#Recap: Matanzas Defends TofC Team Title

Matanzas wrestlers and coaches celebrate a successful defense of the Lady Rams Tournament of Champions team title Saturday at Lake Mary (Photo by Matmen)

By MATMEN, Monday, 10:35 p.m.

LAKE MARY — A year ago, the inaugural Lady Ram Tournament of Champions had half the teams it would have this year, and it took everything Matanzas had to hold off Dr Phillips to win the event’s first title trophy by one point.

This year, with an event three weeks later in the calendar, the event sustained typical growing pains that are pair of a tournament growing to 37 teams, but the Lady Pirates were able to build a more comfortable gap in defending their title.

Thanks to a pair of titles, two more wrestlers in the finals, plus three additional placers, Matanzas was able to push past Middleburg, 158.5-121, for the title defense. The Lady Broncos, which had 35 points last year, outpointed Dr Phillips (100 points) for second, with Ponte Vedra (95.5) fourth.

Middleburg wrestlers and coaches celebrate a runnerup team finish Saturday at Lake Mary’s Lady Rams Tournament of Champions (Photo submitted by Jamie Harrison via Facebook).

Additional area teams were Mainland (6th, 85 points), Oakleaf (7th, 82), Bartram Trail 12th (49), Westside 14th (36), Tocoi Creek 15th (34), Oviedo 18th (26), West Port T-20th (22), Hagerty & Seminole T-23rd (20), St Augustine & University (Orange City) T-28th (18), and the host Lady Rams T-33rd (five).

Four of the 14 finals were all-area, with locals guaranteed first-place medals at 105, 140, 170 and 235.

First up was the 105 final, where 2nd-ranked Adrianna Barrientos of Oakleaf asserted dominance on the feet, racking up four takedowns before using one for a turn and fall in 2:38 over 8th-ranked Skyla Fisher of Middleburg. Earlier in the day, Barrientos had three pins over University (Orange City)’s #11 Jaelyn Sunseri (pigtail), Lake Mary and Osceola in order to get to Fisher, who had two pins of her own en route to the final.

At 140, second-ranked Olivia Richie of Ponte Vedra made short work of Matanzas’ Gabrielle Proctor, with a takedown, turn and fall over Proctor in 25 seconds. Earlier in the day, Richie had a fall over Seminole and an 8-5 semifinal win over #7 Ailee Briggs of Key West to get to Proctor, who had two pins and a 3-1 win over #5 Cathia Timas of Osceola in reaching the title round.

170 saw Oakleaf’s Jayla Harrison (6th) pin her way through the tournament, with falls over Poinciana, Ft Pierce Central and Dr Phillips prior to facing off against the Lady Panthers’ Amy Etienne (13th) in the title match. Harrison needed just one takedown, with a quick turn midway through the first period before her second turn led to a pin over Etienne in 1:51. Etienne had also pinned her way through her half of the bracket to get to Harrison.

The final final of the day saw Mainland’s Cheyenne Wigley (3rd at 235) complete a trio of falls; after earlier pins over Dr Phillips and Matanzas’ Ani Brown (16th) in the semis, Wigley’s third pin came in 2:21 over Dr Phillips’ Tanyah McCain, who had a semifinal pin over Mainland for her only match of the day. After a scoreless first period, Wigley was able to reverse out from bottom and turn McCain to her back for the fall.

Of the finals where a Matmen-area competitor defeated an out-of-area wrestler, probably the most seismic victory came from Bartram Trail’s Katherine Stewart (#2-145). After preliminary pins over Hagerty and Bayside, plus a 9-7 win over #3-140 Kendall Bibla of Matanzas in the semi, Stewart got a shot at the top 145 in Florida, Lake Wales’ Jennah Mustafa. There, it was Stewart that pushed the pace throughout the first period, with a headlock turned into a fall in 1:38 for the title.

At 115, Ponte Vedra’s Erin Rizzuto earned an OW award, remaining unbeaten for the regular season with three pins and a tech fall victory in the final, earning the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award. Rizzuto (2nd) had first-period falls over Jensen Beach, Dr Phillips and former Lake Mary wrestler Jocelyn Higgins (14th), now at Tavares (fall time 1:07). Against #5 Mayangelie Colon of Mulberry, Rizzuto racked up three nearfalls in the first period and two more in the second; her last in the third period was good for a 17-2 tech in 5:48.

Immediately after Rizzuto’s tech at 115, Matanzas’ Christina Borgmann (#3 at 120) wasn’t nearly as dominant in the 120 final as she’d been earlier in the day (pins over Dr Phillips & Osceola, 15-0 TF over #7 Natalia Choquegonza of Ponte Vedra in the semis), but she shut down the offense of Mater Lakes Academy’s Arianna Ruiz (11th), taking a 7-0 decision. Ruiz hadn’t been scored on prior to final, but Borgmann had a pair of takedowns and a brief turn during the final.

Likewise at 125, Oakleaf’s Kailani Barrientos (2nd at 120) closed down the offense of Palm Harbor University’s Juliana Caisse (10th-130) with an 8-1 decision. Barrientos grabbed a pair of takedowns in the first period and a third one in the second, adding a turn as well. Caisse rode Barrientos throughout the third, but wasn’t able to work a turn of her own. Earlier in the day, Barrientos had pins over Treasure Coast, Ponte Vedra and Seminole’s Brianna Pena (19th) in the semis.

Top-ranked Brielle Bibla (130) needed just 3:19 of mat time to take the title in her weight class; after preliminary pins over Winter Springs and Dr Phillips in the quarters and semis, Bibla took on 3rd-ranked Callie Alfieri of Gulf for the championship. Once Bibla asserted control with a takedown, it didn’t take long for her to collect the fall, as just one takedown was needed for a pin in 1:12.

The last area vs out-of-area final going the area’s way was at 190, where top-ranked Cheyenne Cruce of Middleburg pinned her way through the bracket with preliminary falls over Osceola and Mainland’s #11 Katherine Meza-Perez (1:59, semis) before pinning Key West’s Shannon Briggs in 3:46 for the title. Cruce had a takedown and 3-point turn in the first period, with her second takedown leading to another turn and fall.

Finalists from the coverage area who fell in the championship round to an out-of-area competitor were Middleburg’s Gracie Bradshaw (4th-100, lost by fall in 1:23 to #1 Kealonie Vega of Osceola) and Heidi Castleberry (lost by fall to #1-135 Gabriella Perez of Ft Pierce Central, in 1:14); Matanzas’ Mariah Mills (4th-110, lost by a 7-6 count to #1 Sofia Ferran of Mater Lakes Academy) and West Port’s Jayden Dodge (5th-155, lost by a 6-4 count to #5-145 Lilly Luttrell of Tampa Freedom in the 155 final).

Complete results from the tournament can be found HERE.

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