COLUMBUS – Clinton-Massie senior Davey Tunon’s bid for a Div. II state championship ended Friday morning at the 79th annual Ohio State Wrestling Championships at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of Ohio State University.
But Tunon and sophomore teammate Matt Asher will stand on the podium at the end of the tournament as one of the top eight wrestlers in their respective weight classes.
Tunon (44-1) will wrestle Saturday morning in the consolation semifinal round, with an opportunity to finish third at 152 pounds with a win. If he loses, he will go for fifth place later in the day.
Last season, Tunon finished third in the Div. III state tournament.
Asher will wrestle Saturday morning for eighth place at 113 pounds.
Tunon was pinned with 23 seconds remaining in the third period Friday by Sandusky Perkins 152-pounder Seth Boggs in his first match of the day.
“I don’t look at it as a setback,” Tunon said. “Your goals just change.”
Tunon rallied with a 9-2 win over Jack Peura of Tippecanoe. Tunon also defeated Peura 5-3 in last week’s district championship match.
Tunon then tackled Vince Zitiello of Bay Village Bay and breezed his way to a 7-1 win.
“You never really reach a point where your confident you can beat the guy; wrestling is a crazy sport, anything can happen,” said Tunon, headed to Indiana University to wrestle for the Hoosiers.
CM sophomore Matt Asher (27-15 on the year) looked like a completely different wrestler Friday when he pinned Jacob Johnson of Plain City Jonathan Alder in 31 seconds in his first match.
“I’m really glad I stuck him, but I expected it to go longer,” Asher said. “I’m not complaining though.”
Asher struggled the first day to score offensively, credited to his first trip to the state tournament as a wrestler.
“The first day I was pretty nervous, but I came in today realizing I just need to wrestle my match,” Asher said.
Asher then met Eric Bartos of Medina Buckeye and was defeated 14-0, dropping him into the seventh-place match.
Against Boggs, Tunon fell behind 4-0 but battled off his back to tie the match at 4-4 at the end of the first period.
“That first takedown (by Boggs) was definitely an eye-opener, not only who gets it but how they get it,” Tunon said. “But I didn’t get down on myself.”
Down to start the second period, Tunon scored an escape then the two jockeyed for position the rest of the period. Tunon led 5-4 going to the third.
But Boggs scored on a reversal and then a three-point nearfall to take control of the match. Tunon battled again off his back but only managed a couple escape points while Boggs tallied a couple of takedowns.
“I obviously didn’t wrestle my best,” Tunon said. “I didn’t wrestle a smart match, I guess.”
In the end, Tunon couldn’t fight off his back a third time and his quest for a state title ended at the 5:37 of the match.
“When one door closes, another door opens,” he said. “The only thing to do from here is move on and finish third.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.