Cortez's second title the last of five for Basile
LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Division III, 182 Pounds
May 8th, 2019 | Written by: Editor

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

Isaac Cortez put another exclamation point on the Bearcats' team championship by winning his second consecutive state championship 5-1 over St. Louis' Will Gage

Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Name Isaac Cortez Will Gage Kaden Dean Trace Morrow Mark Pennison Thomas Gaffney
School Basile St. Louis Evangel Summerfield Hannan Haynes
Seed 1 2 6 3 4 5
Class Junior Senior Junior Sophomore Sophomore Senior
Final Record* 27-3 17-3 19-4 40-14 24-12 16-15

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

Weight Class Synopsis

Basile junior Isaac Cortez brings either an "A" game* or a "D-" game to tournament - nothing in between.  (The editor told him that several times, and Cortez agreed.)  Yet that is a pretty harsh distinction. In the 2017-18 season his "D-" game usually meant he lost in the finals of a tournament against someone who, at the time, was better than Cortez.  It also reared its ugly head in a dual meet against De la Salle, in which he lost to Alex Ormond 3-1, but that was at 195 lbs.  His only "D-" of the 2018-19 season was on December 15th when he lost a 7-5 Sudden Victory match to Acadiana's Jeremiah Brooks.  He avenged that loss not only with relish, but also with mustard, ketchup and every other condiment available, in the Ken Cole semifinals when he beat Brooks by a 13-5 Major Decision.  Some may point to his performance at the Louisiana Classic where he lost his other two matches and did not place.  That was a test he should not have taken due to an illness, but a "re-take" was not an option.  Even while sick his two losses in that event were a 3-2 Ultimate Tie-breaker against St. Paul's Josh Sabadie, and a 10-5 loss to Zachary's Caleb Mickelson, who would go on to be a Division I runner-up.

In the 2018-19 season, aside from the Jacob McMillan, in which he placed third after the loss to Brooks, and his Louisiana Classic losses, Cortez won everything.  He won the Trey Culotta finals via a 5-4 Ultimate Tie-breaker against Carter Hill of Vestavia Hills, Alabama.  He followed that with his third Brusly Invitational victory over Gage and a Ken Cole championship over soon-to-be Division II state champion Mataius Lavine of Sam Houston.  At the state championships Cortez reached the finals via a 0:23 fall in the second-round, a quarterfinals pin in 3:34 and a semifinals pin over Mark Pennison of Hannan in 1:43.

Gage's three losses came from Cortez, Brooks (with whom he went 1-1 on the season) and Lavine.  He placed second at the Brusly Invitational and fourth in the Ken Cole.  His schedule, however, was much easier than that of Cortez, making Cortez the prohibitive favorite.  Gage also pinned his way into the finals in times of 5:25 in the first-round, 0:44 in the quarterfinals and 4:50 over the unexpected Kaden Dean, the sixth seed from Evangel.

*    Please know it pains the editor to even contemplate, and much more use, the word "game" regarding wrestling.

Early Championship Rounds

R1: Cameron Mire (KAP) pinned Camden Maroon (CP) in 3:02
R1: (2) Will Gage (StL) pinned Aaron Couty (BRU) in 5:25

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(1) Isaac Cortez (BAS) pinned Landon Royer (DEQ) in 3:34
(4) Mark Pennison (HAN) pinned (5) Thomas Gaffney (HAY) in 3:08
(6) Kaden Dean (EVA) pinned (3) Trace Morrow (SUM) in 3:03
(2) William Gage (StL) pinned Camden Mire (CP) in 0:44

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(1) Isaac Cortez (BAS) pinned (4) Mark Pennison (HAN) in 1:43
(2) Will Gage (StL) pinned (6) Kaden Dean (EVA) in 4:50

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Consolation Rounds

C2: Camden Mire (KAP) pinned Evan Franklin (SB) in 3:35

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Championship Consolation Rounds

 In a rematch of their quarterfinals match, (6) Kaden Dean (EVA) pinned (3) Trace Morrow (SUM) in 1:48 to place 3rd.  Previously at the Ken Cole and the Brusly Invitational, Morrow defeated Pennison in 5:38 and 9-5 respectively.
(4) Mark Pennison (HAN) pinned (5) Thomas Gaffney (HAY) in 2:12 to place 5th

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(1) Isaac Cortez of Basile defeated (2) Will Gage of St. Louis 5-1
Neither wrestler could score on the other in the first two minutes.  Cortez appeared to be more aggressive at first, and almost scored on a throw, but they went out-of-bounds first.  Most of the first period consisted of arm and head grappling.  Gage won the toss and Cortez chose to start in the bottom position.  Gage rode Cortez well for the first minute when Cortez finally stood-up and escaped, taking a 1-0 lead.  Neither could score a takedown though, so the third period started with Cortez ahead 1-0.  On the top to start the third period, Cortez forced Gage to his back with a reverse side forced-nelson and scored two nearfall points.  When Cortez felt Gage's head loosening from his grasp, he let the St. Louis wrestler go, allowing only an escape rather than a reversal.  With 20 seconds remaining Gage went for a double-leg shot, but he appeared to be exhausted, and Cortez sprawled Gage to the mat.  Gage held onto the Basile wrestler's leg for 10 seconds, but Cortez finally broke the hold and scored the last two points of the match.  Cortez won his second state championship 5-1.

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