For the first time this decade, a school other than St. Thomas Aquinas and Cardinal Gibbons won the BCAA wrestling title. The Raiders and Chiefs finished second and third, respectively, to champion Cypress Bay at Pompano Beach High School on Saturday night.
After finishing second behind Gibbons last year, the Lightning took the tournament by storm for its first BCAA title. Cypress Bay finished with 265 points, 20 1/2 points clear of second-place Aquinas.
“It feels great [to win the title]. The kids worked hard all year,” Cypress Bay coach Allen Held said. “They truly won it as a team. All 14 kids placed. We only had two champions, but it’s a team game. They won it as a team.”
Cypress Bay had five wrestlers in championship matches and six in consolation bouts. Justin Cohen, the Lightning’s first champion of the night, came close to falling to Vinny Sessa of Aquinas in the 132-pound division. In the match of the night, Cohen eventually bested Sessa 9-7 in the third overtime period for the title.
“It’s my last year; it’s my senior year. I wanted to close it off being a two-time county champ, so I just sucked it up and took a lot of pain and just did it,” said Cohen, who won the 126-pound county title last year. “When you go into overtime, your body is just numb. I just managed to keep pushing forward and wrestled until the end.”
Amadeus Concepcion reeled in the 152-pound division title for Cypress Bay by beating Connor Jones of Cooper City 3-2 in the second overtime period. Just minutes earlier, Concepcion’s twin brother, Adonis, lost to Jones’s twin brother, Liam, in the consolation match of the 145-pound division.
“I wanted to show that I’m the better twin out of those three. I wanted to fight for my brother and win county,” Amadeus said.
There wasn’t much drama on Saturday as far as team results went. The top four all finished in the same place of the standings as when the day started. Only the top three cracked the 200-point mark. Next closest was Cooper City at 168 1/2 points.
“If you look at the scores, it’s the top three and everybody else is 75 points behind,” Gibbons coach Frank Pettineo said. “We’re going eight places, and the county is not that strong. If we went four places, it would have been a whole different tournament. You wouldn’t have that domination if you only had a top four.”
Aquinas finished Saturday with four titles, more than any other school.
Sophomore Grant Aranoff led the way with his second consecutive title in the 138-pound division by pinning Kiesean Stephens of Coral Springs at the 3:13 mark.
Aranoff won Most Valuable Wrestler for the middleweights.e Raiden Johnson of Coral Springs won for the lower weights, and Chris Williams of Cardinal Gibbons won for the upper weights.
Team standings — 1. Cypress Bay 265; 2. St. Thomas Aquinas 244.5; 3. Cardinal Gibbons 219.5; 4. Cooper City 168; 5. South Broward 130; 6. Hollywood Hills 129; 7. Coral Springs 108; 8. Everglades 97; 9. Stranahan 95; 10. Plantation 85.
Championship results —106: Johnson (CS) d. Charles Pierre (Ever) 7-4. 113: Sylvestre (HH) d. Guerriero (STA) 9-2. 120: Gibson (CG) pin Busenbarrick (CBay) 3:07. 126: Moreno (STA) d. Fuertes (CBay) 5-1. 132: Cohen (CBay) d. Sessa (STA) 9-7;tb. 138: Aranoff (STA) pin Stephens (CS) 3:13. 145: Marcus (STA) pin Ley (CG) 5:14. 152: Am. Concepcion (CBay) d. C. Jones (CCity) 3-2;tb. 160: Lopouchanski (CG) d. Nogradi (Ever) 14-6. 170: Bourdreau (Str) d. Jones (CS) 9-1. 182: Gittman (STA) d. Georgescu (CG) 3-2. 195: Williams (CG) d. Osterling (CBay) 2-0. 220: R. Valverde (SB) d. Guzman (CCity) 4-2. 285: Aulean (SB) pin Moreira (FtL) 4:42.