by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
When district tournament action began Friday night, 33 area wrestlers had their focus on making the state tournament. But when all was said and done, eight earned their spot in next weekend’s state championships — five from Teays Valley, two from Amanda-Clearcreek and one from Westfall.
Teays Valley’s Gunner Havens (106 pounds), Kadin Walls (120), Zander Graham (144), Camden McDanel (190) and Joey Thurston (285) will be competing in the Division I championships at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center starting Friday, while in Division III Westfall’s Glenn Keeton will be battling at 175 and AC’s Bobby Pieratt (144) and Grant Guiler (150) are in.
Havens, McDanel claim individual titles
HILLIARD — Of the five Vikings headed to Columbus, two are going as district champions.
Junior Gunner Havens is making his third trip to the Division I tournament after winning the title at 106 pounds and junior Camden McDanel has earned a third berth (one in Division II) after winning the title at 190 pounds. Junior Joey Thurston came in second at heavyweight to earn his second appearance at the state meet. Zander Graham returns to the state after taking third and Kadin Walls will be going after placing third, as well.
The Vikings placed fourth as a team with 118 points. Dublin Coffman took the team title with 247 points while Olentangy Liberty was second with 147.
Havens came out on top in the 106-pound tournament by opening with a pin of Dublin Coffman’s Nick Lawrensen in 22 seconds, then won a 6-4 decision over Mt. Vernon’s Brock Blankenhorn and pinned Olentangy’s Kurt Mokros in 30 seconds. He claimed the district championship by pinning Hilliard Bradley’s Julien Kleiv in 58 seconds.
Junior Cam McDanel, a state runner-up last season, started the tournament off with a pin of Upper Arlington’s Mason Huber in 28 seconds and then pinned Marysville’s Ben Bickerstaff in 1:36. He earned a return trip to the championships and a spot in the finals with a 12-0 major decision over Lancaster’s Ajay Locke. McDanel needed a little extra time to claim his district title as he beat Dublin Coffman’s Seth Shumate 5-3 in overtime.
At heavyweight, junior Joey Thurston pinned Reynoldsburg’s Steven Schulze in 31 seconds and then pinned Westerville South’s Tyler O’Reilly in 1:44. A pin of Mt. Vernon’s Nate Stradley in 1:14 punched Thurston’s ticket to Columbus and put him in the championship match. In that last match, Dublin Coffman’s Riley Ucker came out on top 3-1.
At 120 pounds, Kadin Walls opened with a first-round pin before dropping an 8-7 decision. He won his first consolation match 10-5, his second 11-4 and then got to the consolation finals with a 4-2 win. He took third by beating Watkins Memorial’s Josh Niemann 8-2 in the finals.
Senior Zander Graham opened the 144-pound tournament with a pin of Worthington Kilbourne’s David Barone in 2:09 and then beat Lancaster’s Brody Chase 9-2. He lost his semifinal match by pin in 2:46, but came back in the consolation semifinals with a 3-2 win. A 15-2 major decision over Lancaster’s Brody Chase earned Graham third place.
At 132, Joey Williams lost his opening match by pin, advanced in the consolation bracket when his opponent defaulted and then was pinned in the second round of consolation matches.
At 138, Roman Younger lost his opening match by pin, came back with a 4-1 win the first round of consolations and then was pinned in the next round.
At 165, Ethan Schwalbaugh lost his opening match by pin and had his season ended when he lost a 12-5 match in the consolation round.
At 175, Jacob Robinett lost an 11-4 decision in his opening match, came back to win a 14-1 major decision in his first round of consolations but lost a major decision in the next round to end his season.
Aces, Mustangs send three to state, have four more place
HEATH — AC’s Bobby Pieratt and Grant Guiler battled back through the consolation bracket to finish third at 144 and 150 pounds, respectively, while Westfall’s Glenn Keeton was fourth at 175 pounds in the Division III district tournament held at Heath High School.
With two additional fifth-place finishers, Amanda-Clearcreek finished seventh as a team with 76 points. Barnesville was the winner with 136 points while Pleasant had 133. Westfall also had two wrestlers place fifth as the Mustangs finished tied for 14th with 31.5 points.
At 144, Pieratt dropped an 8-7 decision in his first match. He came back with a pin in his first two consolation matches, won a 12-3 major decision and got into the consolation finals with another pin. He took third with a 6-5 win over Newark Catholic’s Caden Canning.
At 150, Guiler lost his opening match 7-5 but came back to win his first consolation match with a first-round pin and his second by a 5-1 decision. He followed that up with a 7-3 win and then a pin in 2:20 to get to the consolation finals. Guiler made quick work of West Muskingum’s Kaleb McFee as he took third with a pin in 47 seconds.
Westfall’s Keeton had an unusual route to a berth in next weekend’s championships in placing fourth.
The senior started his 175-pound tournament with a 10-7 upset of a sectional champion in his opening match and advanced by default to the semifinals.
Coming back Saturday, he forfeited his semifinals match to Trimble’s Taylor Lackey (whom he had lost by tech fall to last weekend), then beat Malvern’s Xavier Watson 5-2 to earn his spot in the state tournament. He placed fourth by forfeiting his last match to West Jefferson’s Bryce Keckley.
Placing fifth at 113, Westfall’s Antony Hoty opened with a pin in 1:37 but dropped his quarterfinal match 13-7. He advanced with a first-round pin in the consolation bracket, advanced with a 15-0 tech fall over Amanda-Clearcreek’s Jacob Durr but then missed out on a chance to go to the state when he was pinned in 3:28 by Martins Ferry’s Dylan Ward. He came back to take fifth by pinning Richmond Edison’s Logan Pittman in 3:54.
Placing fifth at 138 pounds, AC’s Landon L’huiller opened with a pin in 1:41 but lost by pin in the quarterfinals. He advanced by pin in his first two consolation matches but dropped a 4-1 decision to miss out on extending his season. He came back to place fifth by pinning Fort Frye’s Austin Powell in 1:44.
Placing fifth at 157, Westfall’s Bryce Wickline opened the tournament with a pin before dropping an 8-1 match in the quarterfinals. He came back in the lower bracket winning a major decision and a regular decision but lost his chance at Columbus when came out on the wrong end of an 11-5 score. He placed fifth when he beat Ready’s Paul Martello 10-5.
Placing fifth at 165, AC’s Hunter Matheny advanced in the first round by default and then was pinned in the quarterfinals. He won his first match in the consolation bracket with a pin in 2:20 and followed that up with a 9-6 decision but lost out on his chance to go to Columbus when he was pinned in 1:27 in the consolation semifinals. He placed fifth by beating Martins Ferry’s George Hulsey 3-0.
At 106 pounds, Amanda-Clearcreek’s Reese Marshall opened with a 6-5 win but forfeited his next two matches.
AC’s Jacob Durr (113) advanced by pinning his first opponent in 35 seconds before being pinned in the quarterfinals. He advanced with a 5-4 win in his first consolation match before losing by tech fall to Westfall’s Hoty.
At 132, Westfall’s Timothy Ward lost his opener by pin and lost by pin in the consolation round.
Westfall’s Wayne Kitchen (138) lost his first match 4-2 and then lost by pin in the consolation round.
Fulgham fifth as Circleville, Logan Elm compete at Gallia Academy district
GALLIPOLIS — Circleville and Logan Elm combined to send 13 wrestlers to the Division II district tournament at Gallia Academy High School this weekend.
Circleville heavyweight Trent Fulgham made it the furthest among those wrestlers as he was one win away from a trip to Columbus and ended up taking fifth.
Fulgham started the Division II district tournament Friday with a pin of Claymont’s Cole McCabe in 1:10 and followed that with a pin of Zanesville’s Christian Ramirez in 2:53.
The tide turned on Saturday as he lost his semifinals match to Maysville’s Gauge Samson by pin in 1:26 and then dropped an 8-5 decision to Washington Court House’s Mason Mustain. He finished strong with a pin of Beaver Local’s Zane McCoy in 2:48 to take fifth.
At 106 pounds, Circleville’s Carson Vangundy (in as an alternate) lost his opening match by pin, as did Logan Elm’s Blaine Holzschuh. They faced each other in the first round of consolation matches with Holzschuh coming out on top with a pin. On Saturday morning, Holzschuh’s season ended when he was pinned in the second round of consolation matches.
At 113, Circleville’s Andrew Simbieda lost his opening match and consolation match by pin. Logan Elm’s Izeyah Harris-Teets was pinned in his opening match and in the consolation match.
Logan Elm’s Gavin Hoover had a good start in the 120-pound bracket with a pin in the closing seconds of his opening match. He was pinned in the third round of his quarterfinal match and lost an 8-2 decision in his consolation match.
At 126 pounds, Circleville’s Jacob Johnson and Logan Elm’s Tristan Hanning each lost their opening matches by pin. Hanning dropped an 11-4 match in the consolation round and Johnson went out with a second-round pin.
At 132 pounds, Circleville’s Ayden Reedy lost his opener by pin and lost 9-6 in the consolation match.
At 138 pounds, Circleville’s Gage Bolt opened the tournament by advancing with a second-round pin but lost an 8-2 decision in the quarterfinals. He forfeited his match in the consolation bracket Saturday. LE’s Hunter Schoenborn (in as an alternate) lost his opener by pin, came back with a pin in the first round of consolation matches before his season was ended with a third-round pin in the second consolation round.
At 165 pounds, Circleville’s Braylen Morgan lost by tech fall in the opening round and by pin in the consolation round.
At 175 pounds, LE’s Andre Uk Burns went out by pin in his two matches.
Minerva won the team title with 139.5 points, West Holmes was second with 134.5 and Miami Trace third with 131.5. Circleville was 26th with 18 points and Logan Elm tied for 29th with 10 points.