Also in the Observer: Bucs basketball falls just short of Final 4; Bucs, Sandcrabs track compete at East Coast Classic.
Seabreeze and Mainland's boys wrestling team competed in the 2A-Region 1 meet on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Chiles High School in Tallahassee. As a team, Seabreeze scored 48 points to take 15th place. The Sandcrabs also qualified two grapplers for the state tournament, held March 5-6 at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. The Buccaneers, who placed 23rd in the region, qualified one wrestler for the state tournament.
The Sandcrabs' Kobe Baert (47-12) won four times on the back after falling to Pace's Derrick Lancero in the quarterfinals Friday, Feb. 28. Baert had three Saturday wins over Orange Park's Davon Bailey, Matanzas' Ethan Goodman in the consolation semifinals, and a fall over New Smyrna Beach's Jace Engberg in the third-place match for the 120-pound weight class.
District 4 champion Victor Lipsey, arguably the Sandcrabs' top wrestler, was decisioned by Robert E. Lee's Ahmahd Denmark in the championship match for the 160-pound weight class. Lipsey (50-9) Lipsey reached the final with a 4-1 semifinal win over Terry Parker’s Ashley Saddler. It will be Lipsey's second straight trip to the state tournament.
In addition, Mainland's Doug Dittmer qualified for the state meet. Dittmer (31-11) had three wins of his own, including decisions over Gulf Breeze’s Julian McCully and Niceville’s Sean Ripley in the blood round to take fourth place in the meet, earning his first trip to states.
Bucs basketball falls just short of Final 4
After a hard-fought campaign, Mainland's boys basketball team's season has come to an end. The Buccaneers came up just short of making it to the Final Four.
The No. 2 seed Buccaneers, who convincingly won the 6A-District 4 championship, beat No. 7 seed Ocala Forest 67-55 in the quarterfinal and No. 3 seed Fleming Island 71-64 in the semifinal. The Buccaneers faced No. 1 seed Columbia in the Elite Eight on Friday, Feb. 28, at Columbia High School.
The Buccaneers last played in the Elite Eight in 2018 — Mainland head coach Joe Giddens' first season with the team. The Buccaneers came up just short of the Final Four then.
After trailing for three quarters against Columbia, the Buccaneers battled back. However, Columbia held on to win 70-65.
The Buccaneers finished the 2019-20 season with a 19-11 record. In addition, Mainland also graduates team captain and leading scorer Jordan Sears, Taron Keith, Shayne Brennen, Kenny Witherspoon and Marquez Knoghton.
Bucs, Sandcrabs track compete at East Coast Classic
Mainland and Seabreeze's track and field teams competed in the 16th-annual East Coast Classic on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Flagler Palm Coast High School.
The Buccaneers' girls team won five events: Jasmyn Dorsey won the long jump, the girls won both the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay, and Cydney Wright captured the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash. Mainland's boys team won three events: Theodore Lockley won the 100-meter dash, Jonah Reilly won the 3,200-meter run and Bob Agledor won the high jump. Seabreeze's girls team had two champions: Kimberly Collins won the high jump, and Ella Chandler won the 800-meter run. Tyler Smith was the boys team's highest finisher, placing fourth in the high jump.