CONNORVILLE – Depth continued to be the factor in Saturday night’s Panther Classic as Lisbon-Beaver Local’s five wrestlers in the championship round pushed the Division II squad to a 28-point victory over Cadiz-Harrison Central (260.5).
“Getting five kids into the finals is definitely a plus,” Beaver Local coach Mark Emmerling admitted. “However, we were still short handed two guys – Jared Osborn (152) and Jon Bittinger (160) – which could have made a world of difference.”
The Beavers entered the final round five points behind the Huskies, but were able to get it done winning 3-of-5 championship matches.
“I think they put out a good effort. They put in all the work in practice and it shows out on the mat,” Emmerling assured.
Controlling the Beavers’ destiny in the team scoring were individual champions Arizona Miller (112), Dylan Ice (140) and Derek Wolfe (285).
Miller’s gold came in the form of a rematch of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference finals. In the previous match, Miller had the upper hand with a 2-1 victory over Martins Ferry’s Taylor Yoder in mid January. This time the result would be the same in Miller’s favor in a 2-0 nail biter.
Ice’s rematch was one of the biggest deciding factors for the Beavers as he went head-to-head with Rob Eddy of Cadiz-Harrison Central. Having the upper hand in the seeding was Eddy after blanking Ice 10-0 in the OVAC consolation semi-finals. However, that wasn’t the case this time as Ice managed to put Eddy to his back late in the third period to build a five-point lead that he was able to maintain for a 13-10 decision.
“We caught (Ice) a couple times at the OVAC and was able to build a big lead,” Huskies coach Todd Dunlap said. “We knew it was going to be battle and it didn’t go our way.”
Ice’s win secured him the outstanding wrestler award for the tournament.
Wolfe, a University of Cincinnati football recruit, over towered Bridgeport’s Sean West in his finals match, but build didn’t seem to matter much in this matchup. At 6-ft-5, Wolfe couldn’t get anything going over the Bulldogs’ junior grappler.
With a late escape, West pushed the match into overtime. Battling in the deadlock, Wolfe managed to go down in the final series of overtimes for the sudden death victory 5-4.
Outside of the team race, Bridgeport’s Bryan Skoff (41-1) looked as if he was going to have an easy ride into the finals without Bittinger of Lisbon-Beaver Local out of action, but to his surprise he was faced with a new challenge Eric Hrutkay of Bethlehem-Center (Pa.).
Skoff, No. 3 in Division III on the Brakeman, and Hrutkay, a highly ranked wrestler in the Pennsylvania standings, no one knew what to expect. Niether have seen each other before and Hrutkay wouldn’t have it any other way as they met in the 160 pound finals.
Scoreless after one, Hrutkay scored the first point with an escape and went to battle in neutral, Skoff’s specialty. Down 1-0, Skoff chose down in the last panel. Hrutkay, a mat wrestler, managed to keep a hold of Skoff for well over minute before hitting an escape to change the lead over to the Bulldog’s favor, 2-1.
Under 30 seconds remaining, Skoff was riding too high and was struggling to hold onto positioning. As he slipped forward, Hrutkay was able to pull out get an escape as time ticked away.
“The loss was a good one for him,” Bridgeport Ross Roskovich said about Skoff’s first loss of the season. “This shows us how much harder we need to work in the next few weeks.”
Trailing Lisbon-Beaver Local and Cadiz- Harrison Central in the team standings were Plum Pa. (215), Rayland-Buckeye Local (196.5), West Mifflin Pa. (196) and Steubenville (184.5).
Other individual champions were: Wheeling Central’s Kyle Bauer (103), Rayland-Buckeye Local’s Mike Kendjorsky (119), West Mifflin’s Sam Sherlock (125), Plum’s Zach Zummo (130), Richmond-Edison’s Andy Stine (135), West Mifflin’s James Fleming (145), Avella’s Kyle Appleby (152), Harrison Central’s Ian Howell (171) and Jake Mallernee (189) and Steubenville’s Branko Busick (215).
Lisbon-Beaver Local 288.5, Cadiz-Harrison Central 260.5, Plum (Pa.) 215, Rayland-Buckeye Local 196.5, West Mifflin (Pa.) 196, Steubenville 184.5, Bethlehem-Center (Pa.) 167, Canal Winchester 166, Martins Ferry 163, Avella (Pa.) 125, Richmond-Edison Local 120.5, Bridgeport 87.5, Steel Valley (Pa.) 86.5, Wellsville 73.5, Weirton Madonna (W.Va.) 59.5, Bellaire-St. John Central 56.5, Steubenville Catholic 48, Wheeling Central (W.Va.) 41
103 – Kyle Bauer (WC) major dec. Darin Heavin (HC), 19-9; 112 – Arizona Miller (BEAV) dec. Taylor Yoder (MF), 2-0; 119 – Mike Kendjorsky (BL) pinned Mitch Thompson (BEAV), 5:15; 125 – Sam Sherlock (WMIFF) dec. Corey Bonura (PLUM), 4-3; 130 – Zach Zummo (PLUM) major dec. Mitch Spencer (AV), 14-2; 135 – Andy Stine (ED) dec. Shane Foster (SJC), 3-0; 140 – Dylan Ice (BEAV) dec. Rob Eddy (HC), 13-10; 145 – James Fleming (WMIFF) tec. Fall Max Nogay (WM), 17-2; 152 – Kyle Appleby (AV) dec. Chris Stay (BC), 2-1; 160 – Eric Hrutkay (BC) dec. Bryan Skoff (BPT), 3-2; 171 – Ian Howell (HC) dec. Cody Catalina (BC), 4-3 SV; 189 – Jake Mallernee (HC) dec. Devon Ludwig (BEAV), 8-3. 215 – Branko Busick (STB) dec. Zac Costlow (SCEN), 5-3; 285 – Derek Wolfe (BEAV) dec. Sean West (BPT), 5-4 SV.
103 –Eddie Nogay (WM) pinned Chris Tingler (STB), 2:55; 112 – Brady Hutchins (CW) dec. Cody Wiltshire (BL), 8-4; 119 – Dom Boyle (PLUM) dec. Alex Morales (STB), 4-2; 125 – Nick Risdon (HC) dec. Zane McSwords (MF), 14-7; 130 – Derrick Holt (MF) won by forfeit over Conrad Rosch (CW); 135 – Jack Boswell (CW) pinned Tim Nieb (BL), 3:19; 140 – Mike Slaga (BL) pinned Chris Brancker (ED), 2:10; 145 – James Fleming (WMIFF) major dec. Nate Barker (STB CATH), 11-3; 152 – Harrison Rosch (CW) dec. Taylor Banks (HC), 6-4; 160 – Nathan Schaal (BL) dec. Jim Giampa (WMIFF), 4-0; 171 – Nathan Tope (CW) pinned Richard Sachs (BEAV), 2:23; 189 – Ryan Crabtree (WELL) pinned Mark Markakis (STB), 4:39; 215 – Steve Woodford (MF) pinned Jake Henderson (BEAV), 0:48; 285 – Ryan Dugan (STB) dec. Tyrone Ezell (SV), 3-2.