Panthers win BHS Invitational despite losses in final round
The Brusly High School wrestling team in a single evening won a tournament championship and got a wakeup call.
The Panthers racked 216.5 points to finish first in the 2013 Brusly Invitational.
Rayne took runner-up with 154 points. Rounding out the Top 5 were North Vermillion (147), Basile (137.5) and Ocean Springs (109).
But Brusly dropped four of its six championship matches, which means the team needs plenty of work in the weeks before the state tournament Feb. 16-17 in Kenner, head coach Jimmy Bible said.
“That’s one of those things that happens when you’re young and haven’t worked hard enough yet,” he said. “This just shows them that we’re not going to go into something like this and have a cake walk.
“We’re going to get together, regroup and get with it,” Bible said. “The division has gotten a lot tougher, but we still have to do our jobs. We need to buckle down and do our job again.”
Despite the loss of several key seniors from last season, Bible believes the team has the goods to bag another state title.
“We only have two seniors, and they’re working hard,” he said. “But we have to piece it together, believe in it and work harder – the other teams won’t roll over and die for them.”
Junior Trevor Schermer captured the Seth Daniel Outstanding Wrestler Award in the lower weight division.
Schermer (20-3) won his third consecutive BHS tournament championship when he pinned Cameron Corley of Lakeside at the 2:34 mark.
He said his brother Austin, a four-time state champion, helped motivate him to victory.
“I think he was more happy than I was,” Schermer said. “Every match in his corner helped boost my confidence.”
Corley gave Schermer one of his toughest battles thus far in the season.
“I was just waiting back because he was so strong I knew I couldn’t shoot my shots,” he said. “I was just waiting for my throws to come into place.”
Sophomore Dillon Prejean won his first tournament title when he took a 10-8 decision over Trenton Pelloquin over Basile.
Prejean resumed practice three days earlier after an injury to his thumb sidelined him for several weeks.
“I’m still hurting. I was hurting before the match and after the match,” he said.
Prejean won his first match in under 30 seconds and reached the finals after a win in just over a minute.
As with Schermer, the championship round gave Prejean all he could handle.
He took a 4-0 lead over Pelloquin in the first round on a takedown and reversal. Pelloquin fought back to tighten the battle to an 8-6 score before a third-round takedown sealed the Prejean win.
“He was tough … we went toe-to-toe,” Prejean said. “But the turning point was when I got him down to the mat in the first round. After that, it was reversal after reversal.”
Despite the pain, Prejean never considered sitting out of the tournament.
“It wasn’t an option,” he said. “I had to be there to help my team.”
Defending state champ Baret Sanchez placed second after he came up short 7-5 against Raymond Bushnell of Basile in the 115-lb. bracket.
Wyatt LeJeune lost in the championship round on a 10-5 measure to Tristan Ruppert of Ocean Springs in the 128-lb. division.
Koby Mancuso who finished runner-up lost by pinfall to Alex Martin of DeLaSalle in the 154-lb. weight class.
Blayze Olano lost by pinfall to Mason Deshotel of Basile at the 3: 14 mark in the 162-lb. division.
In other championship matches, Christopher Marson of Denham Springs won by pinfall over Gavin Becker of North Vermillion in the 108-lb. bracket.
Austin Scalisi of North Vermillion claimed a technical fall victory over Owen Monaghan of Ocean Springs on a 17-2 measure in the 128-lb. Class.
OTHER BRUSLY LEADERS … Don Stufflebeam placed third in the 140-lb. class, while Nick Orcino placed fourth in the 128-lb. class. Quinten Berthelot took fourth in the 147-lb. bracket.
FIRST TIME EVER … Brittany Bates, who placed third in the tourney, became the first female ever to win a medal in the BHS tourney. She entered the meet with a 35-12 record.
“I did gymnastics for years, but I wanted to try something different,” she said. “My gymnastics coach (Chad McClave) suggested I go into wrestling, and my dad told me if I start something I have to finish it.”
NEXT WEEK … Brusly’s next stop on the road to the state tournament comes with the Louisiana Classic Friday and Saturday at Ketchum Fitness Center.
TEAM TOTALS -- 1, Brusly 216.5. 2, Rayne 154. 3, North Vermilion 147. 4, Basile 137.5. 5, Ocean Springs 109.5. 6, John Curtis 90.5. 7, Doyline 79, Evangeline Christian 79. 9, Grand Lake 75. 10, Sulphur 71. 11, Sam Houston 65.5. 12, Calvary Baptist 64. 13, North DeSoto 62.5. 14, Lakeside 60. 15, St. Michael the Archangel 58. 16, DeLaSalle 57. 17, Centreville Academy 52. 18, Denham Springs 41. 19, Barbe 40. 20, Episcopal 39.5. 21, Redemptorist 38. 22, Bossier 32.5. 23, Parkview Baptist 30. 24, Holy Rosary 28. 25, Plaquemine 22.5. 26, Fisher 17. 27, The Dunham School 12. 28, University 9. 29, South Cameron 8, South Plaquemines 8. 31, French Settlement 5, Walker 5. 33, Woodlawn 4.