Brusly put forth one of its best showings in years for the final round of the LHSAA III state wrestling tournament, but a longtime nemesis left Bossier City with the championship trophy.
The Panthers landed five spots in the state finals, but a seasoned Basile squad pulled off the heartbreaker to stop Brusly in its quest for the state title it had not won since 2015.
Basile tallied 245 points against Brusly’s 203 to claim the victory at Century Link Arena. St. Louis took third with 176.5, while Hannan finished fourth (152) and De La Salle fifth (143.5).
“This was one of our best showings in years,” said Brusly coach Jimmy Bible, who has led the Panthers to 12 state titles in his 20 years with the program. “We had a few missed opportunities in the semifinals, but Basile is just a tough team with a lot of kids who have been in the program for years.”
Senior Calep Balcuns finished his mat career at BHS with his third state championship win when he pinned Zachary Lalaund of DeLaSalle in 54 seconds in the 138-lb. weight class.
Junior Andrew Trahan brought home gold a second consecutive year when scored a victory on a 15-2 decision over Hunter Langley of Basile in the 152-lb. division.
Joshua Westly, a first-year grappler for the Panthers, captured the gold medal in the 160-lb. class with a win over Nathan Sistrunk of Kaplan.
Brian Amis notched second when he came up short against Gabe Duplechin of Basile in the 220-lb. bracket, while Karl Kayser took second against champion Alex Menier of Basile on a 4-3 decision in the 120-lb. class.
Marc Martinez took third in the 132-lb. weight class. The Panthers also had two fourth-place finishes – Benjamin Boyd (106) and Matthew Anderson (170).
“I’m proud of what we did this year, and I believe we’re in the best position we’ve been in years,” Bible said. “We’ll have a strong crop of seniors next year, and hopefully that will get us back to the championship.”
The meet will likely be the final for Bossier City. Plans are in the works to bring the championship event to the Raising Cane’s River Center for 2021.