TROY – It was tough sledding for the Blanchester and East Clinton wrestlers at the Division III Southwest District tournament here Friday at Hobart Arena.
Blanchester wrestlers Kyle Denier (22-6 technical fall) at 120 and Clayton Schirmer (8-4 decision) at 138, along with East Clinton’s Noah Morgan (3:11 pin) at 152, were the only county wrestlers to win their opening round matches at the historic venue.
All three ran into troubles in the second round.
Denier was decisioned 11-7 by unbeaten Graham Shore of Miami East. Shore improved to 48-0 with the win.
Clayton Schirmer was decisioned 12-5 by Zane Strubler of Miami East, who is a projected state champion, according to the Blanchester coaching staff.
Noah Morgan lost a heartbreaking 4-2 match to Logan Balbaugh of Ottawa-Glandorf.
“He went out and pushed the pace,” EC coach Doug Stehlin said of Morgan. “In the second period, he didn’t have quite the same pace and came up short.”
Wrestling will continue Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with the finals to be wrestled on three mats beginning no early than 3:30 p.m.
The remaining wrestlers all lost their first-round matches. East Clinton’s Brayden Esposito and Thomas Wright will join Morgan and return to competition on Saturday. Blanchester’s Kadin Berwanger, Johnny Schirmer and James Peters will wrestle Saturday along with Kyle Denier and Clayton Schirmer.
The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the state wrestling tournament in Columbus on March 9-10-11.
For East Clinton, Esposito won his second match over Ian Goodpaster of Deer Park by pin in 4:11 at 106 pounds. Austin Brock was knocked out of the tournament in his first consolation bracket match at 120 pounds.
Wright came back with a pin in 54 seconds against Seth Ault of Heath at 160 pounds. John Cline was pinned in 4:21 in his second match of the day.
“There are a lot of ranked kids here,” Stehlin said. “To come here and try to get the kids to believe that we belong and come back the second day is big.”
Stehlin said the Astros’ tough schedule, being the smallest school in a rugged conference such as the South Central Ohio League, helps prepare his squad for this event.
“It comes from match experience and having some positive wins along the way to believe in yourself,” said Stehlin.
For Blanchester, Berwanger won by pin in 3:49 over Jory Lust-George of Grandview Heights in his first consolation match at 126. Teammate Johnny Schirmer also won by pin in 1:54 over Wes Stillions of Marion Elgin at 132.
Steven Latchford at 182 was knocked out of contention with two losses on the day. James Peters at 195 came back with a win in his consolation bout over Dakota Sargeant of Columbus Grove 8-0.
Nicely was pleased with his squad with their accomplishments on day one, and the entire season for that matter.
“We’re so young,” BHS coach Scott Nicely said. “Out of six guys here, I have three freshmen and two sophomores.”
They have improved at a rapid rate, thanks to a strong schedule
“I’ve been impressed with how they’ve matured and progressed this season,” Nicely said. “They’re getting a lot of experience this year, setting them up for next year … but I’m not writing this year off at all,” he said.
“I want them to finish strong,” he said.
March 3, 2017
D3 Southwest District
106: Brayden Esposito (EC) was pinned by Ethan Turner (Troy Christian) 1:26; pinned Ian Goodpaster (Deer Park) 4:11
120: Kyle Denier (B) tech fall over Derick Tullis (Grandview Hts) 22-6 at 5:34; was dec by Graham Shore (Miami East) 11-7
126: Kadin Berwanger (B) was pinned by Tyler Wetzel (Mechanicsburg) 0:56; pinned Jory Lust-George (Grandview Hts) 3:49
132: Johnny Schirmer (B) was pinned by Alex Isbrandt (Miami East) 0:37; pinned Wes Stillions (Marion Elgin) 1:54
132: Austin Brock (EC) was pinned by Alex Rhine (Mechanicsburg) 1:03; was pinned by Josh Patterson (Morral Ridgedale) 2:51. Will not continue.
138: Clayton Schirmer (B) dec Jasper Scarberry (Ottawa-Glandorf) 8-4; was dec by Zane Strubler (Miami East) 12-5
152: Noah Morgan (EC) pinned Daniel Halko (Columbus Ready) 3:11; was dec by Logan Balbaugh (Ottawa-Glandorf) 4-2
160: Thomas Wright (EC) was pinned by Lance Miller (Covington) 1:39; pinned Seth Ault (Heath) 0:54
170: John Cline (EC) was decisioned by Danny Rosales (Ottawa-Glandorf) 14-3; was pinned by Caleb Black (Milton-Union) 4:21. Will not continue.
182: Steven Latchford (B) was pinned by Jerome Bey (Versailles) 3:39; was pinned by Matthew Stover (Columbus Ready) 2:42. Will not continue.
195: James Peters (B) was pinned by Patrick Jansen (Columbus Ready) 4:22; decisioned Dakota Sargeant (Columbus Grove) 8-0
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports