It’s become an annual theme for the BCAA wrestling championship to come down to Cardinal Gibbons and St. Thomas Aquinas.
After two years of watching Aquinas hoist the county crown, Gibbons, who won the two titles before that, took it back, winning the BCAA finals at Pompano Beach High on Saturday.
The Chiefs had five wrestlers win individual titles en route to the 331.5 points that amounted to the team victory. The Raiders weren’t far behind with four wrestlers victorious in first-place matches in their weight class.
“To us, it’s just bragging rights. We have to get ready for a state title,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Frank Pettineo said. “These boys have been working hard. It’s good to know that we can compete with the big boys in 2A and 3A.”
Jamel Morris (132 pounds), Anthony Vazquez (126) and Kennedy Monday (113) all maintained their undefeated records on the season for the Chiefs in the finals. Morris pinned Aquinas’ Nick Abenoza, Vazquez won a 5-0 decision and Monday won a 17-7 majority decision.
Now the focus shifts to districts, regionals and state finals for these three to remain unbeaten.
“I have a lot more guys to go through, but I believe I can do it. I believe I can win a state title this year,” said Monday, a sophomore who is ranked No. 10 in the nation in the 106 weight class by Flowrestling.com. He moved up to 113 two weeks ago.
Morris looks to carry momentum to win his first state title.
“This is to see where I’m at on the season and if I have to get better,” Morris said. “This is my last year, so it’s all or nothing.”
Morris’ twin brother, Jamal, also had a perfect record coming into Saturday, but he lost a 9-4 decision to Aquinas’ Sal Guerrerio to finish second at 138 pounds.
It was the three-time defending state champion’s first lost in two seasons.
“I wasn’t really thinking about that,” said Guerrerio, who broke a 2-2 tie head-to-head with Jamal in what will be their final BCAA pairing.
Jamal’s coach and brother believe there’s a silver lining to his humbling defeat.
“I prefer to have my guys beaten before they get to states,” Pettineo says. “When you start wrestling in districts, it’s 0-0. You can be undefeated or you can be 0-20, but when that district starts, that’s when it counts.”
Alex Lopouchanski (145) and Ryan Thomas (195) also won individual title for Gibbons.
The Chiefs now hold a 12-9 lead over the Raiders in BCAA titles.
Eight of the nine players on the roster scored for Sagemont in a 68-49 win over Douglas in the M.L.K Classic at South Broward High School.
Sinora Cole scored a game-high 18 points while Kandice Smith scored 11 to round out the Sagemont (14-6) scorers in double-figures.
Freshman Kelsey Marshall fell just two points and three assists shy of a double-double with eight points and a career-high seven assists.
“We played as a team and very unselfish,” Sagemont assistant coach Michael Smith said. “We’re getting the kids to buy into each other. ”
The Lions showcased their talent at the Classic, defeating Miami Norland 57-51 on Friday that lead to the easy victory over Douglas (14-6). Norland and Douglas both play the part of high-quality opponents, something that Sagemont faces often.
“Our head coach David Correa does a great job of shceduling opponents that are tough,” Smith said.
As the regular season winds down, Sagemont is moving in the right direction after winning four of its last five games.
“We’re hoping to finish the regular season strong and get ready for districts,” Smith said. “It comes down to our seniors. Anything less than a trip to Lakeland is failure to us.”Sagemont 68, Douglas 49 (MLK Classic at South Broward): SAG (14-6):
TRACK AND FIELD
Northeast All-American Daeshon Gordon, an LSU commit and two-time 300 meters hurdles state champion, clocked a personal-best 8.05 (U.S. No. 2) to win the 55 meter hurdles at the Jimmy Carnes Indoor Invitational in Gainesville on Saturday.
Gordon's twin brother Deron Gordon, meanwhile, went 7.56 (U.S. No. 11-tie) to finish second in the boys 55 meter hurdles race. The Gordons led a banner day for Broward stars.
Mutiple AAU National champion Briana Williams, who has drawn comparisons to U.S. Olympic star and St. Thomas Aquinas alum Sanya Richards, swept the 55 meters (7.56) and 200 (27.10) in the girls’ 12 year old division.
In the girls’ 13 year old division, the Plantation HEAT’s Daishon Spann swept the 400 (1:01.88) and 800 (2:35.83). Dominique Spann won the girls’ 800 meters 12 year old title in 2:40.72.