By MATMEN, Sunday, 12:40 a.m.
OVIEDO — Things largely held to form in Saturday’s Seminole Athletic Conference boys’ tournament, hosted by Oviedo.
Winter Springs defended its title, largely as projected, with a 24-point win over Hagerty, 189-165, to claim first in the team standings. The Bears rolled up six weight-class wins, double the share claimed by Hagerty.
And as expected, the rest of the conference picked up some gap on the two leaders — or, at least Oviedo and Lake Brantley did in finishing third and fourth, respectively. The Lions had 137 points, nearly within shouting distance of their crosstown rivals, while the Patriots had 114.5 for fourth.
Seminole (64), Lake Mary (60), Lyman (34) and Lake Howell (eight) points rounded out the rest of the league classification.
The Huskies led the coverage area, as noted above, with three individual weight-class wins from Nikolas Blake (132), Connor Gilliam (182) and Hunter Tate (195).
Blake (3A-2nd at 132) picked off a pair of first-period falls in the prelims, with pins over Lake Brantley and Lyman before majoring 2A’s top-ranked 132, Winter Springs’ Ryan Phillips, by a 16-5 major in the final. Blake would score in each period, with 3-point nearfalls in both the first and second periods to go along with three reversals and a pair of takedowns.
Gilliam (3A-15th at 170) proved he could win via the big move and by six-minute tactics to take the 182 bracket; after a semifinal pin over Seminole, the only difference between him and the Lions’ James Chiaradio in the final was a third-point penalty point issued with 27 seconds left, allowing Gilliam to close out a 2-1 decision.
At 195, Tate (3A-10th) won a pair of six-minute matches, with a 15-1 semifinal major over Lake Mary to get o the final against Winter Springs’ Aiden Gatton (2A-8th). There, Tate would give up the first takedown, but after that, the offense was all his, with takedowns in both the second and third periods, as well as a quick turn, going on for an 8-2 win.
Oviedo picked up a pair of title wins, as Josh Sabbia (113) and Luke Forsberg (152) took home first-place medals.
Sabbia pulled off an unusual feat in earning his 113 bracket, winning both matches by major. That wasn’t the unusual part; that both ended with identical scores of 14-4 was. First was Winter Springs in the semis, then Lake Brantley’s Clayton Willits in the final. Sabbia was the aggressor largely throughout, with three takedowns, one reversal and a pair of turns en route to the major.
At 152, Forsberg opened with a 12-2 major over Oviedo, but then needed just 38 seconds in the final to earn his title, falling Lake Mary’s Nicholas Ghezzi, with just one takedown needed 16 seconds in and not much more time than that for the pin.
For Lake Brantley, the Duany brothers both secured league titles, as Dario (126) and Giovanni (145) were both victorious.
Dario Duany (3A-13th) won twice by decision to grab the first title on the day for the family, with an 8-1 semifinal win over Lyman before facing Hagerty’s Benjamin Wolgamuth for the championship. Duany had takedowns in both the first and third periods, allowing only one penalty point while riding Wolgamuth out for a 4-1 win.
At 145, Giovanni Duany (3A-8th) needed to grab three wins to claim first, with a quarterfinal tech (19-3 in 4:15) over Lake Howell, plus a 6-4 semifinal win over Winter Springs, before his shortest match of the day, with one takedown being all he needed to pin Hagerty’s Gavin Nelson in 1:34.
Seminole picked up one title on Saturday, as Jerome Johnson won a pair of decisions at 285. After a win over Hagerty in the semis, Johnson was able to get out halfway through the second period to break a scoreless tie in the final against Oviedo’s Marvin Garcia-Vidot, then hand-fought well enough in neutral throughout the third to secure a 1-0 win.
Area wrestlers Zaiden Rodriguez (Lake Brantley, 106), Conner Rodriguez (Oviedo, 120), Ryan Culbertson (Seminole, 138), Kamdon Harrison (Hagerty, 160), Gavin Isaacs (Lake Mary, 170) and Landon Revis (Hagerty, 220) all falling short against the Bears.
Zaiden Rodriguez didn’t have a contested match before the final at 106, with a bye into the semis and forfeit there before losing to the Bears’ Trenton Smith by fall (2:41) at 106, while Conner Rodriguez had a semifinal pin over Lake Mary before taking a third-period loss by fall (4:16) to Winter Springs’ Jayden Robles. Culbertson (3A-19th at 138) also had a semifinal pin over Lake Brantley, but then took a 6-3 loss to the Bears’ Josh Alter, 6-3.
Harrison (3A-3rd at 160) also won by semifinal pin in his bracket, over Lake Brantley, but then fell by a single point to Winter Springs’ Ransom Randolph (2A-6th), 6-5, while Isaacs (3A-7th at 182) had a shutout major over Lake Brantley in the 170 semis, but then lost by third-period TF to the top-ranked 170 in 2A, Elijah Penton (20-4 in 5 minutes). Finally, Revis had a third-period semifinal pin over Oviedo before falling to the Bears’ Frankie Marquez (2A-17th), 4-1, in the 220 final.
Brackets for the tournament can be found HERE.