North Florida Matmen staff report
KISSIMMEE — Charlotte has hammered a lot of teams over the past couple of seasons.
Saturday, it was Lincoln’s turn in the 2A state semis to fall victim to the Tarpons, as the Trojans were able only to win two matches en route to a 69-9 defeat at Osceola HS early in the afternoon.
“They were on us right from the get-go, and we missed our opportunities. We had three chances to pick up wins and we just couldn’t hold them long enough. We didn’t really match up well with them,” Trojans coach Mike Crowder said. “And when your best kid gets pinned, it makes it hard to come back.
“Especially in a dual meet. You tell kids to stay out of what happened the match before, but it’s hard to do.”
Charlotte got out to a 12-0 start after the first two weights and, in fact, one of those two pins was against Lincoln’s toughest kid, as Elliott Crum lost by fall to Charlotte’s Lucas Willis, a former state champ and multiple-time placer. Cody Rice (145) also won by fall early to start the dual.
Tony Davis (160) arrested some momentum, taking a 10-4 decision at that weight to cut the lead to 12-3, but the Tarpons won the next six matches. Five of those were by fall, the last of those — at 106 by Charlotte’s Andrew Austin — clinching the dual in the Tarpons’ favor for good.
Cade Newton (182), Anthony Andou (195), Jose Valdez (220), Taylor Johnson (285) picked up pins to build toward that clinching pin at 106, with Sean Taft (170) taking a 14-9 decision.
Mark Munroe (113) scored Lincoln’s lone bonus-point with with a fall in 63 seconds, but Charlotte closed out with four straight pins from Donovan Cataldi (120), Malachi Schaeffer (126), Ted Gjerde (132) and Richard Lawyer (138) to roll up the 60-point advantage.
“Where we’re good, they’re really good,” Crowder said. “We took our butt whipping, but we told the kids, if this loss gets you better for the rest of the season, then you’re better for having lost today.
“It’s not always about the loss. It’s about how you respond. What can you improve, what can you fix. We just will keep working.”
As good as Charlotte was in the semis, it wasn’t enough to overcome 2A defending champion Lake Gibson in the final.
The Braves, who ran past Olympic Heights, 47-21, in the semis, did have to put up a stronger fight to overcome the Tarpons — literally.
Charlotte led, 33-24, with four weights left to go, but Lake Gibson closed out with four wins in kind, with a 23-8 tech from Shannon Hanna (138), an 11-2 major from Evan Butler (132) and decisions from Connor Williams (3-0 at 126) and Andreus Bond (5-1 over Rice, in the final match, at 145).
Elijah Gray (160), Miguel Hernandez (170), Ashton Habeil (182) and Chase Ayers (113) each won by fall for the Braves, while Charlotte answered with pins from Willis (152), Anthony Andou (195), Valdez (220), Johnson (285) and Donovan Cataldi (120), along with an Austin 10-3 decision at 106.
Earlier in the day, the Braves allowed just three contested victories in the semi, two of those up top by fall for Olympic Heights’ David Lopez (182) and Brandon DiPrima (285), who took on Braves wrestlers that did not appear in the final. Fabian Jaramillo (120) added a 6-4 win.
Lake Gibson had pins from Cunningham (195) and Brendon Abdon (132), with techs from Bond (21-6 at 145) and Kameron McCall (18-3 at 170), a major from Gray (13-2 at 152) and decisions from Hernandez (4-2 at 160), Williams (6-0 at 126) and Hanna (9-2 at 138).
Complete results from the weekend, in all three classes, can be found here.
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