Chamberlain places 2nd at wrestling meet
By ROD GIPSON
Pinellas Park may have owned the event, but Chamberlain made plenty of noise at the Class 3A, District 5 wrestling meet Feb. 8 at St. Petersburg High.
The Patriots earn a big lead during the preliminaries and maintained it through the finals, despite a strong push from the Chiefs.
Chamberlain, which had four wrestlers earn district crowns, placed second in the eight-team event. Pinellas Park won the event with a score of 229.50, followed by Chamberlain's 161. Host St. Petersburg was third at 126, followed by Palm Harbor University High (96.50), Gaither (81), Leto (72), Hillsborough (62) and Wharton (42.50).
Despite finishing second, Chamberlain had success with its lower weights. It scored a key victory at the 152-pound class as Andrew Meehan pinned St. Petersburg's Jerrod Shenafsky in 4:51. Other winners for the Chiefs were Robert Genever (145 pounds), Ryan Meehan (119) and Brian Benjamy (103). Benjany improved to 34-3 on the season. Andrew Meehan is 29-10. Ryan Meehan is 24-9 and Genever is now 32-5.
"We did about what we thought we would," said Chamberlain coach Jeff Duncan. "We thought that maybe we'd do a little better at some of the lower weights, but the four winners we had really wrestled well."
Other wrestlers who won district titles to advance to the Class 3A, Region 2 meet include Leto's Gilbert Perez, who won the district championship at the 275-pound division by pinning Gaither's Seth Reber in 1:55.
BOYS BASKETBALL: Sickles opened the postseason Tuesday with an impressive 74-67 overtime win against Blake in the Class 4A, District 9 tournament but lost in the second round 69-49 to Jefferson. The Gryphons were relatively close until a fourth period spurt helped the Dragons pull away. Karl Powell scored 19 points to lead Sickles, which finished the season 8-12. Gaither, meanwhile, opened the Class 6A, District 5 tournament with a 71-52 thumping of Sarasota. Brandon Harrison scored seven of his 25 points during a 20-7 Cowboys run in the third period. Chamberlain also was a winner in its first district matchup, beating Alonso 64-48 to open the Class 5A, District 9 event. The Chiefs built a 43-16 lead by the half and cruised as Willie Patrick led Chamberlain with 20 points.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Wharton center Candice Dupree saw her prep career come to an end in the Wildcats' 59-42 loss to Durant in the Class 5A, Region 5 title game Wednesday. Dupree scored 22 points and had 15 rebounds and five blocks in the loss that saw Wharton's season end at 22-5. Dupree will play at Temple University next season.
BASEBALL: The opening week of the prep baseball season saw one huge rally and another comeback attempt fall short. Chamberlain benefited from six runs in the top of the seventh inning to post a 7-1 victory against Bloomingdale. Leto, meanwhile, lost its opener after scoring twice in the last inning in a 3-2 setback to Jefferson. And in its first game in program history, Alonso lost 4-0 to East Bay.
BOYS SOCCER: After its huge win Feb. 8 against state No. 1-ranked Manatee in the Class 4A quarterfinals, Gaither suffered a letdown in the next round, losing 2-0 in the region finals. The Cowboys gave up a goal in each half to Boca Raton Olympic Heights, ending the season with an 18-7 record.
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