On Day 1 of the Class 3A regional wrestling tournament on Friday, South Dade held a double-digit lead with 81.5 points at Ronald W. Reagan/Doral High School.
South Dade sophomore Justin Ramirez, who finished as the 126-pound runner-up to five-time state champion Rossi Bruno of Brandon last season, reached Saturday’s semifinal along with seven of his teammates.
Though Bruno graduated, his replacement — Dylan Lucas — looks to be Ramirez’s biggest challenge at state.
“Working harder and finishing my moves right,” Ramirez said. “This year I finally have a chance. [I’ve got to] win the regional, keep my weight down and put me on a good side of the bracket.”
North Miami Beach, second with 70.5 points, led all schools with nine wrestlers in the semifinals, while Miami Columbus fielded six. Miami Braddock and Miramar each sent five.
Also making their respective semifinals were wrestlers in the state consolation round last year: Miami Southwest’s two-time GMAC champion Nosomy Pozo (132), Bulldog Jose Felipe (145), Explorer Sonny Gulesian (152) and South Miami’s Jean Concepcion (182).
“There’s so much finality to this tournament,” Balmaceda said. “You really feel for the kids and you’re nervous every match because you know how important it is. You’ve got be a good psychological coach to get them wrestling loose, tell them they’re prepared that they’ve done 50 matches before this for this reason.”
Team scores: South Dade 81.5, North Miami Beach 70.5, Miami Christopher Columbus 64.5, Miami Southwest 63.5, Miami G. Holmes Braddock 58, Everglades 50, Miami Palmetto 43, South Broward 41, Miami Southridge 36, Miramar 35.5.
Semifinal matchups – 106: Nicholas Villamil (BRD) v. Adriel Garcia-Ramirez (COL), Erik Zorrilla (SWM) v. Brandon Gonsalves (SD); 113: Steven Nogradi (EVER) v. Maleek Williams (SD), Joshua Brown (MIR) v. Gustavo Villamil (BRD); 120: Alexander Lesesne (MIR) v. Alex Edwards (SR), Luc Poliard (NMB) v. David Temple (PAL); 126: Tuqwan Stone (MIR) v. Justin Ramirez (SD), Lerch Oremar (NMB) v. Alexander Brooks (PAL); 132: Nixon Chavez (VAR) v. Nosomy Pozo (SWM), Damian Penichet (COL) v. Patricio Lugo III (SD); 138: Geoffrey Nicholas (BRD) v. Wayne Tarpley (MIA), Robert Powell (COL) v. Isaiah Crosby (SD); 145: Jose Felipe (BRD) v. Ritchie Guillaume (NMB), Daneil Harth (COL) v. Alberto Pedraza (SD); 152: Ernie Levy (MIR) v. Sonny Gulesian (COL), Matthew Rodriguez-Kirk (NMB) v. Barry Jones (CC); 160: Nathaniel Delevoe (SBA) v. Anthony Cooper (SD), Marvyns Joseph (NMB) v. Giovanny Lins (MB); 170: Eugene Kinchen (MIR) v. Courtney Stubbs (NMB), Diego Garcia (COL) v. Raekwon Reggler (AM); 182: Jean Concepcion (SM) v. Lazaro Segura (SWM), George Knowles (BRD) v. Charles Decca (PAL); 195: Jordan Sanchez (CC) v. Henry Haynes (SD), Tirso Batista (NMB) v. Adolfo Sotolongo (SWM); 220: Eliezer Garcia (CP) v. Juan Herrera (SWM), Steven Decius (NMB) v. Nicholas Wethy (COL); 285: Kevin Jacques (SB) v. Sterling Shippy (CR), Daniel Leon (NMB) v. Cornell Gilmore (PAL).
• Region 4-1A finals — All 14 Cardinal Gibbons wrestlers remain active after day one of the Region 4-1A finals. Semifinal rounds in the championship and consolation bracket will take place Saturday.
It would suffice to say that the Chiefs, who are hosting the regional, lead all schools with a team score of 89.5, but in regional play, the focus is to see how many individual wrestlers the team can get to advance to states – the four wrestlers to reach championship and consolation finals in each weight class advance.
Coming into regionals, Cardinal Gibbons coach Frank Pettineo’s initial goal was to get 10 wrestlers into states, but after seeing Friday’s results, he’s getting a little greedier.
“Still I’ve got to have at least 10,” says Pettineo, who’s coached wrestling at Gibbons for 25 years, winning four team state championships and leading 24 wrestlers to individual state titles. “But if we can get 12, we would be in better shape, so 10-12 puts us in a good situation.
Twin brothers Jamel (120) and Jamal (126) Morris will put their undefeated records (35-0 each) on the line to try and get back to Lakeland.
Team Standings: 1. Cardinal Gibbons 89.5; 2. Key West 61; 3. Plantation American Heritage 51; 4. Monsignor Pace 50; 5. Doral Academy 40.5; 5. Somerset 40.5; 7. Delray American Heritage 38; 7. Mourning 38; 9. Coral Shores 36; 10. Miami Jackson 32.
Championship Semifinal Pairings – 106: Darius Marshall (JAC) vs. Zach Sherman (AHP); Joseph Lopez (SOM) vs. Angelo Guieb Guieb (KW). 113: Dominick Gibson (CG) vs. Joseph Padron (AHP); Franco Valdes (SOM) vs. Maher Jaser (ATM). 120: Vic Blascucci (SOM) vs. Brady Moser (AHP); Jamel Morris (CG) vs. Christopher Moreno (DA). 126: Elijah Cleary (JUPChr.) vs. Christian Perez (DA); Jamal Morris (CG) vs. Alexander Perez (MP). 132: Nicholas James (AHP) vs. Joe Haan (SOM); Anthony Vasquez (CG) vs. Tyler Jones (KW). 138: David Morse (AHD) vs. Erich Byelick (CCA); Scott Pomare (CUR) vs. Danny Garcia (DA). 145: Andrew Perea (St. Andrews) vs. Chase Singletary (SOM); Draguan Golden (ED) vs. Nick Limperis (CG). 152: Zachary Wilber (JUPChr.) vs. Ale Smith (MP); Rodney Thomas (CG) vs. John Piraino (KW). 160: Racheed Skyers (GLC) vs. John Mulkeen (CS); Jeiko Dasilviera (CG) vs. Uriel Diaz (KW). 170: Tyler Gilbert (AHD) vs. Garret Rubin (RE); Conor Wipple (St. Andrews) vs. Jose Fernandez (FC). 182: Joseph Morales (ATM) vs. Adam Hude (CSCha.); Matthew Poirer (CCA) vs. Chase Kelley (KW). 195: Devin Salute (CSCha.) vs. Sterling Hill-Ridgeway (CS); Ryan Thomas (CG) vs. Marquis Brown (JAC). 220: Diego Bell (CG) vs. Christopher Perez (CS); Roberto Val (KW) vs. Osvet Joseph (BTW). 285: Richard Desir (AHD) vs. Jordan Ingraham (BTW); Anderson Milias (MP) vs. Kenneth Sagan (KW).
• District 15-7A semifinal — Northeast 53, Boyd Anderson 49: Northeast center Malik Price-Martin scored 21 points and added 15 rebounds and six blocks in the victory over host Boyd Anderson.
Price-Martin finished with a game-high 21 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks to help the Hurricanes (10-7) hold off Boyd Anderson 53-49.
“Boyd Anderson had a couple runs but we sustained them and came out with the win,’’ Price-Martin said. “One of the biggest points during half time was to get me the ball. Once I am down there on the block nobody can stop me.”
Northeast saw a 15-6 lead after the first quarter vanish when Boyd Anderson’s Marvin Jean-Pierre (18 points) led a 14-4 run with a floater and then a three-pointer at the second quarter buzzer to give Boyd Anderson its first lead 20-19.
Price-Martin, however, erased any hope of another Cobras’ comeback with a putback dunk and driving layup to push the lead to 34-29 before Hunter Osceola (11 points) hit a floater at the third quarter buzzer to build the lead to 36-29.
The Hurricanes will meet reigning Class 7A state champion Blanche Ely in the championship game Saturday.
NE (10-7): Price-Martin 21, Langham 4, Osceola 11, Mendez 12, Wiltshire 5, King 2. BA: Thompson 4, Jean-Pierre 18, Wilson 5, Eubanks 10, Romain 1, Pierre 6. J. Pierre 2. Halftime: BA 20-19. Three-pointers: Osceola 1, Jean-Pierre 2. Rebounds: Price-Martin 15.
• District 14-4A final — Archbishop Carroll 67, Booker T. Washington 53 - AC (23-4): Brimah 16, Lima 16, Garcia 12, Amaro 11, Brown 7, Levitt 3, Cohen 2. BTW: Spiller 17, Jackson 10, Holcomb 8, Pitpit 8, Henvill 7, Williams 2, Passamore 1. Halftime: AC 29-28. Three-pointers: Garcia 2, Lima, Amaro, Brown, Pitpit 2, Spiller, Henvill. Rebounds: Brimah 16. Assists: Lima 7. Blocks: Brimah 11. Steals: Brown 2
• District 16 3A final — Florida Christian 58, Westminster Christian 50 - FCS(14-12): Hernandez 17, Wicks 2, Cardoza 16, Sikora 11, Herschman 5, de Oca 4, Perez 2. WCS: Miller 15, Cronkrite 2, Reine 5, Maldonado 3, Mclean 22, Blanco 2. Halftime: 27-12. Three-pointers: Hernandez 3, Reine, Maldonado, Mclean 2. Rebounds: Sikora 9. Assists: Cardoza 5. Steals: Hernandez 5
Late Thursday - Region 4-3A quarterfinal - Palmer Trinity 63, Archbishop Curley 43 - CU: Edgecomb 16, Jean 11, Romanik 6, Savain 3, Cherry 3. PT (24-4): Gonzalez 1, Arriaga 2, James 12, Smith 2, Forristall 3, Hebb 20, Granada 4, Parten 6, Quintero 2, Waldman 6. Halftime: PT 40-13. Three pointers: James, Hebb 2, Pino, Jean, Savain 1. Rebounds: Parten 10. Assists: Granada 5. Steals: James 5. Blocks: Waldman 3.
Late Thursday - Region 4-5A quarterfinal - American Heritage 63, Boynton Beach 57: The Patriots will travel to Dillard for a regional semifinal Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Late Thursday - Region 4-3A quarterfinal - Coral Springs Christian 49, Boca Raton Yeshiva 7: The Crusaders host Sagemont Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the regional semifinals.
More late Thursday scores - Region 4-2A quarterfinals: Sheridan Hills Christian 58, Greater Miami Academy 22; Westwood Christian 41, Calusa Prep 21; Redland Christian 21, Miami Christian 19.
District 16-6A final at Belen: 3
District 15-4A final at Ransom: 7
District 16-4A final at Gulliver: 7
District 15-3A final at Archbishop Curley: 8
District 14-2A final at Northwest Christian: 8
District 11-8A final: Douglas at Deerfield Beach, 7
District 15-7A final at Boyd Anderson: 7
District 16-7A final at St. Thomas Aquinas: 7
District 15-6A final at Stranahan: Archbishop McCarthy vs. Pines Charter, 7
District 16-5A final at Dillard: 7
District 13-4A final at University: 7
District 14-3A final at Coral Springs Christian: 7
Class 5A state semifinal at Melbourne: Lourdes vs. Oviedo, 4
Class 3A state semifinal at Melbourne: American Heritage vs. Ponte Vedra, 10 a.m.
Region 4-3A at Reagan – Semifinals: 10 a.m.; Consolation/championship finals: 6
Region 4-2A at Stuart Martin County – Semifinals: 10 a.m.; Consolation/championship finals: 6
Region 4-1A at Cardinal Gibbons – Semifinals: 10 a.m.; Consolation/championship finals: 6
Region 3-3A at Lake Worth Park Vista – Semifinals: 10 a.m.; Consolation/championship finals: 6