Ganci becomes first Blue Jay three-time champ since 2002
LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Division I, 285 Pounds
May 8th, 2019| Written by: Editor

Weight Class Synopsis Early Championship Rounds Quarterfinals Semifinals Consolation Rounds 3rd and 5th Finals

Perry Ganci earned his third consecutive Division I state championship via a fall over Brother Martin's Mack Brown.  Yet, unlike in their previous meetings, Brown made Ganci work for it, at one time leading Ganci 5-2.

Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Name Perry Ganci Mack Brown Connor Finucane Patrick Jenkins Jackson Carter Eric Baumgarden
School Jesuit Brother Martin Catholic John Ehret Lafayette L. W. Higgin
Seed 1 2 5 4 3 Not Seeded
Class Senior Senior Junior Junior Senior Junior
Final Record* 23-0 (39-0) 21-5 22-4 12-10 26-4 12-11

*    Louisiana opponents only, not including any types of forfeits, byes or junior varsity events.

Weight Class Synopsis

It was no big secret that the Division I 285 lbs. finals would probably be a match between two defending state champions: Mack Brown of Brother Martin and Perry Ganci of Jesuit.  It was doubtful the 250 lbs. Ganci would go back to 220 lbs. after being selected for the first-team large schools All-Metro Football Team.  Cutting 30 lbs. would probably have weakened him, as one must remember, even when in the XXX-large sizes, these are still high school young men who may not have reached their full height or weight, and Ganci proved he was plenty fast enough at 250 lbs.  Plus, he was overheard saying he did not want to wrestle a guy as strong as Zachary's Wes Brady again, whom Ganci defeated in the 2018 22 lbs. finals in a Sudden Victory round. In no way did that entail being scared of facing that challenge again, but at his current weight and as agile as he was, why cut the weight?

Between the two seasons the editor thought Mack Brown might be one of the least likely of Brother Martin's four returning 2018 state champions.  That was only because so many 285 lbs. matches are won by the first wrestler who puts the other one on his back.  That opinion radically changed in June at the Jazz Town Duals.  Brown looked agile.  He was shooting on legs, actively moving and making no mistakes on top or bottom.  He looked like the best Brother Martin heavyweight since Ross Brister in 2013.  At that event defending Division I 195 lbs. champion Gavin Bonilla of McKinley said (something the editor also overheard) that he might go up to 220 lbs.  In a challenge match Ganci put any thoughts Bonilla had about 220 lbs. to rest.  (This was before McKinley was handed down LHSAA sanctions prohibiting any post-season activities in any sport.)  Brown looked quite capable of defending his title. 

Ganci laid that to rest in the Trey Culotta finals.  After a typical non-scoring first period Ganci opened a can of "w***-a** in the second.  He started with a reversal which put Brown on his back for a "three-count" taking a 5-0 lead.  Brown escaped but Ganci then took Brown down and put him on his back for another "three-count."  Hence, at the end of the second period the Blue Jay had a 10-2 lead.  Brown reversed Ganci in the beginning of the final period, but Ganci escaped five seconds later.  Then Brown took Ganci down, making the match a little more interesting at 11-5 (TW has Brown with four final round points, but only list a reversal and a takedown, which is three points even using the old New Math).  Ganci escaped again and took Brown down for the last time and scored a pin in 5:16.  In their second match at the Prep Sam, Ganci pinned Mack in 3:36.  He was expected to face Brown again in the Louisiana Classic finals, but Miles Santiago, a defending Division II state champion, from Teurlings Catholic, took care of that by throwing and pinning Brown in 1:57.  Ganci did get Brown again in the Catholic League District Championships, in which he only required 1:04 to up his record against Brown to 3-0.

Due to Ganci Brown did not win any tournament championships (he did not start in Katy for the Cinco Ranch Big 12 due to football).  But he did place second at the Culotta, the Prep Slam and District, and third in the Louisiana Classic, so by defeating everyone else he earned his number two seeding.  Third-place would be the championship for the other 285 lbs. competitors.  After a first-round bye Brown recorded a second-round pin in 1:22, and quarterfinals pin in 5:13 and a semifinals pin in 3:52 over third-seeded Jackson Carter of Lafayette to advance to another finals match.

Ganci took less time to pin his way to the finals and he had four matches.  He scored pins in the first-round, second-round and quarterfinals in 0:59, 0:42 and 2:49 respectively.  He pinned #5 Connor Finucane of Catholic in the semifinals in 1:17.  One should note Ganci did not lose a match in or outside of Louisiana all season.  He won the South Walton Border Wars by a 7-5 score, and the Trey Culotta, Prep Slam, Louisiana Classic and District titles all by finals round falls.

Early Championship Rounds

R1: (1) Perry Ganci (JES) pinned Kole Baker (StA) in 0:59
R1: Patrick Jenkins (JE) pinned Gregory Johnson (MND) in 0:47
R2: Alejandro Nunez (BON) defeated Caleb Jackson (ZAC) 9-2
R2: Patrick Jenkins (JE) pinned (4) Jaden Ben (CHL) in 1:18

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(1) Perry Ganci (JES) pinned Alejandro Nunez (BON) in 2:49
(5) Connor Finucane (CAT) defeated Patrick Jenkins (JE) 5-2
(3) Jackson Carter (LAF) defeated Eric Baumgarden (HIG) 6-1
(2) Mack Brown (BM) pinned (7) Donald Paul (COM) in 5:13

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(1) Perry Ganci (JES) pinned (5) Connor Finucane (CAT) in 1:17
(2) Mack Brown (BM) pinned (3) Jackson Carter (LAF) in 3:52

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Championship Consolation Rounds

(5) Connor Finucane (CAT) pinned Patrick Jenkins (JE) in 3:29 to place 3rd
 (3) Jackson Carter (LAF) pinned Eric Baumgarden (HIG) in 2:21 to place 5th

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(1) Perry Ganci of Jesuit pinned (2) Mack Brown of Brother Martin in 5:32
After the fall in 1:04 in the District Championships, most thought this would be a quick match to garner Ganci's third Division I championship.  And most were wrong.  The first period was scoreless again but not for a lack of trying by both wrestlers.  Ganci seemed to be looking for a throw while Brown was attempting leg shots and ankle-picks.  On bottom to start the second period, Ganci scored almost scored on a switch but as they were both rising, he lateral-dropped Brown, albeit Brown did not go to his back for a reversal after 15 seconds had elapsed.  Things looked to be as most people thought. 

On the top after a restart, Ganci attempted to insert a leg on Brown, but Brown caught it, lifted it up and revered Ganci to his back, scoring three nearfall points and taking a 5-2 lead.  To the editor's knowledge this was the first time Ganci was ever behind in a match this season.  Getting nowhere on top, Brown let Ganci go with 0:50 remaining.  But that is plenty of time for the two-time defending state champion.  He was warned for stalling, but then he hip-tossed Brown to his back for five points, retaking the lead at 8-5.  Brown managed to escape by rolling Ganci over with four seconds remaining.  For only the second time, Brown got to the third period, and this time within range of Ganci, trailing only 8-6. 

Ganci starting on the top this time, he again tried to insert a leg on Brown, but Brown caught it again, pushing it up and gaining an escape, making it a one-point, 8-7 affair.  Brown was not done, though, as he almost scored on a deep single-leg shot, but the two went out-of-bounds before pointed could be scored.  Brown also almost pulled-off an ankle-pick and a double-leg takedown, but the large circle negated that as well.  With 0:54 seconds remaining Brown shot another double-leg, but this time Ganci caught him in an "over-under" which, though he did not go to his back, put Brown off-balance.  Ganci used that to basically push Brown to his back, ending up with a head lock and scoring a fall in 5:32.  Ganci won his third Division I championship (matching Daniel Croy at 132 lbs.).  He may have lost the match, but this may have been one of the best matches of Brown's career, as he showed a lot of agility and heart by making Ganci earn the win. 

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