By MATMEN, Tuesday, 11 p.m.
LAKELAND — It wasn’t quite Let Freedom Ring, or even the Girls’ Knockout.
But Saturday’s 2nd annual Lady Wildcat Scramble still had quite a bit of star power surrounding it. And girls from the coverage area were quite unfazed by that, as the area brought home 10 championship medals as well as Matanzas winning the team first-place trophy as well.
The Lady Pirates raced past Hernando, 403-319.5, for the team title. Ponte Vedra was fourth, with 208 points, while Hagerty was seventh (158.5), Mainland 10th (144), South Lake 14th (99) and University (Orange City) 17th (89) in the 37-team event.
Matanzas had four champions on Saturday, with Mariah Mills (6th at 110), Christina Borgmann (2nd at 120), Tiana Fries (6th at 125) and Brielle Bibla (1st at 130) all winning gold.
Mills got things started with three pins to take Pool A, adding a fourth pin in the crossover semis over Vero Beach before shutting out Osceola’s Daniela Tabora-Contreras (17th at 115), 7-0, in the final. In that match, Mills scored takedowns in each period en route to the gold.
Borgmann continued her meteoric rise in improvement with her win at 120, with two pins in Pool C to get to the championship crossover. There, she added a third fall over Bayside to get to Ponte Vedra’s Natalia Choquegonza, who’d won Pool D and then had a pin of her own in the crossover. In the final, Borgmann had a big first period, with takedowns and a big turn to open up a 7-1 lead that would become an 11-1 major for the title.
At 125, Fries had three pins to take Pool B, but wasn’t done there, with a semifinal pin over Mulberry in the crossover and a fifth pin (2:49) in the title match over Harmony’s Shelby Fillyaw to complete a max-point, max-pin day.
Bibla didn’t quite match that at 130, but was pretty close, with three Pool A pins in 2:06, a fourth pin (1:26) in the crossover semis over Lincoln Park Academy’s Claire Betz (6th) and a second-period tech (15-0 in 2:32) over University (Orange City)’s Bryanne Kaminsky (5th at 135), who’d won Pool C with three pins, followed by a semifinal tech over Osceola’s Kelliana Mack (5th at 130).
Ponte Vedra had two champions in Erin Rizzuto (3rd at 115) and Olivia Richie (2nd at 140).
Rizzuto bagged up three pins in just under 2 minutes to take Pool C at 115, then, after a 5-3 semifinal win over Ft Pierce Central’s Brittney Vincens (10th at 110), hammered Mulberry’s Mayangeliw Colon (4th) with a third-period tech (16-0 in 4:50). Rizzuto had a pair of takedowns and five turns en route to securing the tech.
As for Richie, she won Pool A with two pins in a combined time of 1:26, and didn’t need much more time in the crossover, with falls over Osceola’s Cathia Timas (6th, fall time 1:35) in the semis and over McKeel’s Angelyn Glazier (17th, fall time 1:03) to win the title.
Mainland’s upper-weight strength resulted in three titles up to for Jah’Mya Hill (17th at 145, competing at 155), Katherine Meza-Perez (190) and Cheyenne Wigley (3rd at 235).
Hill continued her progress after a slower start, with three pins to win Pool A, then coming back in the crossover with falls over fellow locals Shyann Tate of Hagerty (3rd at 155, fall time in 1:58) in the semi and over Matanzas’ Isabella Tietje (1:09) for the final.
After a lot of time both last year and this at 235, Meza-Perez has a home at 190, with 3 pins to take 1st in Pool D, followed by falls over two McKeel wrestlers in the crossover, first Shelby Mills (13th at 235) in the semi and then over Alexia Davis (3:58) to earn first place.
At 235, Wigley had two pins to take Pool A, following those up with falls in the crossover, first in the semis over Cypress Lake’s Destine’E Thomas (8th, fall time 4:42), and then again in the final over Admiral Farragut’s Grace Vernine (6th, fall time 4 minutes).
South Lake’s Zoe Williamson (5th at 145) closed out the list of local champions with her championship effort. Williamson took four pins in winning Pool B, the added a fifth fall in the crossover, when she stuck Poinciana’s Kaylie Collado (8th) in 3:09.
You can see area team scores full brackets from Saturday’s competition HERE.
All rankings from https://www.kabrawrestling.com/rankings/girls