By MATMEN, Saturday, 9:20 p.m.
LAKELAND — With several of the state’s elite 2A teams, and a few elites in other classes, competition was fierce for Lincoln and Liberty County this weekend at Lake Gibson’s two-day Braves Invitational.
The Trojans placed 10th in the 34-team IBT, scoring 111 points as a team, while Liberty County — the only other area team in the field — was 31st with 12. Charlotte, with 225 points, outdistanced the hosts’ 198.5 for first place, with Mater Lakes Academy (167.5) third, Cardinal Gibbons (167) fourth and Jensen Beach (166) fifth.
Lincoln had five placers in the top six of their respective weights, led by Connor Edwards’ 3rd at 152. After a bye, Edwards had one Friday pin; after falling to Port Charlotte in the quarters, he’d go on to take four consi-side wins over First Baptist-Naples, Doral Academy, Zephyrhills Christian and win by injuury default over the Port Charlotte wrestler that beat him on the front side.
At 195, Jakob Nowak was fourth after reaching the semis behind pins on the front over Springstead and Jensen Beach, but then lost in the semis to top-ranked 1A competitor Michael Mocco of Cardinal Gibbons by tech fall. After a consi-semi win over Weeki Wachee, Nowak then lost to Jensen Beach in the medal round.
Joe Tucker (106), Jashawn Washington (120) and Ryder Luck (285) each took sixths for Lincoln; Liberty County had no placers.
Tony Ippolito Memorial: At Brandon, like at Lake Gibson, two area teams made the trip to the Tampa suburb for the one-day IBT.
Belleview was 23rd with 36 points in the tournament, while Gainesville competed in its first event of the season — that we’ve seen — taking 33rd with three points.
Host Brandon raced away with the team title, taking five weight-class wins in rolling up 320 points, 92 ahead of runnerup Bloomingdale. Barron Collier edged George Jenkins by a half-point, 144.5-144, for third, with Lakewood Ranch just close behind at 142 in fifth.
The top area finisher was Belleview’s Zack McLaughlin, who was fourth at 145. Seeded second in the bracket, McLaughlin reached the semis, behind a pin and two decisions, before taking a 13-6 loss to the eventual champ from Parrish; it was the only match that wrestler had that went six full minutes. McLaughlin then fell by an 8-7 count in the medal round to Barron Collier.
We have Belleview wrapping up its regular season at Merritt Island’s one-day tournament on Friday; as we do not have a schedule from Gainesville, we’re not sure if anything is on their schedule for the coming week.
Brackets for both tournaments can be found HERE.