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Preps

Durant's depth leads to title

By Times Staff Writers
Published February 22, 2004

TARPON SPRINGS - Durant had only one individual champion but still won as a team Saturday night in the Class 3A, Region 2 tournament at East Lake. The Cougars topped the 24-team field with 146 points.

"That was the biggest win for Durant High School wrestling in their history," Durant coach Dennis Kitko said. "Tim Burdine was unbelievable. He's 33-2 now and he's only a sophomore."

Their secret to success was quantity.

Burdine (103) was the only Cougar to win his weight class, but Durant placed in seven classes. Hamilton Jordan (130) lost to Michael Falgoust (36-2) of Pinellas Park and finished second. Matt Stwan also was second, losing to undefeated Harry Joseph of Palm Beach Gardens. Victor Knight (215) avenged an early-round loss to Martin County's Jack Coale to earn third place along with Matt Caraballo (119). Justin Bechtold (112) and Adam Doback (125) finished fourth.

The top four in each class advanced to the state tournament.

Riverview (121.5 points) finished fourth behind Durant, Gulf Coast (140), and Pinellas Park (138.5). C.J. Gittens (103 pounds) did not allow a point until the final where he fell to Burdine 10-4. Ralph Iglesias (135), Cabrera (160), and Brian Johnson (171) all finished third and Rob Rinker (119) fourth.

For Plant City, Jeremiah Brown (215) lost in the final to Pinellas Park's Greg Anderson (39-1). Markus Drone (189) was third with his loss coming at the hands of champion Mark Peluso of host East Lake.

- JEREMY WRITT

Brandon advances all 14

TITUSVILLE - The Brandon Express rolled through town long enough to maul the competition again Saturday night on its way to Lakeland and another shot at a state team wrestling title.

The Eagles scored 338.5 points in the Class 2A, Region 2 championships, more than the next three teams combined and 208 more than second place Flagler Palm Coast. On the way, the Eagles claimed 11 weight class championships, won each of its title bouts and will take all 14 to state.

"We've done a good job," Eagles coach Russ Cozart said. "The kids really came together and kind of made it a goal to get everybody to the state meet. Everybody worked hard to go to states."

Chamberlain was third as a team (93 points).

- ANDREW MIKULA

[Last modified February 22, 2004, 01:45:26]


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