Ohio Lowedown: Big-time matchups highlight State Wrestling Team Tournament opening night

Josh Lowe (@JoshMLowe) is currently a national high school wrestling analyst for InterMatWrestle.com and was named the 2013 OHSWCA Media Service Award winner. JJHuddle.com is proud to announce he covers wrestling for us as well. The topic? High school wrestling. The writer? One of the sports best.

OHIO LOWEDOWN

Delaware’s Rieman Invite, Lima CC Invitational among weekend’s top events…

JJH-LoweThe OHSAA team state wrestling tournament commences on Wednesday evening with the regional quarterfinal and pre-quarterfinal matches at many sites across the state. Upon the completion of wrestling on Wednesday night, 32 teams will remain in the hunt for a team state title, with the eight regions having semifinal and final dual meets on February 3rd.

Highlighting Notable Wednesday Night (potential) Matchups

While a chunk of the matches on January 27th will be non-competitive blowouts and others lack competitive “juice”, there are some that look to be highly competitive and involving high end teams. Here are some of those to keep an eye on.

Division I, Region 1-A: Anthony Wayne at Oregon Clay. This is a rematch of the championship dual meet from the Bowling Green Duals in mid-December, one in which the teams split bouts with Anthony Wayne winning 36-34. Since then Oregon Clay has outscored the Generals at two major tournaments, Brecksville and the Maumee Bay Classic.

Division I, Region 2-A: Brunswick at Olmsted Falls. The teams have competed with their full complement of wrestlers at two different tournaments this season, with rather tight margins on both occasions. The Blue Devils were first at Medina with 174.5 points, while runner-up Olmsted Falls scored 157; at the Bill Dies in mid-January, Brunswick was third with 186, while the Bulldogs were one point back in fourth. This dual meet looks like one where the matches could be split at seven apiece on paper.

Division I, Region 8-B: LaSalle at Harrison. The visiting Lancers are a much better tournament team, as they’ve finished runner-up at both the SWOWCA and Top Gun events despite only entering nine wrestlers on each occasion. What Harrison is lacking in star power, as shown by zero finalists at SWOWCA, they make up for in roster breadth; six placed at that tournament with ten winning two or more matches.

Division II, Region 12-A: Carrollton at Canfield. Two teams that are clearly top ten in the state, and deserving of a berth to state dual meet quarterfinals, but one won’t even get to the regional level. Furthermore, the winner has to most likely face Steubenville in the regional semifinal in a region whose other semi is likely to be Ashland vs. Claymont. The interesting thing about this dual meet is the disparate weight classes at which both teams are strong; Carrollton’s strength lies in the lower half of the lineup with two state qualifiers in the middle-to-upper weights, while Canfield is stronger in the upper two thirds of the lineup. The absence of district placer Dillen Lewis (113/120) for Carrollton due to season-ending injury could prove costly.

Division III, Region 18-B: Genoa at Oak Harbor. In terms of a first week match in Division III, this is as good as it gets. Both teams finished in the top eight at Medina, while finishing top five at Perrysburg. Oak Harbor was the higher placed team in the standings on both occasions. The Rockets were fourth at Medina with 149.5 points, while Genoa was tied for seventh with 119.5; at Perrysburg, Oak Harbor was third with 154 to fifth place Genoa with 135.5 points. In terms of the dual meet, Oak Harbor is just too deep of a team.

Division III, Region 23-B: Covington at Miami East. Two potential “on the board” teams in terms of the individual bracket event are paired together in the first week of the dual meet tournament. Covington is anchored by state placer Ryan Ford (138), state qualifier Lance Miller (152), and three other wrestlers that have previously won two-plus matches in one district tournament. Miami East counters with a trio of state placers in Graham Shore (113), Alex Isbrandt (126), and Ben Ferguson (285) as well as Zane Strubler (132) who went 2-2 at districts last year.

As for the regular season…it marches on too.

Rieman Invitational at Delaware Hayes (Saturday)

One of the stronger end of season invitational events returns to Delaware Hayes on Saturday. The field is anchored by Top Gun champion Massillon Perry. Other primary contenders include the hosts, Central Crossing and Elder. Canal Fulton Northwest, Harrison, and Fremont Ross are also formidable among the 12-team field.

Key wrestlers by weight class:
106 – Gio DiSabato (Hilliard Davidson), Deshea Pettiford (Fremont Ross), Cameron Baird (Harrison)
113 – Jackson Lakso (Central Crossing), Cory Baird (Harrison), Josh Smith (Canal Fulton Northwest)
120 – Hunter Kosco (Canal Fulton Northwest), Lamonte Chapman (Fremont Ross), Zach Collins (Central Crossing)
126 – Austin Murphy (Elder), J.D. Woods (Central Crossing), Charles Chapman (Fremont Ross)
132 – Jaden Mattox (Central Crossing), Gary Define (Massillon Perry), Demetrius Monroe (Hilliard Davidson), Ernesto Quintanilla (Harrison)
138 – James Wimer (Central Crossing), Joe Koontz (Massillon Perry), Xander Gore (Olentangy), Jake Meredieth (Elder)
145 – David Carr (Massillon Perry), Connor Craig (Elder), Maxwell Hall (Olentangy)
152 – Greg Brusco (Delaware Hayes), Emil Soehnlen (Massillon Perry), Tyler Grine (Fremont Ross), Samuel Williams (Elder), Ethan Leapley (Central Crossing)
160 – Max Wright (Delaware Hayes), Kyle Myers (Canal Fulton Northwest), Simon Shirley (Harrison), Jake Little (Massillon Perry), Robbie Oswald (Elder), Garrett Barth (Fremont Ross)
170 – Ti’Ric Evans (Elder), Nate Gissinger (Canal Fulton Northwest), Conner Homan (Loveland), Logan Lacourt (Massillon Perry)
182 – Dalton Cox (Canal Fulton Northwest), Zach Blackiston (Massillon Perry), Jakota Carter (Delaware Hayes), Antonio McCloud (Elder)
195 – Chris Martinez (Delaware Hayes), Doland Martin (Gahanna Lincoln), Mason Brunner (Harrison), Kieler Foster (Fremont Ross)
285 – Kameron Teacher (Central Crossing), Adam Gregoire (Massillon Perry), Dylon Morgan (Harison)

Lima Central Catholic Thunderbird Invitational

Traditionally this is one half of the biggest weekend of the regular season for Division III wrestling. Mechanicsburg, ranked second overall to Delta in the small-school division, is the defending champion and obvious anchor for the event to be held on Friday and Saturday. Other notable squads in the 41-team field include Archbold, Covington, Miami East, and Swanton. Below are the key wrestlers by weight class.

106: Jackson Hugentobler (Madeira), Tyler Bauer (Wayne Trace)
113: Tyler Wetzel (Mechanicsburg), Graham Shore (Miami East), Kyle Denier (Blanchester), Evan Guilford (Defiance Ayersville), Connor Ryan (Covington), Dillon Cook (Swanton)
120: Hunter Lucas (Lima Central Catholic), Alex Rhine (Mechanicsburg), Ruger Goeltzenleuchter (Wayne Trace), Gage Pachlhofer (Swanton), Gavin Grime (Archbold), Nate Vasquez (Fremont SJCC)
126: George Clemens (Wayne Trace), Alex Isbrandt (Miami East), J.D. Reisinger (Swanton), Jared Ford (Covington), Connor Emch (Woodmore)
132: Zane Strubler (Miami East), Chase Moore (Swanton), Nick Miller (Mechanicsburg), Noah Mattin (Archbold), Colin Hennon (Lima Central Catholic), Sawyer Caprella (Allen East), Jay Uhlenake (Coldwater)
138: Ryan Ford (Covington), Tanner Smith (Mechanicsburg), Austin Wilson (Archbold), Trevor Reed (New London)
145: Wade Smiddy (Mechanicsburg), Derek Gross (Norwalk St. Paul), Luke Buxton (Dixie), Luke Brown (Allen East), Spencer Cole (New London)
152: Garrett Grime (Archbold), Corey Bogan (Mechanicsburg), Trevor Anderson (West Liberty Salem), Gage DeHart (Covington), Brandon Soules (Allen East)
160: Kaleb Romero (Mechanicsburg), Lance Miller (Covington), Hunter Sutton (Eastwood), Nate Meyer (Norwalk St. Paul)
170: Andrew Caris (Eastwood), Brett Vonderwell (Delphos St. John’s), Nate Fry (Defiance Ayersville), Tyler Ebbeskote (Ottawa Glandorf)
182: Kent Petersen (Patrick Henry), Brandon Magee (Covington), Connor Sheehan (Newark Catholic)
195: Mitch Clune (Coldwater), Jon Racheter (Carey), Andrew Nichols (Columbus Grove)
220: Isaiah Harding (Greeneview), Davionne Laney (Summit Country Day), Marcus O’Flaherty (Carey), Dylan Hartley (Mechanicsburg), Bobby Mancha (Fremont SJCC)
285: Brandon Bennett (Patrick Henry), Ben Ferguson (Miami East), Blake Sampson (Bluffton), Nick Gelhaus (Madeira), Dylan Hartman (Mechanicsburg), Shaun Gibson (Ottawa Glandorf)

Wadsworth wins 30th Grizzly Invitational Tournament

Wadsworth won their own tournament, the Grizzly Invitational with 348 points on Saturday, while nationally ranked Olentangy Liberty placed second with 320 points despite missing two starters. The runner-up Patriots won four weight class championships: Brakan Mead (106), Kris Volpe (126), Trey Grenier (145), and Trevor Lawson (170); Jordan Rosselli (120) and Connor Brady (132) complemented with runner-up finishes, adding third place medals were Cole Fitzpatrick (182) and Jake Kendzierski (195), while Connor Thomas (152) placed fourth.

Anchoring the host Grizzlies championship were the weight class titles won by Noah Baughman (120) and Cody Surratt (152). Five wrestlers finished as runners-up: Brock Swartzbaugh (106), Joey Baughman (160), Alex Jones (170), Clay McComas (220), and Kyle Green (285). Luke Baughman (132) added a third place medal, while four others placed fifth: Matt McMillen (113), Michael North (126), Ryan Orr (145), and Chris Suarez (195).

The two highlight bouts of the championship round took place at 132 and 160 pounds. Corey Shie (LaSalle) upended the freshman sensation Brady 7-4 in the tiebreaker at 132, while Jared Ball (Hilliard Darby) beat returning state placer Joey Baughman in a 7-5 barn burner at 160. Also in the championship round, Matt Stencel (Oregon Clay) broke the state record for most consecutive pins, as he is now 29-0 on the season with every victory coming by fall. For the tournament, it was four wins by fall coming in a combined 1:48.

Other Ohio wrestlers to win weight class titles were Jordan Decatur (CVCA) at 113, Jarrod Brezovec (Aurora) at 138, and Evan Schenk (Perry) at 182.

Quick Hits

Also this coming weekend, the second half of the Division III duo, which is the SMCC Division III Duals held in Sandusky at St. Mary’s Central Catholic High School. Information about the teams present was not available in time for this article.

Olmsted Falls (294 points) won the one day Comet Classic at Central Crossing this past Saturday due primarily to squad breadth and having all their key wrestlers present. The Bulldogs were led by weight class titles won by Brice Locklear (160) and Noel Caraballo (220), to go with a trio of runner-up finishes and five wrestlers placing third. Tournament runners-up were the host school with 228.5 points, anchored by four weight class champions: Jackson Lakso (113), J.D. Woods (132), Jaden Mattox (138), and Kameron Teacher (285). Two Brunswick wrestlers won titles, Josh Heil (145) and Aaron Naples (195). Another trio of titles went to wrestlers from Dayton Christian: Ronnie Pietro (106), Tommy Hoskins (120), and Logan Lacure (152). Rounding out the champions were Charlie Osborn (126) of Worthington Kilbourne, Joe Terry (170) of Pickerington Central, and Ashton Spurgeon (182) of Mt. Vernon.

Austintown Fitch won their home tournament this weekend, the Josh Hephner Memorial Tournament, with 319.5 points. Five Falcons starters placed in the top four, with four more placing either fifth or sixth. Their lone champion was Gus Sutton (106); however, it should be noted that reserve wrestler Kyle Varga (160) also won his weight class. Outstanding Wrestler honors went to Andrew McNally of Uniontown Lake, who upped his season record against Victor Marcelli (Massillon Jackson) with a 4-2 championship match victory. Additional notable champions included Lukus Stricker (Akron Hoban) at 113 pounds, Dante Ginnetti (Poland) at 120, Luke Wymer (SVSM) at 126, Brett Bailey (Ravenna Southeast) at 138, Antwon Pugh (Copley) at 145, freshman Farouq Muhammed (Shaker Hts) at 152 with multiple wins over state qualifiers, Grant Martin (Uniontown Lake) at 195, Colin Kelly (Mogadore) at 220, and Arman Samouk (Copley) at 285.

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