Ponte Vedra fifth (76), with Oakleaf also in the top 10 (T-9th, with 59 points).
Six area wrestlers picked up championships in the event, considered the state’s toughest prior to the state tournament iself in March, with an additional six making the finals.
Pirates’ claim: Matanzas left the event with a pair of titles, as sophomore Mariah Mills (3rd at 110) and senior Brielle Bibla (ranked 1st at 130) came home with gold.
Bibla’s title at 130 sent her over the 100 career-wins mark; she’s the only female wrestler in the coverage area with more than 100 reported victories. After three preliminary pins got her to the final in just 1:31 of mat time, with falls over Apopka, McKeel’s Gabriella Bombardier (10th) and Bell Creek’s Jada Williams (12th), the tournament got a key 1-2 matchup between Bibla and second-ranked Freedom senior Keyla DeLeon. Bibla scored first with a takedown, later securing a 3-pt nearfall before the first period ended, and a takedown early in the second period gave plenty of cushion down the stretch for a 7-3 win.
In the 110 bracket, Mills also pinned her way into the final, with falls over Lincoln, Ponte Vedra’s Sophia Mallon (15th) and Immokalee’s Jenesis Sanders (19th), sending her to a finals matchup with 7th-ranked Brittney Vincens of Ft Pierce Central. And, as Bibla had a few finals later, Mills set the pace early, with takedowns in each period, riding her way to a quick turn to build a 9-0 lead before Vincens clawed back some of the gap with a late reversal, making the final, 9-2.
The Lady Pirates also got 3rds from Christina Borgmann (3rd at 120), Kendall Bibla (5th at 140) and Gabrielle Proctor (9th at 145).
Solo dolo crowns: Four additional wrestlers from the area were their teams’ single champions on Saturday.
First up was Ponte Vedra sophomore Erin Rizzuto (2nd) pinned her way through the 115 bracket for the Lady Sharks’ only title, with falls over Norland, Oviedo and Riverdale’s Taylor Randolph (18th) to get to the final and Hernando’s Julia Salgado-Campos (6th). Rizzuto and Salgado-Campos traded scoring moves in the first period, but Rizzuto’s second takedown in the second made things stick, as she would get the fall in 2:34.
Combined with a runnerup finish from Ponte Vedra’s Olivia Richie (2nd at 140, 3 pins and a 9-7 loss to top-ranked Sofia Delgado of Coral Park in the final), plus a fourth from Natalia Choquegonza (6th at 120), those medals fueled the Lady Sharks’ fifth-place team finish.
Next to take a title back to the area was Westside’s Karla Ortiz (4th at 155). Ortiz needed just 1:43 to run through to the final, with pins over Poinciana, Mainland’s Trinya Tillman (11th) and Oviedo’s Jana El’harake (8th) in that space. In the final against 6th-ranked Ava Burre of Bartram Trail, who’d pinned her way in with falls over Oakleaf, ninth-ranked Hernando and 7th-ranked Mater Lakes Academy, both wrestlers scored in the first period, but Ortiz set the pace in the second with a takedown and turn, with another scoring move that led to a fall in 4:27.
A battle of area unbeatens took place in the 190 final, as Middleburg’s top-ranked Cheyenne Cruce took pins over Winter Park and 5th-ranked Countryside to get to the final and second-ranked Jada Jones of Apopka, who had three pins (Ocoee, Freedom and 12th-ranked Gateway) in getting there. Cruce bagged a first-period takedown late and a second-period reversal, making them stand up in a 6-2 decision for the victory.
In what would become another 1-2 matchup in the state, Mainland’s Cheyenne Wigley (1st) got the upper hand, taking the 235 title. Wigley needed just 3:16 in seizing it; after a bye into the quarters, she had falls over Lake Mary and Immokalee (12th) to reach the final and second-ranked Rotchiva Clermont, giving up just one escape all day. In the final, it took just one scoring move for Wigley to seize control, as she won by fall in 52 seconds over Clermont.
Notes: Apopka had just two top-4 medals, but depth carried the Lady Blue Darters to 4th, as Jones (ranked 2nd) was second at 190 and Shelby Sherman (8th) was third at 110. … Oakleaf had one finalist in freshman Kailani Barrientos (1st) at 120. Barrientos had a rematch of the Own The Ocean 120 final with Freedom’s Cameron Galvin (1st at 115), and was able to push some pace, particularly in the second period with a brief turn, but Galvin rallied down the stretch with a pair of takedowns for an 11-6 win. Oakleaf also got 3rds from Adrianna Barrientos (3rd at 105) and Jayla Harrison (6th at 170). … Clay’s Aubrianna Apple (3rd at 135) and Timber Creek’s Hayden Proulx (5th at 145) rounded out the list of local finalists. Apple had three pins to get to the 135 final (including over #8 Nehemie Gregoire of Apopka & #4 Lucy Maris of Satellite), where she was shut out, 5-0 by top-ranked Gaby Perez of Ft Pierce Central. As for Proulx, she had a pin over Lake Brantley, a 14-7 win over Mainland’s Jah’Mya Hill (17th) and a win by DQ over 10th-ranked Degriece Coleman of Westside, but lost by fall in the final to top-ranked Jennah Mustafa of Lake Wales. … Middleburg’s Gracie Bradshaw (3rd) took third at 100, while fourths were secured by Lincoln’s Sayuri Caceres (5th at 100), University-OC’s Bryanne Kaminsky (5th at 135), Westside’s Coleman at 145 and Oviedo’s El’harake at 155.
Rankings are per https://kabrawrestling.com/rankings. Rankings as included here are post-Let Freedom Ring rankings.
Results from Saturday’s tournament can be found HERE.