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Catholic wins 11th Greater Baton Rouge Championships in a row
GBR area possible seeding implications
Editor | 02/06/2013

Bears' Total Now at 24
The last time Catholic did not win the Greater Baton Rouge Championships the New England Patriots were about to win their first Super Bowl, Frodo and Sam had just started a vacation to Mordor, there were three living Beatles and Jed Bartlet (left) was running for his second term as President of the United States.

That was in 2002 when Guy Mistretta's Redemptorist Wolves beat Catholic by 24 points behind tournament champions Kyle Hargroder, Chris Durrett, Myles Hannaman, Donnie Jones and Matt Valentine.  Mistretta's team also won the Division III state championship that year while Tommy Prochaska's Bears placed a respectable third in Division I behind Brother Martin and Jesuit.

Prior to 2002 Catholic had won the title 13 times, dating to the event's conception in 1970 (won by Catholic).  Those teams were coached by Tommy Prochaska, Kenny Spellman, Steve Messonnier, Bobby Moreau, Bobby Navo, Mark Stanzione, Mac Faul and Barret Murphy.  No other school has dominated their metropolitan area like the Bears have dominated Baton Rouge's.

Finals Results and Photographs

Final Team Standings

The only Baton Rouge area school that did not participate in the Greater Baton Rouge Championships on Friday, February 1st and Saturday, February 2nd, might have been Lee High, albeit the Rebels always seem to be present when former coach Bill Bofinger is in the gym.  But it did not matter if a team had 60 wrestlers or only one, if they were able to be there, they were at the Catholic High School gymnasium that weekend.

Prochaska's 2012-13 team placed 10 wrestlers in the finals.  Eight of them won championships.  The Bears far outpaced runner-up Brusly, tallying a team total of 327 points.  Brusly, with 200 points, eked by Live Oak and their 196 points.  Dutchtown was not far behind, placing fourth with 186 points.  A battle took place for fifth place, won by East Ascension with 132 points.  Zachary (128) and St. Michael (118.5) completed the top seven of the 23 teams which participated.

Three defending Greater Baton Rouge champions were in the mix: Live Oak's Cody Hill (126 lbs.), Catholic's Brandon Luckett (160 lbs.), who also won in 2011, and Catholic's Caleb Sutton (195 lbs.).  One notable former GBR champion in the gym was none other than the Bears' Coach Prochaska, who won his title in 1991.

[All photos below enlarge when clicked.]

2013 Greater Baton Rouge Champion Team: Catholic High School 2013 GBR Championships Individual Champions.
Lower Weight Outstanding Wrestler Cody Hill of Live Oak (126 lbs.) Upper Weight Outstanding Wrestler Matthew Moreau of Catholic (170 lbs.)

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Finals Results and Photographs

(Photos are in chronological match order. They do not align in a centered fashion for reasons beyond current comprehension.)

Weight (Click for Bracket) Match Synopsis and State Championship Seeding Implications

[Note: Only the 285 lbs. weight class' seeding implications reflect the outcome of the February 6th dual meet between Jesuit and St. Paul's.  It is unlikely any of those mentioned will drop down to 220 lbs.]

Alex Betteridge (EA) pinned Colt Olinde (LO) in 2:55
Top-seeded Alex Betteridge of East Ascension had a 3-0 record in matches versus Live Oak's Colt Olinde upon entering the finals.  That record seemed to be in jeopardy early as Olinde took him down in the first period.  Olinde grabbed a single leg, Betteridge sprawled and tried a hip toss, but Olinde was able to pull his head out to score the points.  The second round started with Betteridge on bottom and trailing 2-0.  Betteridge stood up on the whistle, and when Olinde tried to lift him back to the mat, the Spartan popped his hips over Olinde to score a reversal and tie the score.  Olinde escaped and took a 3-2 lead.  He then dove for Betteridge's ankle to no avail, and on a second attempt at a double-leg shot, Betteridge wrapped his arm around the back of Olinde's head and whipped him back to the mat.  Hopping over to a grapevine, Betteridge recorded a fall and East Ascension's first championship of the day in 2:55.

With the absence of Denham Springs' Christopher Marson due to a season-ending injury at the Louisiana Classic, Betteridge should find himself seeded #4 in the Division I state championships behind Brother Martin's Mason Mauro, Jesuit's Ben D'Antonio and Rummel's Devyn Breaud.

Olinde's solid performance should solidify him as a second seed in Division II behind Teurlings Catholic's Brock Bonin.

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Mitch Napoli (CAT) decisioned Baret Sanchez (BRU) 11-5
The two juniors had not met each other yet this season, but the #1 seed Napoli seemed not to care as he took an early and irrevocable lead over the returning Division II state champion.  The Catholic wrestler used a fireman's carry twice and a head-lever to score two nearfall points, and jumped ahead to an early 6-1 lead after the first period.  Sanchez started the second period on the bottom and quickly escaped, but Napoli answered with an ankle-pick which he turned into a double-leg takedown.  Napoli let his opponent go and took him down again with a single-leg shot.  The period ended with Napoli ahead 10-3.  Napoli escaped easily in the third period but his takedowns were not as sharp as they were in the first four minutes.  He missed a fireman's carry and then a single-leg shot.  Sanchez pounced on the single-leg miss, shucked Napoli's head one way and spun the other way to score his only takedown.  Sanchez was unable to turn Napoli over and the match ended 11-5.

Napoli should be the #4 seed in Division I behind Jesuit senior Mitch Capella, Comeaux's Connor Stampley and Brother Martin's Taylor Gambill.

Sanchez should find himself in a rare position as a returning state champion, as the #2 seed in Division III.  A close 7-5 loss to Basile sophomore Raymond Bushnell at the Brusly Invitational portends that.

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Phillip Nauta (CAT) decisioned Wyatt LeJeune (BRU) 8-5
LeJeune earned the #1 seed with a 6-1 victory over Nauta on November 3rd at the St. Michael Warrior Open. But Nauta started the scoring with a fireman's carry from his knees for a takedown.  LeJeune was able to escape and Nauta led 2-1 after the first period.  The second round appeared to belong to LeJeune as he escaped from Nauta and took him down with his own fireman's carry, but Nauta was able to reverse him to tie the score at 4-4.  At the end of the period LeJeune was awarded an escape point by the scorekeeper at least, but eventually the point, if there ever was one called, was nullified.  Nauta started the third period with a stand-up switch for a reversal and a two point lead.  But LeJeune was able to escape and only one point separated the two wrestlers.  As time ran out a desperate attempt by LeJeune was thwarted by Nauta, who earned another takedown and an 8-5 win.

A head-to-head overtime loss to Rummel's Tyler Mire will probably place Nauta as a #4 seed in Division I, also behind Brother Martin's Paul Klein (who has defeated Nauta) and Comeaux's Jacob Dale.

LeJeune, a state runner-up in 2012, should be the favorite to win Division III this year

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Cody Hill (LO) decisioned Brennan Taylor (CAT) 11-4
This was a match many people were looking forward to seeing.  Live Oak junior Cody Hill had a 4-3 season advantage over Catholic junior Brennan Taylor. Taylor is the only wrestler all season who has defeated Hill.  And while not discounting his effort, his third win, in overtime in the semifinals of the Louisiana Classic, may have been a bit tainted, as were the mats and the singlets, by the blood spewing from a cut on Hill's head.

Hill left no questions unanswered in this match.  His first single-to-a-double-leg takedown occurred within 20 seconds.  He feebly tried to hold Taylor, and when Taylor escaped he deftly took him down with another single-leg shot.  This time Hill made no pretenses about riding Taylor, and after he wriggled out of a good shot by Taylor, he took his opponent down with another single-leg shot with five second remaining.  After two minutes Hill had a 6-2 lead.  Starting the second period Hill again let Taylor go, making it a 6-3 match.  A lot of attempts netted zero points for either wrestler until Hill was warned for stalling with 20 seconds remaining.  Taylor shot too low and Hill was able to pop his hips over Taylor's to get another takedown and an 8-4 lead.  It was Taylor's turn to let Hill go at the beginning of the third period.  Taylor again came close, lifting a single leg of Hill's high off of the mat, but could not manage to gain control over Hill for the takedown.  Hill scored one more takedown and once again let Taylor go.  The match ended in an 11-4 Hill victory and a 5-3 season series between the two wrestlers.  This was Hill's second Greater Baton Rouge championship and he was voted the tournament's outstanding wrestler of the lower weight classes for his win over Taylor and the two falls he recorded en route to the finals.

Hill will be the very heavy favorite to repeat as a Division II state champion.  Aside from his victories over Taylor he has wins over Brother Martin's Austin Meyn, Rummel's two-time defending Division I state champion Matt Calcote and returning Division I state champion Jacob Dale of Comeaux.

Taylor, despite defeating the best wrestler in his weight class three times, finds himself in the bizarre position of probably being seeded fourth at the state tournament.  He lost an overtime decision to Calcote, who should be seeded in the #2 spot, and he lost to Meyn in the Trey Culotta Invitational and the Louisiana Classic by scores of 2-1 and 4-2.  Meyn has beaten Calcote twice and should be the #1 seed.  But while Taylor was finishing 2nd at the GBR Championships, Meyn was doing the same thing at the hands of John Ehret's Stefon Foster at the Greater New Orleans Championships.  On the season, Foster and Meyn are 2-2.  Foster's win is not enough to seed him higher than Meyn, which is fortunate, as that could start a nasty Möbius Loop scenario.

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Trevor Schermer (BRU) decisioned Matthew Mire (CAT) 7-2
Two-time Division III state champion Trevor Schermer of Brusly defeated Catholic sophomore Matthew Mire 7-2 in consolation finals of the Louisiana Classic.  Apparently, Mire had another outcome in mind for this match.

The video is inconclusive as to how (meaning the camera turned itself off) but Mire scored a takedown in the first period for a 2-0 lead.  Mire basically let Schermer go at the beginning of the second round.  For the majority of the rest of the round, Schermer stalked Mire with one and then the other knee on the mat, taking shots but not getting inside enough to score, and letting Mire get a duck-under once which he was unable to convert.  Finally, Schermer sprang fast enough to get Mire's ankle which he was able to turn into a double-leg takedown with 15 second remaining in the round.  Unlike some wrestlers to follow, who gave away escape points that led to ties and even leads, Schermer was determined to ride Mire in the third round.  He did so with tenacious leg-riding and appeared to be one second away from his first GBR championship.  But the officials had warned Schermer for stalling with 17 seconds left on the clock (the video camera was working at this point).  As he was warned when he was in the top position, the match should have been stopped and restarted.  This they rectified, although they placed 19 seconds back on the clock.  Schermer, however, sunk his legs in again and was able to ride-out the round and win the championship with a 3-2 score.

Schermer, a junior, will be the #1 seed in Division III as he hopes to follow in his brother Austin's footsteps by winning his third state championship (as well as a fourth next season).

Mire will be the #3 seed behind St. Paul's Connor Campo and Rummel's Rick LaCava (who has defeated Schermer twice) unless Brother Martin's Dominic Casadaban wrestles at 132 at the state tournament, which will put Mire in the #4 spot.  Casadaban has wrestled in Louisiana at 132 only one time, but the match was a 6-4 victory over Mire.

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James Claitor (CAT) decisioned Seth Bosarge (LO) 9-0
James Claitor, the top-seeded junior from Catholic who has not been defeated by a Louisiana wrestler all season, entered the tournament with two of his wins over Live Oak junior Seth Bosarge.  Claitor made it to the finals after amassing three pins.  Bosarge, the third seed, had a tougher time, needing a "Sudden Victory" period to defeat #2 seed Michael Bernard of East Ascension 9-7.

From the start of this match it seemed things might be different.  Neither wrestler was able to score any points early and the first period ended 0-0.  In the second period Claitor chose the bottom position and, in a strategy mentioned earlier, Bosarge chose to start the match in the neutral position, which meant giving Claitor a go-ahead point after a round in which no points were scored.  Claitor took that point and more though, sprawling on a Bosarge double-leg attempt and spinning around for a takedown with 0:43 seconds left in the round.  That was enough time for Claitor to work Bosarge onto his back with a nearside cradle and score three additional nearfall points.  Claitor led 6-0 after the second period.  In the third period Claitor rode Bosarge for 90 seconds, fending off stand-ups and a Granby roll attempt by Bosarge, and trying a banana-split at one point, although Bosarge almost escaped because of that move.  With 30 seconds remaining Claitor started in the "optional position" on the top but had no intention of letting Bosarge escape.  Claitor dropped right into a cradle attempt that Bosarge was unable to defend himself against.  Claitor turned Bosarge with five second remaining and was awarded three nearfall points as the buzzer sounded, sealing a 9-0 championship.

Claitor has defeated the best anyone has thrown at him at 138 lbs., including Brother Martin's formerly undefeated Dominic Casadaban and St. Paul's David Englehardt, who was undefeated by Louisiana wrestlers at 145 lbs., in the Louisiana Classic.  He is the obvious choice for the #1 seed in Division I.

Bosarge is in a tough 138 lbs. Division II weight class, but should be seeded second to Holy Cross' George Benoit, who has 6-1 and 6-4 victories over the Live Oak wrestler.  One and two point victories by Bosarge over Belle Chasse's Jordan Mastrianni should negate Mastrianni's 1-1 record with Benoit.

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Grant Godso (RED) decisioned Brandon Cowell (DUT) 5-3
On January 26th at the Ken Cole Invitational, Redemptorist's top-seeded Grant Godso was basically knocked unconscious during the second period and had to give up medical forfeit to third-seeded Anthony Taylor of Huntington.  On this day, the Redemptorist senior entered the finals after pinning his first three opponents.  His opponent was Dutchtown sophomore Brandon Cowell.  In their only previous match Godso prevailed 7-4 at the Louisiana Classic.

Scoring was rare in this match.  No takedowns were scored in the first period.  Cowell, starting the second period on bottom, tried a switch but was basically let go to enjoy a 1-0 lead.  A fireman's carry attempt by Godso failed and Cowell led 1-0 after two periods.  In the third period Cowell was able to stop an initial switch attempt by Godso, but Godso was later able to perform a Perterson roll for a reversal and two nearfall points for a 4-1 lead.  Cowell's extraction from Godso's pinning combination resulted in a reversal, but he was down 4-3.  Opting to try for an overtime period, Cowell let Godso up for a one point escape, giving Godso a 5-3 lead.  Cowell did not have enough time, though, to take Godso down, and the score stayed that way as the match ended.

Godso's only losses include only an early season decision against East Ascension's Michael Bernard and his medical forfeit at the Ken Cole.  In winning the Sam Sara Invitational he defeated then undefeated Tyler Frame of Rummel in the finals seconds.  He should easily be a favorite to repeat as a Division III state champion.

145 lbs. is a hard Division I weight class.  It will include Frame and Jesuit's Louisiana Classic champion Efosa Eboigbe.  It very much may include St. Paul's returning state champion David Englehardt and Brother Martin's Tyler Robertson.  Cowell's wins over Brother Martin's Logan Labry and Patrick Hoppe should favor him for the #5 spot over Ehret's Jack Fontenot.

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Kevin Moran (CAT) decisioned Koby Mancuso (BRU) 1-0
Brusly sophomore Koby Mancuso defeated Catholic's senior Kevin Moran 3-2 in the Louisiana Classic to garner this weight class' top-seeding.  That barrage of scoring was not to be repeated in this match.  The first period ended 0-0.  In the second period, Moran was on bottom and tried a Granby roll but Mancuso was able to stop it.  But with 40 seconds remaining Moran, the #2 seed, managed to stand up, turn into Mancuso and score an escape point.  Mancuso sprawled on a Moran double-leg attempt but was unable to clear his leg from Moran's grasp when trying to spin behind him.  The round ended with Moran owning a 1-0 lead.  Starting the third period on the bottom, Mancuso stood up and Moran was inadvertently poked in the eye, stopping the match for a few minutes.  When the match resumed Moran still had 1:56 to ride-out Mancuso.  Riding with his legs, keeping constant pressure on Mancuso's lower back and working a variety of forced half-nelson's, Moran almost got caught "too high" on Mancuso, who grabbed his head with both hands but was unable to pull him over with 30 second remaining.  Moran sunk his legs in again and almost turned Mancuso over with a cross-face as the round ended, preserving a 1-0 victory.

Moran could be looking at a #4 or #5 seed.  Comeaux's Tyrek Malveaux, Brother Martin's Devin Leblanc and St. Paul's Tanner LeBlanc appear to be the top three favorites.  Moran does have losses to Mandeville's Garrett Bauman and St. Paul's Dominic Iovenetti, but both of them have been wrestling at 145 lbs. of late.

Mancuso should be seeded second behind returning Division III state champion Alex Martin of De la Salle.  He has not lost to any other Division III wrestlers this season other than Martin, who has a fall and a decision over him.

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Brandon Luckett (CAT) pinned Blayze Olano (BRU) in 2:57
Catholic senior and returning Division I state champion Brandon Luckett has only one loss in Louisiana this season, and that wrestler, Comeaux's Tyrek Malveaux, has since dropped to 152 lbs.  His trip to the finals required pins in 0:42 and 4:41.  Unseeded freshman Blayze Olano of Brusly had a more difficult route, defeating second-seeded Mitchel Youngblood of St. Michael 9-4 and needing a "Sudden Victory" period to get past third-seeded Mason Schexnaydre of Dutchtown 7-5.

The two had not met previously and Luckett decided to make their encounter brief, though not rude.  He introduced himself in the first six seconds with a single-to-a-double-leg takedown and then, relying on a bar-arm half-nelson, turned Olano over twice to score six nearfall points and take an 8-0 lead after the first period.  Starting on the bottom in the second period, Luckett stood straight up and then did a Granby roll to score an escape.  He "picked" an ankle and turned it into a double-leg takedown and once more worked a bar-arm half-nelson on the freshman, this time pinning him in 2:57, winning his third Greater Baton Rouge championship.

Luckett is the easy choice for the #1 seeding spot in the Division I state championships.  His competition will not be discounted, of course, but none have as yet risen to Luckett's caliber on the mat.

Olano should be the #3 seed in Division III.  Head-to-head matches place North Vermillion's Damon Vincent first and Basile's Mason Deshotel second.

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Matthew Moreau (CAT) pinned Travis Goodman (DUT) in 5:08
Catholic junior Matthew Moreau entered the tournament unseeded but with s deceiving 13-16 record.  Nine of those losses were to wrestlers from Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama.  One was to Ken Cole champion Jack Ingalls of Mandeville, whom Moreau defeated earlier in the season.  So it was not too surprising that Moreau defeated Dunham's #4 seed Griffin Miller in 5:10, Brusly's Dillon Prejean 12-3 or top seeded Brody Bonura of Live Oak 12-6.  His opponent, second-seeded Dutchtown sophomore Travis Goodman, used a rudimentary "three-falls"-method to vie for the championship.

Neither wrestler could score in the first period.  Moreau started the second period on the bottom and Goodman gave him a go-ahead escape point for a 1-0 lead.  Moreau thanked him with an ensuing single-leg trip for a takedown, and the period ended in Moreau's favor 3-0.  On the bottom to start the third period Goodman did a Granby roll on the whistle to score his only points of the match.  Moreau sprawled and spun behind a low shot from Goodman, and then used a half-nelson to turn his opponent over and score a fall in 5:08.  Having taken out the #4 and #1 seeds, and then pinning the #2 seed in the finals, Moreau was awarded the outstanding wrestler of the higher weight classes.

Moreau should not look for higher than a 6th seeding at the Division I state championships.  If Brother Martin's Daniel Albrecht wrestles at 170 lbs., he will be the #1 seed.  If Albrecht goes 182 lbs., he will be replaced with Kyle Delaune, who owns an even better record.  Jimmy Brown of Jesuit, Michael Darwin of Rummel, Jack Ingalls of Mandeville and St. Paul's Collin Kersker, who has beaten Moreau twice, should be ahead of him.

Goodman could be right behind Moreau at 7th, but that is where things get blurry, and it is possible Goodman will not be seeded at all.

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Christian Pittman (CAT) decisioned Donnie Berg (StM) 8-6
Seeding 182 must have been a difficult task.  During the season fourth-seeded Nick Simeneaux of Live Oak lost via a pin to top-seeded Donnie Berg of St. Michael, but only 8-6 to Catholic senior Christian Pittman.  Dutchtown's Alex Medine shared no common opponents, but only had three losses all season, so he was given the #2 spot.  Pittman, however, scored an 18-8 major decision over Medine in the semifinals to set up the finals against Berg, who had two pins and a 21-6 technical fall added to his resume so far that weekend.

Pittman scored the match's first two points but eluded the video camera in doing so.  Berg came close to escaping, and spun behind Pittman as the Catholic wrestler stood up, and was rewarded a reversal.  Pitman then turned into Berg, grabbed a single leg and took Berg to the mat under his control for another reversal.  Berg was able to switch Pittman at the very end of the period, which ended in a 4-4 tie.  Pittman opted to give Berg a 5-4 lead by letting him up before the second period started.  The gambit seemed to pay off as, after Pittman stopped one good Berg single-leg via a stalemate, Pittman turned a double-leg shot into a single-leg attack.  Pittman was able to lift the leg and pressure Berg down to the mat for a takedown and a 6-5 lead.  With 32 second left in the round after the two wrestlers went out of bounds, Pittman again let Berg go to tie the match at 6-6, which is how the second period ended.  Pittman started the third period on the bottom and Berg rode him for 43 second until he was warned for stalling.  But unlike in the previous Schermer-Mire match, both wrestlers were standing at the time and the officials were not supposed to stop the match.  Berg slipped down attempting to pull Pittman down to the mat, which allowed Pittman to turn and jump on top of him for a two-point reversal.  Pittman was able to ride-out the remaining time, re-switching Berg in the last 10 seconds, to claim the championship in an 8-6 decision.

Pittman will probably earn a #5 seed at the state tournament behind Brother Martin's Albrecht or Delaune, Jesuit's Gage Grush, St. Paul's John Brands and Lafayette's Michael Daiy.

Berg will probably be seeded third to Teurlings Catholic's returning state champion Nick Schneider (who pinned Berg earlier in the season) and Holy Cross' Porter Dazet.

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Caleb Sutton (CAT) decisioned Blake Brock (LO) 4-2 TB-1
Top-seeded senior Blake Brock of Live Oak was the Eagles' last chance to make up their four point deficit to Brusly for second place.  But his opponent, senior Caleb Sutton of Catholic, was not only competing for but defending his 195 lbs. GBR championship of a year ago.   This was the first and last meeting of the two this season, as the teams are in different divisions in the state tournament.

Scoring played little part in this match.  It took 2:10 for Sutton to score a one point escape in the second period.  Another 1:54 passed before Brock scored a third period escape to tie the match at 1-1.  1:56 went by and regulation time expired with the score remaining the same.  Another minute went by and nobody could score in the "Sudden Victory" period.  Sutton chose bottom in the first overtime period and scored a one-point escape with seven seconds remaining.  Brock decided not to wait that long when he started the second overtime period, and escaped in a mere three seconds to tie the match again.  Near the end of that round, Brock attempted a shot which Sutton countered with a sprawl, and then Sutton was able to spin behind Brock with three seconds left to score the match's only takedown and secure a second GBR championship.

Sutton will probably be seeded third in Division I.  Manny Armour of Jesuit will be first and Yehia Riles of Brother Martin second.  Sutton and Riles have split their four matches this season, but Riles won the last meeting 3-2 at the Louisiana Classic.

Brock will probably also be a #3 seed in Division II.  Northside's Orlando Calhoun, with only one loss to Rayne's Billy Marcantel, could be seeded first.  But so could Belle Chasse's Logan Thompson, who has a win over Brock.

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Christopher Wright (ZCH) pinned Brandon Thongsavanh (DUT) in 3:47
This weight class was probably a nightmare to seed.  Dutchtown junior Brandon Thongsavanh, the #1 seed, beat Catholic's #2 seed Myles Nash in December as well as the #3 seed, Zachary junior Christopher Wright.  But Wright beat Thongsavanh on January 5th, and Nash beat Wright on January 16th.  No matter.

Wright took Thongsavanh down with a single-leg trip and also received three nearfall points for his effort.  Thongsavanh escaped but Wright did another single-leg trip and the round ended with Wright ahead 7-1.  Thongsavanh rode Wright for most of the second period, but stood up with about 30 seconds remaining and switched Thongsavanh to his pack, pinning him at 3:47.

220 lbs. remains a quandary re Division I seeding.  Sulphur's Ora Wayne Broussard beat Brother Martin's Josh Tapia in the Louisiana Classic, but lost there to Nash and lost the next weekend to Jesuit's Dom Carmello.  Look for Tapia to be the top seed, followed by Wright, Broussard and then Carmello.  Thongsavanh and Nash are two possibilities for the #5 seed.  Maybe a Dungeons and Dragons die would help.

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Connor Karwath (EA) pinned Ty Simpson (ZCH) in 3:47
East Ascension ended the GBR Championships the way they began them - with a champion.

The Spartans' junior Conor Karwath had 11 wins in January and a third place finish at the Louisiana Classic.  Early in the season he and Zachary senior Ty Simpson had traded late third round falls, and then Karwath won a 5-3 decision following that.  So it was no surprise that this was a close match.

Neither wrestler could takedown the other in the first period.  Starting on bottom in the 2nd, Karwath sat-out with Simpson's wrist and did a Peterson roll, but he could not net any back points.  Simpson was able to stand up, caught Karwath still on the mat, sprawl over him and spun behind him for a reversal.  Again, Karwath did a Peterson which netted him another reversal.  Simpson stood-up again but this time Karwath was more wary and let him go, giving Simpson an escape rather than a reversal.  The period ended with Karwath ahead 4-3.  In the third Simpson started on bottom and after more than a minute went by Karwath stood up to try to pull Simpson backwards onto the mat.  Simpson, though, turned in on Karwath, grabbed an ankle and circled around it to score a reversal.  With 1:11 left Simpson was ahead 5-4.  Karwath, however, was able to get away from Simpson for an escape.  The regulation period ended with the match tied 5-5.  (Despite the official match record indicating the score was 4-4 after regulation, the video evidence cannot be dismissed as of this article's publication.)

In the last 15 seconds of the "Sudden Victory" period Karwath got his arms around Simpson's waist and hefted them up, raising Simpson's arms and setting himself up for a bear-hug trip.  He did that with 10 seconds remaining and after some consultation the officials scored a takedown and a championship for Karwath.

The only thing certain about the Division I seeding at the state tournament in this weight class is that Ross Brister of Brother Martin will be seeded #1.  St. Paul's Zach Mangrum has a 2-0 record versus Karwath, but those wins were in December.  Karwath's success in January, including a win over Jesuit's Zachary Creel in the LA Classic, combined with Creel's defeat of Mangrum on February 6th, might put the Spartan in the 2nd spot, or at worst the third.  Simpson and Mangrum should be #4 and #5 seeds, but either way they will be in Brister's half of the bracket.

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All brackets in one PDF file.

Final Team Standings

Place School Points Place School Points
1 Catholic 327 T-14 Redemptorist 28
2 Brusly 200 T-14 Parkview Baptist 28
3 Live Oak 196 16 McKinley 26
4 Dutchtown 186 17 Woodlawn 17
5 East Ascension 132 18 Denham Springs 13
6 Zachary 128.5 19 Tara 10.5
7 St. Michael 118.5 20 Walker 10
8 Baton Rouge 70 21 French Settlement 7
T-9 Central 45 22 University Lab 5.5
T-9 Episcopal 45 T-23 Baker 0
11 St. Amant 36.5 T-23 Broadmoor 0
12 Dunham 34 T-23 Istrouma 0
13 Plaquemine 29      

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