South Dade dominated the wrestling Region 4-3A final with all nine of its athletes winning their finals matchups to advance to state Saturday night at Ronald Reagan High School.
“State will be a regular tournament for me,” South Dade’s Brevin Balmenceda said. “I’ll wrestle, do what I do in practice and win.”
Balmenceda is only a junior in the 152-pound weight class, but this will be his fourth trip to state where he can win a third title. He is 60-1 with his lone loss coming out of state. His father is South Dade coach Victor Balmenceda.
South Dade scored a tournament-high with 303.5 team points. Southwest was runner-up with 158.5 points. Bretli Reyna was another Buccaneer who won his final and is advancing to state looking to defend his title.
The state meet will be held at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee on March 2 and March 3.
Team scores (top 10): South Dade 303.5; Southwest Miami 158.5; Columbus 143; Miami Southridge 134.5; Miami Palmetto 128; Cypress Bay 98; Coral Park 61; North Miami 60.5; Mater Academy 55; Ferguson 50.
Championship results: 106: Peraza (SD) d. Busutil (SR) 12-4. 113: Portilla (CB) d. Siplin (SR) 7-2. 120: Reyna (SD) d. Huffman (COL) Fall 1:47. 126: Felton (MB) d. Melguizo (COL) Fall 1:08. 132: Swan (SD) d. Hernandez (SW) 2-1. 138: Urquiza (SW) d. Milton (COL) Fall 3:31. 145: Lovett (SR) d. Vandemark (PAL) TF-1.5.0:00 17-2. 152: Balmeceda (SD) d. Wilson (PAL) 5-1. 160: Perry (SD) d. Nottage (PAL) TF-1.5.0:00 15-0. 170: Fundora (SD) d. Frenandez (SW) 5-0. 182: Harvey (SD) d. Wooten (SR) 3-2. 195: Doublas (SD) d. Robinson (NOVA) 7-5. 220: Toribio (CB) d. Casmass (WES) Fall 5:54. 285: Jackson (SD) d. Perez (COL) 3-2.
Heading into the finals, there was a strong possibility a sixth consecutive regional wrestling title and 20th overall would have to wait for Cardinal Gibbons.
Leading nine points heading into the finals Somerset looked to be the spoiler Saturday, but Gibbons used an unconventional way to rally, winning five of seven consolation matches to earn the Region 4-1A championship at Cardinal Gibbons High.
The Chiefs finished with 228 points, while Somerset had to settle in second with 222.5. Mater Lakes had the top finish for any team from Miami-Dade, placing fourth with 134.5 points.
“We did a great job to come back from the deficit,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Frank Pettineo saud. “All the guys stepped up. They didn’t want to lose. I told the guys at the break to dig for pride.”
The Chiefs will have 10 wrestlers that qualified for the state championships next week at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. Somerset also qualified 10 wrestlers to the state meet.
Gibbons senior Amadeus Concepcion, advanced to the state meet as a two-time regional champ with a 7-2 victory over Jordan Taylor of Coral Springs Charter in the 152-pound championship final.
“We went back in the dressing room before the final and talked about what we had to do to win this region,” said Concepcion, who won his match with a pulled rib muscle. “We got the mind-set and did what we had to do. We had to win it as a team.”
The only other winner in the championship finals for Gibbons was senior Osvani Lay at 160 pounds. He defeated Sean Concepcion of Somerset 17-2.
Team scores (top 10): 1. Cardinal Gibbons 228; 2. Somerset 222.5; 3. American Heritage-Delray 208; 4. Mater Lakes 134.5; 5. Coral Springs Charter 117; 6. Jupiter Christian 98.5; 7. Key West 93; 8. Miami Pace 80.5; 9. Miami Jackson 59; 10. Westminster Christian 47.
Championship results: 106: Layton (JUPC) t.p. Weidler (CAL) 17-1; 113: Napolitana (AHD) t.p. Caban (SOM) 22-2; 120: Uberitz (AHD) d. Mosquera (SOM) 12-6; 126: Ortiz (AHD) d. Smith (MJ) 8-3; 132: Estevez (SOM) d. Armengol (MAL) 2-1; 138: DeSola (AHD) d. T. Taylor (CSC) 6-1; 145: F. Talshahar (AHD) d. E. Temes (GIBB) 13-3; 152: Concepcion (GIBB) d. J. Taylor (CSC) 7-2; 160: Ley (GIBB) t.p. Concepcion (SOM) 17-2; 170: Cruz (AHD) d. Hall (FPW) 3-2; 182: Benton (SOM) p. Perez (ME) 1:09; 195: Torres (KW) d. Crull (GIBB) 4-1; 220: Schwartzbe (MAL) d. Miranda (SOM) 6-1; HWT: Higgins (JUPC) p. Benjamin (MP) 0:45.
Consolation results: 106: Gillis (SOM) d. Gasper (AHD) 4-0; 113: Yancey (GIBB) p. Guerier (MP) 0:41; 120: A. Chitty (CSC) d. Torres (KW) 5-1;126: Barnes (JUPC) d. Garcia (SOM) 11-1; 132: A. Temes (GIBB) d. Sarron (CSC) 4-1; 138: Bryant (GIBB) p. Alvarez (MAL)3:28; 145: Vallador (SOM) d. N. Chitty (CSC) 15-10; 152: Suris (MAL) p. Roca (WC) 3:51; 160: Myers (AHD) p. Cruichshank (MP) 4:37; 170: Cannon (GIBB) p. Diaz (SOM) 1:29; 182: Talshahar (AHD) d. Hall (JUPC) 3-2; 195: Alvarez (MAL) d. Hartman (AH) 7-5; 220: Limperis (GIBB) d. Lugo (MP) 4-2; HWT: Dor (KW) d. Roosna (GIBB) 0:28.