BRUSLY — De La Salle rolled up 210 points to handily outdistance second-place South Plaquemines by 69 points and capture the championship of the Brusly Invitational Wrestling Tournament on Saturday.
South Plaquemines edged North Vermilion 141 to 136.5 for second place, followed by host Brusly (119) and Basile (115.5).
The tournament includes only Division III (Class 3A and below) teams and coaches use it to gauge their progress toward the state tournament in February.
“This tournament shows people where they stand, for better or worse, where they need to work, what they need to get better at,” said Brusly coach and tournament director Jimmy Bible. “De La Salle kind of ran away with it (Saturday). They’ve got good wrestlers and (coach) Rod (Cusachs) does a good job.
“I don’t know if we’ve got enough bullets in the gun to defend our state title. We were missing some guys (Saturday), but we’ll be there to try to defend, along with South Plaquemines and North Vermilion and Basile.”
De La Salle placed six wrestlers in the finals, coming away with three wins and three second places.
Raekwon Thomas, the tournament’s outstanding wrestler in the lower weight classes, got the Cavaliers started with a 9-5 win over Austin Franklin of Brusly in the 132-pound division. Landon Dorsey pinned Luke Scoggins of Dunham at 152, and Ryan Hamrick recorded another pin at 170, pinning Brusly’s Owen Mabile at the 2:19 mark of the second period.
“Ryan Hamrick came from Crescent City last year, and he’s still learning how to wrestle but he’s getting better with every match,” Cusachs said. “Our 195, Royce Richardson, is surprising a lot of people. It was about his fifth or sixth match here (Saturday).
Richardson finished third in his division.
“This is where we get to look at people, and if we get beat, we go back in the practice room and hopefully get ready for state,” he said.
The Cavaliers were runners-up in last year’s Division III tournament.
Brusly’s two winners pinned their opponents. Defending state champion Richard Hunter came back from a 5-4 deficit to take down Trae Case of Kaplan and run his record to 33-4. Upper weight class outstanding wrestler Brandon Young stopped Lane Joubert of Basile in 3:15.”
“Richard turned the corner last year, and he’s been a real team leader,” Bible said. “When Brandon gets his confidence up, he can wrestle with anybody.”
It was a good day for the Rabel brothers of The Dunham School. Grant Rabel won a last-second 7-6 decision over Ellis Herring of Episcopal, and Mason Rabel pulled away from Xavier Mitchell of John Curtis in the third round for a 10-6 decision.
Down 4-1 going into the final round, Grant Rabel pulled within 6-4, then scored a three-point near-fall as time expired to eke out the win.
“I didn’t know I’d won,” Rabel said. “To tell you the truth, I thought I’d lost, but then I saw the score was 7-6.”
Episcopal’s other finalist, sophomore John Rollins, won by pin over Chris LeBoeuf of South Plaquemines.
“I’d never seen him before, but I don’t much like to scout opponents,” Rollins said. “I’d say I’m a technical wrestler, and I like to just go out there and do what I do best, which is to win.”
Acadiana area champions were Brenan Langley of Basile at 106, Alex Beraud of North Vermilion at 126, and Brennan Landry of North Vermilion at 145.
The Jason Truong Sportsmanship Award, which honors the memory of a late former Panthers wrestler, was presented to Episcopal High.