Alberto Pedraza had 10 seconds to change his fortune Friday in the Region 4-3A wrestling meet at Reagan. With two seconds remaining, Pedraza (41-5) proved his point and won by decision to represent South Dade in the regional semifinals.
South Dade advanced nine wrestlers to the semifinals with 93.5 team points. Southwest is in second place with 70.5, and North Miami (69.5) will send eight to Saturday’s round. Christopher Columbus (59) had six wrestlers fight their way in.
“Everybody is doing what they are supposed to do,” Buccaneers coach Victor Balmaceda said. “Without numbers at state you don’t have a chance to win a state title. We could take second here and if I qualified all 13 of my wrestlers, I would be happy.”
Damian Penichet (44-3), who is hoping to advance to state again this year, pinned his first opponent in 30 seconds before winning a quarterfinal match to advance to the semifinals.
“I wrestled pretty dominantly today,” Penichet said. “I had two easy matches and I pinned both so I’m feeling pretty good. We are doing better than expected. A lot of my teammates made a lot of upsets and we are looking pretty good.”
Semifinals begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Cardinal Gibbons is poised to bring a double-digit crew of wrestlers to next week’s state tournament in Lakeland after placing 13 into the championship semifinals at the Region 4-1A meet on Friday at Gibbons.
The championship round is scheduled at Cardinal Gibbons. The championship finals have been moved up to 4 p.m. to accommodate teams with a longer road trip back home. The two finalists in both the championship and consolation brackets advance to Lakeland.
For the Chiefs, who lead the team standings with 107.5 points, ahead of Somerset Academy (82) and Key West (78), things are going along as planned.
“We’d like to get at least nine or 10 guys to state to have a good shot at the title,” longtime Gibbons coach Frank Pettineo said. “This is what these guys have worked hard for. They know what it’s like to get (to Lakeland) and not win.”
At 138 pounds, Jamal Morris is seeking his fourth-straight state championship and breezed into the regional semis with a pair of pins. His twin brother, Jamel, improved to 34-0 as he advanced to the semifinals at 132 pounds. At 126, Anthony Vazquez advanced to the semis and improved his overall mark to 30-0 while, at 113, Kennedy Monday ran his record to 34-0 on his way to the semifinals.
Somerset was led by Daniel Valledor (113), Amadeus Concepcion (138) and Raekwon Reggler (182), who each advanced to the semifinals in their respective weight classes.
Team Standings: 1. Cardinal Gibbons 107.5; 2. Somerset Academy 82; 3. Key West 78; 4. Monsignor Pace 77; 5. American Heritage Delray 67; 6. Keys Gate Charter 50.5; 7. American Heritage 47; 8. Coral Springs Charter 43; 9. Chaminade 39; 10. Calvary Chapel 34.5.
Championship Semifinal Pairings -- 106: Dylan Morse (AHD) vs. Brevin Balmeceda (KGC); Anthony Botta (CG) vs. Steven Moreno (MP). 113: Nicholas Desola (AHD) vs. Daniel Valledor (SOM); Kennedy Monday (CG) vs. Joseph Casasola (KW); 120: Raul Gonzalez (PT) vs. Brady Moser (AH); Joey Lopez (SOM) vs. Angelo Guieb (KW). 126: Todd Perry (KGC) vs. Justin Cohen (MP); Anthony Vazquez (CG) vs. Caleb Ashe (KW). 132: Jonathan Astacio (SOM) vs. Jamel Morris (CG); Alex Perez (MP) vs. Dominick Venturi (AH). 138: David Morse (AHD) vs. Amadeus Concepcion (SOM); Jamal Morris (CG) vs. Scott Pomare (CUR). 145: Tag Wilber (JUP) vs. Rion Hunter (CS); Alex Iopouchanski (CG) vs. Christian Perez (MP). 152: Joshua Herbert (CHA) vs. Nick Delvecchio (CG); Godwin Ferrier (MP) vs. Nick Zalzer (CSC). 160: Bryce Hill (AHD) vs. Adam Hassanien (CSC); Julian Georgescu (CG) vs. John Piraino (KW). 170: Sean Edwards (AHD) vs. Uriel Diaz (KW); Nino Sannasardo (CG) vs. Matt Kirkland (MP). 182: Will Clervil (JUP) vs. Aaron Fluitt (MP); Diego Bell (CG) vs. Raekown Reggler (SOM). 195: Jarvis Gamble (FPW) vs. Devin Salute (CSC); Ryan Thomas (CG) vs. John Pozzy (KW). 220: Vinnie Cristafaro (CHA) vs. Austin Nelson (CG); Ken Rosa (CSC) vs. Alec Aranoff (AHD). 285: Valmir Gaspard (KW) vs. Matt Knick (CG); Brandon Bodden (JAC) vs. Tristan Terorotua (AH).
Miami Beach announced that Jason Kradman has stepped down after two seasons as the Hi-Tides’ football coach.
Kradman said he will be moving to Chicago with his family and will continue coaching there in the near future.
During Kradman’s brief tenure at Miami Beach, the team raised its overall GPA from 2.4 to 2.7, posted back-to-back 7-plus-win seasons, including a regional quarterfinal appearance this past season.
ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ
Justin Massey converted the winning two free throws with 13.4 seconds left as Class 5A No. 2 Heritage (20-6) stormed back from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit and stunned Dillard 68-67 in the District 16-5A semifinals on Friday.
No. 4 Dillard (17-6) appeared well on its way to taking the season series 2-1 and sending the Patriots home after Keon Farrington converted a layup for a 59-45 lead with 5:57 remaining.
Following a pair of free throws by Heritage guard Keyshawn Evans, Massey ignited the spark with a steal off an inbounds pass, converted back to back baskets before Evans. ice cold through three quarter nailed a three-pointer from the right wing to pull the Patriots within 64-62 with 3:22 left.
“I’m a senior, I wasn’t going to let this be my last game,” Massey said. “Just the pride in my team, the trust in my team. I never doubted it. We changed our intensity. We started our pressure on them in the fourth quarter and it got to them.”.
Jason Massey, Justin’s twin, had a game-high 17 points, Evans had 14 points and Drake Lamont added 11 points for the Patriots, who have kept their bid for a third consecutive Final Four appearance alive.
SATURDAY’S Miami DADE SCHEDULE