Freeman needs UTB period to get past Baiamonte
LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Division I, 220 Pounds
May 9th, 2021 | Written by: Staff writer

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


Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Name Ashton Freeman Cole Baiamonte Dennis Dougherty Garine Gibson Ian Lyons Brayden Laidlaw
School Zachary Holy Cross Jesuit Chalmette St. Paul Sulphur
Seed 1 3 2 7 5 NS
Class 11 11 12 12 11 10
Final Record 13-0 5-1 12-1 15-5 13-3 7-7

Final records include Louisiana losses but all wins

Weight Class Synopsis

Zachary junior Ashton Freeman brought a hard-earned 8-0 record into the River Center.  He had two wins over St. Amant's Eric Bautista, who started the season off like a state tournament favorite, posting a 15-1 record.  He had a UTB win over Jesuit's "who the heck is this 285 lbs. freshman" Spencer Lanosga.  He defeated 2020 285 lbs. Division I runner-up Gavin Soniat of East Ascension 3-2 on January 9th and via a fall in 7:53.  He had a late start due to football but he 3-0 when he entered the Louisiana Classic.  There he had a 7-0 "tester" in the first round, followed by a fall in 3:18 and a quarterfinals win over Brother Martin's Adam Bourgeois 12-3 MD.  After that he had the match against Lanosga followed by the second match with Soniat.  Winning against those guys was fine, but to be able to drop to a weight class in which some of your opponents would weight 60 or so pounds less - who would not do that?

It was much easier at the state championships.  Seeded first at 220 lbs. he reached the finals with falls in 0:27, 3:55 and 2:26 followed by an 8-2 semifinal win.

On the other side was second-seeded Dennis Dougherty of Jesuit, the undefeated (8-0) Louisiana Classic 220 lbs. champion.  Also on the bottom half of the bracket was 2020 fifth-place finisher Cole Baiamonte, who had a record of 1-0 via a 7-3 win 51 days earlier.  Dougherty made the semifinals with falls in 0:48 and 1:58.  Baiamonte matched the two falls, but between them had a stressful 2-0 win over Wesley Woodward of Catholic.  The semifinal was a 2-1 match, the difference being a stalling point awarded to Baiamonte with 10 seconds remaining.  Dougherty had been cautioned for stalling midway through the second period.  Anyone who faces him will admit wrestling Baiamonte takes a toll.

Dougherty cruised to a third-place finish with falls in 3:54 and 0:33.  The last one was against Chalmette's Garine Gibson, who was not invited to the "podium party" as a seventh-seed yet wrote his own invitation with a 4:44 fall over fourth-seeded Nicholas Malek of Brother Martin, a 12-5 win over Airline's Michael Salinas and a 5-0 win over Sulphur's Brennan Laidlaw.  Laidlaw faced fifth-seeded Ian Lyons of St. Paul in the match for fifth-place, which Lyons won 6-4.

Early Championship Rounds

R2: Brayden Laidlaw (SUL) pinned (4) Nicholas Malik (BM) in 3:10
R2: (2) Dennis Dougherty (JES) pinned Ellis Hughes (EHR) in 0:48

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(1) Ashton Freeman (ZAC) pinned (8) Nicholas Russell (EA) in 2:26
Brayden Laidlaw (SUL) pinned (5) Ian Lyons (StP) in 4:19
(3) Cole Baiamonte (HC) pinned Michael Salinas (AIR) in 4:29
(2) Dennis Dougherty (JES) pinned (7) Garine Gibson (CHL) in 1:58

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(1) Ashton Freeman (ZAC) defeated Brayden Laidlaw (SUL) 8-2
(3) Cole Baiamonte (HC) defeated (2) Dennis Dougherty (JES) 2-1

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Consolation Rounds

C2: (4) Nicolas Malek (BM) pinned Ethan Gustafson (SS) in 3:00

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Championship Consolation Rounds

(2) Dennis Dougherty (JES) pinned (7) Garine Gibson (CHL) in 0:33 to place 3rd
(5) Ian Lyons (StP) defeated Brayden Laidlaw (SUL) 6-4 to place 5th

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  Sophomore Ashton Freeman, the top-seeded junior from Zachary, defeated third-seeded Cole Baiamonte of Holy Cross 3-2 in an Ultimate Tie-breaker period
  A 3-2 UTB match tells the same story 95% of the time.  No takedowns were scored in the first period.  Each wrestler scored an escape point in the next two periods, which meant a 1-1 tie and a Sudden Victory period in which neither wrestler scored a takedown.  Then each wrestler scores an escape in their allotted 30-second TB-1 and TB-2 periods, making the score 2-2 and forcing a UTB round.  Whoever has the choice chooses the bottom as the opposing wrestler has yet to stop an escape, and an escape is scored, ending the match at 3-2.

This does not mean 8:30 of boredom.  After the first two minutes there is anticipation at the beginning of the second and third periods that something like a reversal might happen, which just ruins the standard 3-2 UTB scenario.  But when early escapes occur, as happened after 40 seconds by Freeman in the second period, one does not expect a score-fest in the rest of the period.  Baiamonte, however, did not let that happen in the third round.  Jesuit fans were getting excited and Holy Cross fans distraught as time kept elapsing in round three and the Tiger had yet to score.  Baiamonte was just "toying" with them, though, as he scored an escape to tie the match 1-1 after the regulation six minutes.

In this scenario the 60-second Sudden Victory period is a time to get popcorn or use the restrooms.  But the 30-second TB rounds are always exciting.  The choices were switched from the regulation order, so Baiamonte chose bottom first and he took only 20 seconds to take a one-point lead.  Not to be outdone, Freeman, when he started the next period on bottom, took only 17 seconds to tie the match at 2-2.  In the end, it all came down to the coin-flip after the first period, which was won by Freeman, so he had the choice of top or bottom in the UTB round.  Freeman chose bottom and this time only required 14 seconds to escape and claim the title.

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