It was supposed to be a close call between Teurlings Catholic and Holy Cross for the Division II state wrestling crown.
And so far, the competition hasn’t disappointed.
After the first day of the Division II State Wrestling Tournament at the Ponchartrain Center in Kenner, Holy Cross is in first place with 150 points with Teurlings right behind it with 147.5 points.
The Rebels certainly have a clear opportunity to surpass Holy Cross with eight wrestlers left in the winners bracket semifinals.
In Division I, Brother Martin stands in first place to no one’s surprise with 178 points, followed by Jesuit in second with 154. The Comeaux Spartans currently stand sixth with 107.5 points with Tyrek Malveaux still in position to claim his third straight state championship, while Lafayette High is 11th after day one with 70.5 points.
In Division III, the North Vermilion Patriots are in second place with 93 points behind powerhouse Brusly with 117.5 points. The Patriots will try to hold off the charges from none other than John Curtis and Evangel, who are currently tied for third with 85.5 points apiece.
Rayne is off to a slow start with 73 points in seventh place.
The Rebels are certainly set for an exciting finish to the tournament today as the two-time defending champions. Reaching the semifinal round are Brock Bonin at 106, Trey Hebert at 113, Tristan Lee at 120, Jacob Rees at 132, Brennan Trosclair at 138, Travis Thibodeaux at 152, Jimmie McBride at 170 and Nick Schneider at 182.
The big focus for the Rebels was to get pins. Bonin came through one, Hebert got one with a close 11-10 decision, Lee got one, Trosclair delivered two falls, Thibodeaux got two quick pins in 1:52 and 0:30 and McBride did his part with pins in 1:05 and 2:26.
“The first round of consolation tomorrow (today) is going to be crucial,” TC coach Kent Masson said. “We’ve got five in consolation and Holy Cross has one. It’s very important that we win in those consolation round.
“We’ve got eight in the semifinals. We were hoping for 10, but we’re still in decent shape. We just have to win our consolation matches, and if we don’t win in the semifinals, we need to come back and take third.”
Meanwhile, the Northside Vikings are in solid position to make a run at their goal of third place with five in the semifinals. No. 6 seed Javorski Batiste delivered pins in 2:33 and 5:49 at 126, Javian Adams also got pins in 1:17 and 2:24 at 170, Orlando Calhoun got a pair of decisions in 10-13, 12-4 at 195, Daniel Kincade got pins in 1:50 and 0:39 at 220 and Allen Kincade got one of each with a pin in 1:23 and a 9-2 decision at 285.
St. Thomas More isn’t making a big run as a team, but No. 4 seed Bryant Montero is still alive in the semifinals after a narrow 9-7 decision win.
At the Division I level, the Spartans got three wrestlers in the semifinals. In addition to Malveaux with a 1:22 fall and a 17-4 decision at 152, Jacob Dale got a pin in 0:58 and a dominating 19-2 decision at 120 to advance and Connor Stampley moved to the semifinals in 1:08 and a 12-1 decision.
The Lafayette High Mighty Lions still have two alive. At 113, No. 5 Hunter Taylor got a pin in 1:53 and a 10-6 decision to earn the right to challenge No. 1 Mitch Capella of Jesuit in the semifinals today.
At 182, Michael Daiy is finishing off his breakthrough senior campaign with a pin in 0:48 and a 7-4 decision to reach the semifinals.
In the Division III tournament, North Vermilion has five in the semifinals as the Patriots try to nail down a state runner-up spot.
At 126, Austin Scalisi got a pair of pins, while No. 2 Colin Laird did the same at 145. At 152, Brody Lemaire only needed one pin to make it the semifinals, while No. 2 Bruce Vincent survived a 7-6 decision to reach the semis.
The fifth one is No. 2 Colin Vaughn at 182.
Rayne has some catching up to do. No. 4 Cody Manuel earned the right to meet No. 1 Grant Godso of Redemptorist at 145 with a 11-2 and a pin in 3:48, No. 1 Billy Marcantel reached the semis with a pin in 0:40 at 195 and No. 1 Brennan McKnight did the same with a pin in 4:15 at 220.
But two top three seeds for the Wolves failed to reach the semifinals.