Wrestling Takes LHSAA State Runner-Up
By Christopher Dabe from Nola.com
With two weight classes yet to compete at the Division I state wrestling championships, a Jesuit coach approached Dennis Dougherty and Spencer Lanosga and told them, “No other two guys I’d rather have in this position.”
At that moment, Jesuit trailed Catholic of Baton Rouge for second place and a chance to take home the runner-up trophy.
“I knew both of us had to win,” said Dougherty, a senior whose 220-pound match against Holy Cross senior Cole Baiamonte began with Jesuit trailing Catholic by six points.
Brother Martin drew plenty of attention for its return to the top of the Division I standings after a fourth-place finish in 2021. But Jesuit experienced more drama Saturday with how the Blue Jays earned its highest placement at state since 2018.
Jesuit advanced five wrestlers to the championship round. Two of them scored the victories needed for Jesuit to overtake Catholic in the team standings.
Dougherty and Baiamonte were tied 2-2 after six grueling minutes and went to a one-minute tiebreaker session. After Baiamonte got pushed off the mat and onto the concrete surface of the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, he returned to the circle and continued to wrestle.
At one point, Dougherty grabbed a hold of Baiamonte’s leg and unsuccessfully tried to push him off balance and down to the mat. The only takedown of the match came in the closing seconds, just before Dougherty pinned Baiamonte to the mat with 5 seconds remaining.