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Crusaders take another Trey Culotta team title
December 24th, 2013 | Written by: Editor
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Saturday's Brackets in PDF

After last season the mark rose to 8 of 10.  That was how many times the winner of the Trey Culotta Invitational later won the LHSAA Division I state championship.  Brother Martin is hoping to make it 9 of 11.

The Brother Martin Crusaders won the Trey Culotta Invitational with 522 points, outdistancing runner-up Vestavia Hills, Alabama (405 points) by 117 points.  Rounding out the seven teams scoring over 200 points were Jesuit with 362 points, followed by Cushing, OK with 334.5, Unattached wrestlers with 328 points, Rummel with 258 points and East Ascension with 236.5 points.

Dalton Campbell of Vestavia Hills, Al was voted the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament at 220 lbs.  East Ascension's Conor Karwath won the Trey Culotta Award for winning the 285 lbs. weight class.
106 113 120 126 132 138 145 152 160 170 182 195 220 285
106 Pounds

Brother Martin's Steven Shields defeated Jesuit's Brody Martin 8-5.
Top-seeded Steven Shields was upset 6-4 by Jesuit's Brody Martin on Friday.  Martin's was thus Saturday's top seed and Shields, relegated to the #3 position, had to face his teammate, Steven Rumney, who, while wrestling unattached, won Pool B via a win over Live Oak's Colt Olinde.  Shields, who evidently won a wrestle-off with Rumney for the top spot earlier, did so again by 1 3-1 score.  Martin defeated Rummel's Robert Fairchild 6-2 to make the finals.  Fairchild pulled an upset of his own, defeating Olinde 6-0 in Saturday's first round.

In the finals the first period ended with Shields leading 2-0 after scoring on a single-leg shot.  Martin escaped within the first 15 seconds of the second period, but Shields was right back in on him with a double-leg takedown.  The second period ended with Shields up 4-2.  After an escape gave Shields a 5-2 lead, Martin scored two points with a single-to-a-double on the edge of the mat, but Shields escaped at the restart and led 6-4.  Shields would score another takedown, and Martin another escape, but when the time elapsed shields owned the 8-5 win.

Rummel's Robert Fairchild defeated Brother Martin's (UN) Steven Rumney 10-7.

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113 Pounds

Brother Martin's Mason Mauro defeated East Ascension's Alex Betteridge 10-3.
The sophomore from Brother Martin defeated the East Ascension senior last year in the state semifinals 10-6.  But Betteridge surprised him this summer at the Jazz Town duals, when down by five points, he caught Mauro with a rip and scored a fall.  In 203-14 both wrestlers had suffered one setback.  Mauro was stung by the state runner-up he defeated in 2013, Devyn Breaud of Rummel, at the Spartan Invitational.  Betteridge was forced to withdraw from the South Walton Border Wars after tearing an MCL against eventual tournament winner James Gieger of Lincoln High.

Mauro dominated with speed once the wrestlers had "felt each other out" in the first round.  Mauro scored on s single-leg shot to open a two point lead in the first.  On bottom for the second, Mauro scored a reversal for a 4-0 lead.  After an escape made the score 4-1, Mauro used the remaining 11 seconds to score another takedown and two nearfall points, bringing an 8-1 lead into the third period.  Mauro controlled Betteridge on the bottom for over a minute before the Spartan wrestler was able to escape, but the Crusader took him down again.  After another escape Mauro did not get close enough for Betteridge to try a match ending fall, time ran out and Mauro had the victory 10-3.

These two will probably not meet again as Betteridge will wrestled in the 106 lbs. weight class starting at the Deep South Bayou Duals.

Jesuit's Nicky Charles defeated Cushing's Austin Walsh 2-1.

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120 Pounds

Cushing's Daniel Hood defeated Jesuit's Ben D'Antonio 6-0.
The 120 lbs. wrestler from Oklahoma dominated this weight class with four falls and a 17-3 decision in Friday's pool matches.  The 17-3 decision was over his finals opponent, Ben D'Antonio of Jesuit.  Having regained a starting spot for the Blue Jays, D'Antonio did what he does very well - get better fast.  While 17-3 is not hard to best, Hood still was.  A takedown in the first 45 seconds put him up 2-0.  Thirty seconds into the second period he used a standing-switch and reversed D'Antonio for a 4-0 lead.  IN the third period D'Antonio chose to start in the neutral position, but Hood took him down to ear two more points.  It was not a repeat of the 17-3 match earlier, but the 6-0 did fine and Cushing had a Culotta champion.

Mandeville's Nicholas des Bordes defeated East Ascension's Jacob Bernard 5-2.

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126 Pounds

Rummel's Tyler Mire defeated Brother Martin's Taylor Gambill 5-4.
Sophomore Taylor Gambill was undefeated going into the Trey Culotta finals.  He had four pins and a major decision on Friday.  One of his victories was over Andrew Munn of St. Thomas, who lost The Woodlands finals 8-7 to Comeaux's Connor Stampley.  In the finals of the Mandeville Open, Gambill handled Rummel's Tyler Mire convincingly with a first round pin.

After 1:20 it was Gambill scoring first with a takedown.  Mire managed to escape and the round ended 2-1.  Gambill was able to switch positions with Mire in the second for a 4-1 lead and looked to be in control of the match.  But he would not score again.  With 18 seconds left Mire escaped, halving Gambill's lead to 4-2.  On bottom for the third period, Mire escaped in the first four seconds, and required a takedown to take the lead.  He got it with a double-leg with 90 seconds remaining.  Riding Gambill and stopping Granby-rolls for the remainder of the round, he avenged his first loss of the season.  (This was not Mire's first "payback" to a wrestler who previously bested him - Collin Guerra of Holy Cross beat Mire 7-5 at East Ascension but Mire returned the favor, by the same 7-5 score, at a dual meet with Holy Cross.)

Brother Martin's David Drago (UN) won over Cushing Blake Burden via disqualification.

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132 Pounds

Brother Martin's Paul Klein defeated Live Oak's Cody Hill 9-2.
132 was feasibly the toughest weight class of the tournament.  As if just Cody Hill of Live Oak were not enough, it had the only wrestler to defeat Hill aside from via fluke in Brother Martin's undefeated Paul Klein.  Cushing's Mason Roberts was an Oklahoma state runner-up.  Vestavia Hill's Jeremy Strong placed third in the Alabama state finals.

While the score was similar to that of their first meeting (Klein defeated Hill 9-3 in the Spartan Open finals), this match was different in a couple of ways.  Hill was able to get in on Klein's legs, and he was able to escape.  But he could not break down the Crusader's defense.  It took 90 seconds for Klein to gain a takedown advantage.  After an escape, another takedown netted Klein a 5-0 lead.  Hill got on the board with an escape with 1:45 left in the third period, but Klein scored defending against another shot by Hill.  Hill got away again, but Klein fought off last second attempts and prevailed 9-2.  The Crusader junior is now 22-0, but was impressed with his friend. 

"He wrestled a lot tougher than last time," said Klein.  He's a tough wrestler."  Hill took his second loss to Klein in stride - "We've been wrestling since we first started.  He's solid this year.  All I can do is go up there and butt heads with him."

Hill is not one to make excuses.  He will be dropping to 126, as he weighed-in at 124.5 for the Culotta.  Size can make a difference even if one's heart does not recognize it.

When asked if he would miss Cody at 132 lbs. Klein responded "Nah, I'm not going to miss him."

Cushing's Mason Roberts defeated Houston's Grayson Young in 2:40.

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138 Pounds

Brother Martin's Austin Meyn defeated Rummel's Rick Lacava 5-0.
The 138 lbs. final featured two 2013 state runner-sup in Brother Martin's Austin Meyn and Rummel's Rick Lacava.  Lacava avenged one of his three losses this season at the Raider Open when he defeated George Benoit of Holy Cross.  But his other two losses were to Meyn, who was 20-0 and relies on a stellar defense.  Lacava, though, was the only wrestler to score more than two points against Meyn this season.

But not this time.  Meyn defended Lacava's single-leg attempts and managed a takedown with a little under a minute left in the first period.  On bottom for the second period, Meyn escaped for a 3-0 lead and at the end of the second round, stopped another Lacava single-leg shot, flattening the Raider wrestler and spinning behind for another two points.    Meyn rode Lacava out in the third period and prevailed 5-0. 

Vestavia Hills' Hayden Hill defeated Jesuit's Will Lafranca in 3:00.

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145 Pounds

Brother Martin's Danny Evans (UN) defeated Brother Martin's Pierce Williams 4-3.
The 145 lbs. championship was a Brother Martin affair, pitting two Crusaders who have been battling for the starting roster spot all season.  Both have very good seasons behind them.  Pierce Williams placed second at the Mandeville Open and won the Spartan.  Evans won the Mandeville Open, and placed second at the Trygg.  Sometime earlier in the week Williams must have won a wrestle-off as he was the Brother Martin designated scorer.  But Evans does not prefer the understudy role.

Evans started the scoring after a minute-and-a-half had elapsed, going under a single-leg shot and coming out on top for the takedown.  Starting the second period on bottom, Williams could not escape until a little less than 30 seconds remained.  He was behind 2-1 with Evans having the advantage of choice in the third period.  Evans did escape, increasing his lead to 3-1, but after 45 seconds Williams took down Evans to tie the match.  Unable to turn Evans to his back, Williams let him go, allowing a go-ahead point but a chance for another takedown that could win the match.  But Evans has a solid defense as well, and held off his teammate for a 4-3 championship.

Jesuit's Ashton Queyrouze defeated Cushing's Jacob Miller 6-1.

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152 Pounds

Jesuit's Efosa Eboigbe defeated Vestavia Hills' Morgan Paugh 11-7.
This finals, between a 2013 third place winner in Alabama and a 2013 state runner-up from Jesuit was just too fun to watch.  Efosa Eboigbe has not lost since that day last February; he has allowed only one opponent to avoid a pin or a technical fall.  He had five falls on Friday - one over Brother Martin's previously unbeaten Mason Williams.

Eboigbe started off with a takedown in the first 17 seconds.  Paugh was able to escape but it seemed like Efosa had things well in hand.  Then Eboigbe tried a lateral drop which was disastrous.  Paugh caught him and scored a quick five points, taking a 5-2 lead.  Eboigbe was nonplussed and routinely escaped to close the gap to 5-3 and then scored a takedown of his own to tie the match at 5-5 as the second round ended.  Paugh started on the bottom in the third and took a 7-5 lead after reversing Eboigbe.  But Eboigbe escaped and scored his own takedown for an 8-7 lead, lifting Paugh off of the mat for what seemed like a very long time.  He had 11 seconds left, so he scored three more back points and prevailed 11-7.

Brother Martin's Mason Williams defeated East Ascension's Dequan Jackson 3-1.

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160 Pounds

St. Paul's' Tanner Leblanc defeated Jesuit's Gaston Eymard 4-3.
Jesuit's Gaston Eymard has had a great season so far.  His one loss, though, was to his Culotta finals opponent from St. Paul's, Tanner Leblanc.  That was a 4-3 victory.  In the pools on Friday Leblanc notched another win over the Blue Jay, also by a mere point,6-5.  So there was every reason to believe this would be a close match, which it was.

Neither wrestler could score in the first period and it took over a minute for Eymard to solve Leblanc's crab-ride enough to a escape and take a 1-0 lead.  In the third period, though, Tanner switched Eymard to take a 2-1 lead, but Eymard was able to escape and tie the match at two apiece.  With 45 seconds left Leblanc scored the only takedown of the match, and took a 4-2 lead.  Eymard was again able to escape but, as in the other two previous matches between the two, Leblanc prevailed by a single point.

Brother Martin's Travis Quarterman defeated Vestavia Hills' George Dazzio 5-4.

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170 Pounds

Vestavia Hills' Kyle Meding defeated Mandeville's Frankie Arena 7-2.
Mandeville's Frankie Arena barely made it into Saturday's championship bracket, but it really doesn't matter how one gets someplace as opposed to what one does when one is there.  Arena made the most of it by defeating Brother Martin's Friday top-seed Nicholas Comardelle 8-3 and then Chase Cochran of St. Paul's for the second time in two days.  In the finals he would meet Kyle Meding of Vestavia Hills, who easily got past his first round match and then impressively pinned Live Oak's Brody Bonura.

Meding started the scoring with an ankle-pick takedown with 60 seconds remaining in the first period.  Arena was able to escape and Meding's lead was 2-1 after one round.  Arena tied the match with an escape in the second period, but with 11 seconds he left allowed a takedown by Meding and fell behind 4-2.  Meding score and escape for a 5-2 lead in the third, and deftly repelled a single-leg shot by Arena to score the final two points of the match for a 9-7 championship.

Live Oak's Brody Bonura defeated St. Paul's' Chase Cochran 13-3.

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182 Pounds

Jesuit's Guy Patron, Jr. defeated Brother Martin's Yehia Riles 3-1.
A buzz went around the Comeaux High School gym last January when Sam Lites of Airline was beaten in the first round by some Jesuit freshman.  That freshman was Guy Patron, Jr., who ended up placing third in the Ken Cole Memorial.  He later placed fifth at the state championships.

Brother Martin's Yehia Riles was a 2013 State runner-up at 195 lbs. for the Crusaders, and while his one loss was to a quality opponent in Covington's Brennan Allen, his record included two wins over Holy Cross' Daniel Relayson.

Friday the Blue Jay sophomore pulled the upset, defeating Riles 6-3 in the pool matches. Relegated to the third seed in the Saturday bracket, Riles wasted little time with Vestatvia Hills' James Edwards and handled Fontainebleau's Ethan Eisenhardt 6-3 to meet Patron again.

Patron shot, and shot a lot, and finally, with 17 seconds left in the first period, scored on an inside single-leg.  Starting the second period on the bottom, Patron opened a 3-0 lead and fought off some deep Riles single and double-leg shots.

Patron can ride as well.  It took Riles over a minute-and-a-half to score his first point via an escape but that was all the Jesuit wrestler allowed.  With two wins over an opponent he should expect to see several times again this year, Patron also had a Trey Culotta championship.

Fontainebleau's Ethan Eisenhardt defeated Rummel's Jimmy Young in 1:51.

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195 Pounds

Brother Martin's Josh Tapia defeated Cushing's Daniel Rowell 7-4.
Top-seeded Joshua Tapia had already defeated Cushing's Daniel Rowel 7-4 on Friday.  After getting past two Louisiana opponents to make the finals, Rowell was up again.

Nothing Changed.

Tapia scored the first takedown but Rowell managed an arm roll to tie the score at 2-2.  Tapia switch Rowell for another two points and as the period neared an end Rowell looked to have switch Tapia, but was awarded only an escape point.  Tapia led 4-3 after the first.  Tapia escaped from Rowell in the second for a 5-3 lead and then took Rowell down on a single-leg shot he parlayed into a shuck duck-under.  Needing point opportunities, Rowell tried to escape via a Granby-roll but Tapia caught it, and then rode Rowell to the end for another 7-4 victory.

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220 Pounds

Vestavia Hill's Dalton Campbell defeated Cushing's Trevor Hubble 16-5.
In 2012 Dalton Campbell of Vestavia Hills won the Trey Culotta finals in 18 seconds.  On Friday he pinned everyone.  Cushing's Trevor Hubble had four pins on Friday.  He did something nobody else could do in the finals.  He went six minutes.

Hubble started the match trying a throw, but Campbell is too quick to fall for that early, and used it to his advantage for his first takedown.  Hubble could do little in the first and second periods against Campbell, who amassed points with tilts, takedowns, escapes - all were working.

There is a negative side to quick pins - that being not used to going six minutes.  By the third period Campbell looked tired.  He was not as sharp, not as fast.  He rolled himself to his back and allowed Hubble a two-point reversal.  But it was too late for Hubble as Campbell had almost scored enough for a technical fall.  Campbell had his second Culotta championship with his 15-5 win but, even more accolades were to follow as he was voted the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

Rummel's Tyler Fontana defeated Brother Martin's Jacob Clapp 7-3.

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285 Pounds

East Ascension's Conor Karwath defeated Fontainebleau's Christian Ponson 3-1.
With the Trey Culotta Award at stake, East Ascension's undefeated Conor Karwath faced Fontainebleau's Christian Ponson, who's two previous losses had been to Jesuit's Nicholas Carmello, and to Karwath on Friday.  Ponson gained revenge on Carmello on Friday with a fall in 4:58 (an injury may have been involved, but it is not known how, if in any manner, the injury affected the match).  Now he had a chance to do the same vs. Karwath.

After a scoreless first period Ponson took the lead first with an escape in the second.  But with 22 seconds remaining, Karwath was able to spin around Ponson and garner takedown points, a 2-1 lead, and a third period in which he would start in a position of advantage.  Karwath scored the third period escape for a 3-1 lead, and that is how the match ended.  Karwath is now 31-0 and remains undefeated, amidst the likes of Klein, Meyn and Eboigbe.

Jesuit's Dominic Carmello defeated St. Thomas' Campbell Clarkson in 1:36.

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