BRADENTON -- Palmetto's reward for wrestling well Friday during the first day of the CF Athletic Southeast Duals came in two parts.
The first was the Tigers' chance to win the 15-team meet. The second was landing Palmetto into the championship bracket Saturday alongside powers such as Brandon, Lakeland George Jenkins and Venice.
And though the Tigers lost three of four matches Saturday to place fifth, coach Bryan Wilkes said the program got what it wanted from the two-day event.
"We are very happy with the way we wrestled because you don't know what our guys are going to do, because they don't see that level of competition very often," said Wilkes, whose team went 5-4 and beat Dunedin in the meet's final match. "I had the other coaches come to me and say, 'They battled.' Even Brandon's Russ Cozart said, 'Wow, coach, you have a nice-looking group of guys.'" So that's a compliment, and we'll take that back to our wrestling room."
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Tyler Montague (120 pounds), Anthony Viscomi (126) and Robert McLachlan (195) each went 8-1 for the Tigers, with their losses coming during Palmetto's match with Brandon, the tournament champion.
Tiberrius Brown (heavyweight) was 7-2 for the Tigers.
"We wanted to leave here with at least one win under our belt," Wilkes said of beating Dunedin. "We've never beaten Venice; that would have been a big victory for us. But we did learn a bunch of things, and I guess that's the most important thing coming out of a tournament like this."
Host Southeast took seventh with a record of 5-4. Gage Takacs (220), Ricky Almodovar (160) and Joey Fazio (132) went 7-2 for the Seminoles, while Stephen Kelle was 6-2 at 170.
Kane Takacs was 7-0 at heavyweight but had to leave early Saturday because of a personal commitment.
"It was two good days of wrestling," said Southeast coach Daniel Bradshaw. "Everybody got some good matches in and this should prepare us well for the postseason."
This year's tournament, orginally slated for 16 teams, featured its biggest field. And Bradshaw hopes to maintain it next year.
"We have a nice gym, so we can have five mats going," Bradshaw said. "It was a good tournament, and it ran smooth."
Southeast visits Palmetto for a dual Friday. Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the match gets underway at 6:30 p.m. with the JV matches.
Palmetto hosts the 16-team Tiger Duals on Saturday.
Bayshore was lead by Petro Marin, who went 8-0 at 182 to run his record to 28-4.
Brandon took first, followed by Lakeland George Jenkins and Tampa Jesuit.