KENNER — Teurlings coach Kent Masson doesn’t believe the quarterfinal round wins the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Wrestling Meet, it merely sets the tone for Saturday’s semifinals.
Boy, his Rebels set one.
Teurlings advanced 10 wrestlers into the semifinals, all 10 via pin, to take the Division II lead after the first day of wrestling.
It was a welcome sign for Masson, who didn’t think his team was a “pinning team” headed into the state tournament, instead calling it a team that focused on its footwork and riding on top.
“I challenged them,” Masson said. “I told them before the tournament started that we haven’t been a pinning team this year. That’s one of the greatest pleasures as a coach is when you have a team that responds to what you ask of them.”
No Teurlings winner needed more than three minutes to dispatch his opponent — only two needed more than two minutes.
Junior top-seeded 132-pounder Brock Bonin, who pinned Bossier’s Damarcus Craig in 1:50, said he knew his team would accept the coach’s challenge but was still in awe of the team’s round.
“This is probably the most confident we’ve come out (this season),” Bonin said. “Probably the best we’ve done so far. I was surprised we pinned that many times.”
Masson lauded the leadership of his seniors, specifically twins Dante’ and Dakota Hebert and Brennen Trosclair, who advanced to the semifinals in three straight weight classes — 145, 152 and 160.
“That’s what coach always stresses about,” said Trosclair, who needed just 44 seconds to take care of Northside’s Byron Zeno. “Pin points are major, and that’s what’s going to separate us from everyone else.”
Though the round was exactly what Masson envisioned, he said the meet is nowhere near over.
Shaw sits in second place, just 18 points behind the Rebels and has seven wrestlers advanced into the semifinals.
“Shaw is wrestling unbelievably right now,” Masson said. “They have been on fire in almost every weight class. I knew they were going to be prepared. I didn’t know how prepared they were going to be.”
After his team heeded his advice in the quarterfinals, Masson said the demeanor would change headed into the semifinals, where most of his wrestlers have already faced their opponents before in earlier matches.
Masson said he’d cater his advice to each individual match, hoping Friday’s results would be in the forefront of each athlete’s mind
“Teams start to see you have 10 guys in the semifinals and as a team the deflation of other team starts to happen,” Masson said. “As your team, you hope that carries over into your semifinal match.”