BRUSLY — Defending state wrestling champion Basile proved Saturday it still has plenty fuel in its engine nearly one year after its LHSAA Division III title victory.
Four first places and nine in the top three helped Basile place first in the annual Brusly High School Invitational.
Basile tallied 208 points to claim the victory, while 14-time state champion Brusly scored 162 for the runner-up spot. Perennial Division III contender St. Louis posted 152½ points for third place, John Curtis Christian took fourth (125½) and De La Salle placed fifth (121).
“This was a sneak peek to the state championship,” assistant coach Dave Johnson said. “We have a long history in Basile, going back to 1957, and we’re trying to preserve it and bring it back to the way it should be.”
Basile and St. Louis shared the first five wins in the finals.
Basile's Andre Johnson (106), Alex Menier, (120), Blake Menier (13-3) and Isaac Cortez (182) claimed first places.
“I started in sixth grade, and I’m wrestling with a lot of confidence,” Cortez said. “I’ve won this tournament four times, but it’s the state title that I really want.”
St. Louis' Dohnavan McMichael (113) and Alexander Youbaitis (126) placed first in their divisions.
Brusly claimed four finals. Champions included senior Calep Balcuns (138), junior Andrew Trahan (152), Josh Westly (160) and Brian Amis (220).
“We still have some holes to fill, but we’re wrestling as hard as we were when we won our state titles and our younger wrestlers have stepped up,” Brusly coach Jimmy Bible said. “The kids who came here from football have come around, and that’s made us much tougher.”
Westly, a star running back in football, won the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler trophy in his first year on the wrestling team.
“I think we have the best team in the state and the best coaches,” he said. “I want the state title win, but not for me — I want to see us bring the title back to Brusly.”
Amis won by disqualification over St. Michael's senior Demond Garner (18-3). Shed Sheffie (26-6) gave St. Michael its one gold medal when he made short work of Basile's Jacob Queflander on a pinfall 13 seconds into the final of the 182-pound bracket.
South Beauregard senior Chase Spooner (195) also Datremecious Trey White (285) won their weight classes.
A ceremony during the tournament also honored the 25th anniversary of Brusly wrestling squad’s first state title win. Dedric Williams, Ricky Saucier, Barrett Wilson, Gerard Thomas and Blake Saucier joined their former coach Camille Plaisance for the festivities.
1-Basile, 208; 2-Brusly, 162; 3-St. Louis, 152.5; 4.John Curtis Christian School, 125.5; De La Salle, 121; 6-Evangel Christian Academy, 104; 7-South Beauregard, 81; 8-St. Michael the Archangel ,54; 9- Church Point, 37; 10-Bossier, 24; 11- Summerfield, 19; 12- Calvary Baptist, 18; 13-Dunham, 9; Episcopal, 9; 15-South Plaquemines, 7 and Lake Charles College Prep, 3.
106 pounds: Andrew Johnson, Basile, pinned Preston Curtis, John Curtis , 1:58; 113: Dohnavan McMichael, St. Louis, pinned Cameron Salmon, St. Michael , 2:45; 120: Alex Menier, Basile, pinned Collin Veron, De La Salle, 3:11; 126: Alexander Yokubaitis, St. Louis, pinned Brevan Fields, Basile, 0:31; 132: Blake Menier, Basile, pinned Keyshawn Jones, St. Louis, 3:12; 138: Calep Balcuns, Brusly, pinned Zachary Lauland, De La Salle, 3:26; 145: Caden Gaudet, John Curtis, dec., Michael Gilreath, 8-2; 152: Andrew Trahan, Brusly, dec. Hunter Langley, 10-2; 160: Josh Westly, Brusly, pinned John Reina, St. Louis, 5:13; 170: Shad Sheffie, St. Michael, pinned Jacob Queflander, Basile, 0:13; 182: Isaac Cortez, Basile, pinned Trace Morrow, Summerfield, 1:07; 195: Chase Spooner, South Beauregard, pinned Kemal Robertson, St. Louis, 0:54; 220: Brian Amis, Brusly, DQ win over Demond Garner, St. Michael, 5:55; 285: Datremecious Trey White, Evangel Christian, pinned Tony Gibson, Church Point, 3:23.