By TERRY JONES
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 27, 2001
BRANDON -- With 126 points, Brandon leads the Ippolito Tournament after one day. The Eagles advanced 12 into today's semifinals, which begin at 10 a.m.
Bloomingdale is second with 90 points and has seven in the semifinals.
The only head-to-head match between the top teams in the semifinals will be at 147 pounds as two juniors, Brandon's Paul McCain and Bloomingdale's Gabe Bartolomei meet. All of Brandon and Bloomingdale's wrestlers not qualifying for the semifinals are still alive in the wrestlebacks. Manatee and Tallahassee Godby are tied for third with 76 points and still have enough wrestlers alive to remain in the hunt.
The Hurricanes have finished second in the tournament the past three years. "Tomorrow will be a long day, and it is up to our guys what they will do," Manatee coach Andy Gugliemini said. "We haven't wrestled well so far. We didn't get any injuries, but some pride got knocked down."
Durant turned in a respectable performance. It is seventh with 43 points in a field of 16 teams.
Matt Gadd of Sarasota upset third-seeded Robert Hagins of Bloomingdale 9-8 at 103 pounds and will challenge Brandon's Alejandro Figueroa, who is undefeated. Durant's David Johnson pinned Cape Coral's third-seeded Bill McElhaney and will face Manatee state contender Ryan Craig at 119.
Clayton Wanless of Sarasota Riverview beat Plant City's Tim Knighton 8-3 at 191 to earn a shot at Bulls state contender Joe Dinzeo.
"I expect a very good match in the semifinals," Dinzeo said. "If I am able to win in the morning, the finals would really be a challenge.
"Either one will help me measure my progress at this point so close to the state run."