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Lady Dawgs dominate CenTex Invitational while Dawgs finish 4th in return to the mat

By Ryan Robbins
Special to the Leader-Press

The Bulldawgs and Lady Dawgs started the second half of the season by traveling to Austin to compete in the CenTex Invitational over the weekend. Even though there were 75+ teams at the highly touted Cy-Fair Invitational, CenTex was the second largest with 44 teams from all over the state, ranging from Austin to San Antonio to the Rio Grande. Both boys and girls were filled with state ranked kids from 5A and 6A.
The Bulldawgs started day 1 off slow with only Frankie Limon (126) and Ryan Bithorn (170) remaining in the championship side of the bracket through the quarterfinals. Even though most of the team was in the consolation bracket, there were only two wrestlers were eliminated in the first day. Day 2 proved to be much better for Copperas Cove. Jamahl Lloyd (113) and Damian Martinez (138) both lost in the second round on day 1, but rattled off 7 straight wins over the rest of the tournament to make it to the 3rd place match. Unfortunately, both lost for third place, but finished the tournament with an impressive 8-2 record. Jonah Gordon (145) and Kadir Cox (160) both finished in the top 8 as well. Frankie was able to win his quarterfinal and semifinal against the eventual 3rd and 4th place wrestlers by beating the #10-5A wrestler from Mission Sharyland and the #17-5A wrestler from Buda Johnson. He faced off in the finals against #8-6A (132) Dylan Plows from Clear Springs who dropped down weight over the break. Frankie ended up taking second after a toughly contested match, losing 5-0. Ryan Bithorn did not have any ranked wrestlers until the final where he faced off with the #1 wrestler in the state for the second tournament in a row. This one was against #1-5A Bryce McLaren from Leander Glenn. After a tough back and forth in the first 2 periods, Bryce was able to get a takedown to put the match out of reach and came away with a 10-5 victory. That left Ryan with Silver for the second time this season. Overall the boys team finished 4th out of 44 teams. Great job by the Bulldawgs, who were missing 3 varsity wrestlers due to various reasons.
The Lady Dawgs picked their magical season up right back where they left it off over the break and proved why they are ranked #23 in the state. Top to bottom, the Lady Dawgs came ready to compete with 6 of the wrestlers scoring over double digit team points. Michaela Grimm (95), Janel Golderos (119), and Vera Hathaway (165) all finished in the top 8 of their weight classes. Anastasia Cook (185) finished the tournament 5-2 and finished in 4th place after losing a rematch against the girl who beat her in the quarterfinals. Leeann Edmond (110) lost her first match of the tournament, but then reeled off 6 straight wins to take 3rd place. It is Leeann’s 3rd bronze medal of the year. Aaloni Cook (138) took a different route to her 3rd place medal. Aaloni pinned her way to the semifinals with a win over #13-5A Indigo Hall from Leander Glenn. She then lost a very controversial match against Dripping Springs where she appeared to have the win via pin for 45 seconds until the period ran out. Aaloni did not pout and let the tough loss snowball into the next match, she then pinned the next two opponents, including Indigo Hall for a second time, and won her first medal of the year. Jennifer Denton found herself in the semifinals as well before she took her first loss to eventual champion and #5-5A Maya Marroquin from McAllen Memorial. She then pinned her way to a 3rd place medal. Jennifer won all her matches by pins in under a minute. The headliner for the Lady Dawgs, #4-6A Mya Watson, once again found herself in the championship match. She had a rematch from the Capital Classic finals against #6-6A Deonne Gonzales from Austin Akins. This time it was in the semifinals. The result was the same as Mya pinned her in the 1st period. Mya then won gold for the 4th time this season. None of her matches made it out of the first period. The girls won the girls team title with 142 points. The second-place team, McAllen Memorial, had 123 points. This is the first time that either team has ever won a tournament team trophy. Congratulations to the Lady Dawgs for their hard work and dedication this season.
The Lady Dawgs will travel with the JV boys to Shoemaker on Wednesday, while the Bulldawgs will travel out of state to Oklahoma for the Bobby Lyons Invitational to be held Thursday through Saturday.

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