Holy Cross holds narrow lead on Brother Martin in Division 1 heading into final day of state wrestling championship
BOSSIER CITY, La. — Since 2012, Brother Martin has dominated Division I wrestling in Louisiana, winning six of the last seven state titles among its 18 overall championships. That dominance could continue on Saturday but the Crusaders will have to start the day in second place at the Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA state tournament at CenturyLink Center.
That is because 2017 state champion Holy Cross rallied late in the day, dominating its consolation matches to build an eight-point lead over Brother Martin heading into Saturday. Catholic of Baton Rouge is third with Jesuit fourth and St. Paul’s fifth.
Trailing Brother Martin going into the consolation matches by 30 points, the Tigers went 15-1 in the consolation round to grab the lead.
All four top seeds advanced to the round of four for the Crusaders, including Logan Bertot (120), defending state champion Daniel Croy (132), defending state champion Patrick Evans (145) and Mason Massicot (160).
Others advancing for Brother Martin were Chase Scott (106), Ethan Castex (113), Connor Hoffman (126), Alex Duncan (138), Seth Alfonso (152), Michael Clapp (182), Kyle West (220) and defending state champion Mack Brown (285).
Holy Cross, who interrupted Brother Martin’s dominance by winning Division I in 2017, is the one team who could stop the Crusaders once again.
The Tigers advanced seven to the semifinals, including top seeds Evan Frost (106), Jacob Frost (113) and Caden Mumme (182). Others advancing to the final four for the Tigers are Caruso Signorelli (132), Brady Butler (152), Cameron Frost (170) and Ryan Doody (220).
Holy Cross has won a Louisiana-best 28 state championships.
Tigers head coach Nick Michael was not surprised by anything that happened.
“I don’t think it ever really goes how you expect,” Michael said. “Everyone knows when you get in the postseason, you have to ride the ebbs and flows. We were riding high this morning but did not wrestle particularly well in the quarterfinal round but we came back strong in the consolations.”
Michael was especially pleased with the effort of two of his wrestlers.
“Jake Romig at 145 (pounds) only had about three matches all season long and he’s in line to place in the tournament,” Michael said. “My heavyweight, Cole Baiamonte, is battling and finding a way to win. They were my two biggest questions coming in. I knew what they could do. It was a matter of getting them there.”
The Tigers will have to come up big on Saturday to dethrone the Crusaders. The two rivals have three head-to-head matches in the semifinals, including Croy against Signorelli, Alfonso against Butler and Doody against West.
“We’re looking forward to the head-to-head matchups with Brother Martin,” Michael said. “It’s all about getting points. A lot of third-place guys can win you a championship. We are making adjustments really well technique-wise. We can definitely win it. We’re in it. This will come down to the medal rounds and take it a match at a time.”
Brother Martin head coach Robbie Dauterive was very pleased with his team’s performance.
“It is great to get 12 through,” Dauterive said. “It’s tough to watch Holy Cross creep back at you after you put 12 in the semifinals. That is what happens when you have so few consolations. I think we are looking good for tomorrow. That’s what is important.”
Dauterive was particularly pleased with Connor Hoffman, who wrestled at 126 and beat a very good wrestler in Michael Lundin of Holy Cross.
“Connor Hoffman faced a very good wrestler,” Dauterive said. “It’s the toughest weight class in the tournament. I told the team I don’t think Connor’s breathing changed during the match. He fought off 15 to 20 takedown attempts by Lundin and he got his two takedowns and that was nice. He has a tough one tomorrow morning with (Luke) Eccles.”
Despite the success, Dauterive would like to see one aspect of the tournament change moving forward.
“I think I am a little frustrated as a coach,” Dauterive said. “There should not be three divisions in wrestling here. I think you are seeing the quality of wrestling here. There are way too many pins for a state tournament. I think we need to address making this event more of state championship quality. We will be ready to win tomorrow.”
Jesuit, which has 23 state championships, will have three participants in the semifinals, including top seed Luke Eccles (126) and two-time defending state champion Perry Ganci (285), along with second-seeded Sam Dreuil (106).
St. Paul’s has five semifinalists including Connor Oveido (113), Brandon Stein (120), Peyton Ward (132), Ben Davidson (145) and Cole Ulfers (195).
In Division II, Parkway and Teurlings Catholic tied for the championship a year ago and the Rebels, who have won or shared five consecutive Division II state titles, will have to battle hard to catch the Panthers, who have a 15.5 point lead heading into Saturday. North DeSoto is third, Live Oak is fourth with Archbishop Rummel fifth.
Parkway has 12 wrestlers out of 14 in the semifinals while Teurlings Catholic has just six.
Among Parkway wrestlers advancing were top seeds Trey Fontenot (120), Jacob Chittom (138) and Connor Cloinger (220).
Among Teurlings Catholic wrestlers advancing were all three top seeds, including Charles Travasos (145), David Bernard (195) and defending state champion Miles Santiago (285).
Live Oak has six as well. North DeSoto and Archbishop Rummel each have four.
The Raiders advancing to the semifinals include top seed Chris Montalbano (132), along with Isaac Suarez (120), Jacob Ramirez (138) and Jordon Williams (285).
Division III looks to be competitive heading into Saturday.
Basile has 11 semifinalists, defending state champion St. Louis Catholic has nine and Brusly has seven.
Basile has a 14.5 point lead over St. Louis Catholic with Brusly third. Archbishop Hannan is fourth with Brusly fifth.
Among those advancing for Basile were top seeds Alex Menier (113) Hunter Langley (132) and defending state champions Gavin Christ (145) and Isaac Cortez (182).
Defending state champion Alex Yokubaitis (120) is among those who advanced for the Saints.
The Panthers have top seeds in Caden Gillikin (106), Calep Balkins (138) and Brian Amis (220) who advanced.
De La Salle advanced four wrestlers in the semifinals, including Jason Schexnaildre (106), Zachary Lauland (120), Jamar Brown (126) and Jacques Juneau (170).
Archbishop Hannan has four in the semifinals as well, including top seeds in James Geiger (126) and Deionisio Talbot (152), along with David Duplechain (160) and Mark Pennison (182).
The semifinals are set for Saturday morning with the finals Saturday evening.
Division I Team Scores
1 Holy Cross 188.5
2 Brother Martin 180.5
3 Catholic, BR 141
4 Jesuit 126.5
5 St. Paul’s 123.5
6 St. Amant 114
7 Comeaux 112.5
8 East Ascension 104.5
9 Zachary 100.5
10 C.E. Byrd 82.5
10 Hahnville 82.5
12 Fontainebleau 81.5
13 Sulphur 70
14 Covington 63.5
15 Acadiana 63
16 Airline 51
17 Chalmette 43
18 John Ehret 42.5
19 Baton Rouge 39
20 Bonnabel 34
21 Dutchtown 33
22 Mandeville 30
23 Lafayette 25
24 Central BR 22
25 Barbe 19
26 Destrehan 18
27 L.W. Higgins 11
28 Grace King 2
29 Walker 0
Division II Team Scores
1 Parkway 164.5
2 Teurlings Catholic 149
3 North Desoto 135
4 Live Oak 118
5 Archbishop Rummel 109.5
6 Carencro 102.5
7 Rayne 102
8 Belle Chasse 99
9 Archbishop Shaw 91.5
9 Sam Houston Hs 91.5
11 Haughton 63
12 Benton 58
13 Lakeshore 52
13 St. Michael The Archangel 52
15 Caddo Magnet 28
16 Pearl River 21
17 Northside 18
18 East Jefferson 15
19 Ben Franklin 14
20 Bossier 12
21 NO Military / Maritime Academy 7
21 St. Thomas More 7
23 Huntington 4
23 Riverdale 4
25 Minden 3
Division III Team Scores
1 Basile 136.5
2 St. Louis 122
3 Brusly 106
4 Archbishop Hannan 99
5 Evangel Christian Academy 59
6 North Vermillion 58
7 Church Point Hs 57
8 DeLaSalle 53
9 Kaplan 51.5
10 South Beauregard 48
11 John Curtis Christian School 45.5
12 Lakeside 42
13 Dunham 33.5
14 Haynes Academy 23
15 Ouachita Christian 22
16 Calvary Baptist 19
17 Parkview Baptist 16
18 Thomas Jefferson 15
19 Notre Dame 13
19 Summerfield 13
21 Iowa 11
21 South Plaquemines 11
23 Bolton 6
24 Episcopal 4
25 Crescent City 3
26 DeQuincy 0
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…