WILMINGTON — Three Clinton County wrestlers locked up spots for the OHSAA state wrestling championships at the Division II district tournament Saturday at Wilmington Middle School.
Wilmington’s RJ Tolliver will join Clinton-Massie’s Anthony Tissandier and Sam Brothers at the state tournament beginning Thursday at the Schottenstein Center at Ohio State.
With his father Kelly in his corner, Tolliver rallied from a one-point semifinal loss to Jackson Gear of McNicholas to win 2-1 over Tim Tidwell of Bellbrook in the consolation semifinals, punching his ticket to state.
“It’s super amazing,” Kelly Tolliver said. “I really wanted to win that first match against Gear, but we still got the job done. He’s come a long way since he was a freshman — a total transformation since his freshman year.”
The win makes the Tollivers the first father-son state qualifiers in Wilmington High School history, making Kelly, who qualified in 1991 and 1992, both a proud coach and father.
“I’m luckier than other parents,” Tolliver said. “Since I’m the coach I get a closer front-row seat than anybody else. It’s been amazing. I can’t hardly express how proud I am of him.”
Tissandier had a familiar foe waiting for him in the championship bout at 170 pounds. He faced Western Brown’s Eric Altman, who had defeated Tissandier 11-1 during the state team dual competition.
With the bout scoreless entering the third period, Altman chose to start the period down. With 45 seconds left, he earned a reversal to take a 2-0 lead.
In the final 10 seconds, Tissandier had started to gain control, looking for a tying reversal. However, time ran out before he could complete the move.
How close was Tissandier to tying the bout and sending it to overtime?
“He was very, very close,” CM head coach Spencer Running said. “He wrestled an even match the whole match. That’s probably the best Anthony has ever wrestled. We’re really pleased with the progress Anthony has been making.”
Running lamented several opportunities that Tissandier had to score during the bout, which instead ended in stalemate calls.
“There were a few opportunities in there — a few scrambles that ended in stalemate that easily could have gone our way,” Running said. “They could have gone the other way too. The Altman kid is a very tough wrestler.”
As for Brothers, he took the hard path to the state tournament. After losing to returning state qualifier Wyatt Hillard of Franklin in his opener, Brothers began his march through the consolation bracket.
This may have surprised some, but Running and Brothers knew the opportunity was there.
“We knew we had a returning state qualifier in the first round,” Running said. “We had a feeling he might drop that first-round match, but the nice thing about Sam was he was a sleeper. Nobody saw him coming. I had a feeling when the brackets came out that he would be able to sneak through undetected.”
Three pinfall victories later, Brothers found himself on the verge of a state berth. Garrett Mitchel of Logan Elm stood in his way in the consolation semifinals. The two went to overtime and beyond to settle it. Brothers won it in the ultimate tiebreaker, 3-2, to advance to state.
Brothers again met Hillard in the consolation final. He lost 15-5 to finish fourth.
“We gave him a better match,” Running said. “We had wrestled that kid before in the first round of state duals. I’m really excited to see what Sam can do up in Columbus.”
March 4, 2017
D2 Southwest District
@Wilmington’s Rodger O. Borror Middle School
106: Sam Eastes 23-18 (W) was pinned by Tanner Jordan (St Paris Graham) 0:24; was pinned by Pippy Johnson (Norwood) 4:10. Did not place.
113: Matt Asher 19-19 (CM) was dec by Colton Robins (Reading) 5-1; won by tech fall over Blake Ballard (Tippecanoe) 15-0; was dec by Bryce Davis (Kenton Ridge) 3-0. Did not place.
113: Cameron Smart 22-17 (W) was tech fall by Jake Gentry (Ross) 17-1; dec Matt Huff (Franklin) 10-6; was dec by AJ Lewandowski (Oakwood) 6-5. Did not place.
120: Blake Seaman 23-13 (CM) was pinned by Wade Monebrake (Eaton) 1:11; was dec by Elijah Waters (Batavia) 4-3. Did not place.
145: Robbie Frederick 25-16 (CM) was pinned by Alex Kowal (Bishop Fenwick) 0:41; dec Jakob Nelson-Mays (Oakwood) 11-6; was dec by Nicholas Machuca (Chaminade-Julienne) 8-7. Did not place.
160: Isaac Allen 25-8 (W) pinned Isaac Ilo (Eaton) 4:47; was pinned by Ryan Thomas (St Paris Graham) 1:58; dec Massiyah Smith (Ponitz CTC) 10-7; dec James Munro (Miami Trace) 10-0; was pinned by Connor Dixon (Indian Lake) 2:27; dec Ross Lennon (Clinton-Massie) 11-9. Placed fifth.
160: Ross Lennon 32-13 (CM) dec Blake Coy (Dayton Carroll) 12-4; pinned Austin Hamblin (Ross) 5:31; was pinned by Ryan Thomas (St. Paris Graham) 0:42; was dec by Ben Davenport (Unioto) 7-5; was dec by Isaac Allen (Wilmington) 11-9. Placed sixth.
170: Anthony Tissandier 37-6 (CM) pinned Antwann Martin (Kettering Alter) 4:28; dec Daniel Greiner (Batavia) 14-2; won by default over Hunter Hyden (St. Paris Graham); was dec by Eric Altman (Western Brown) 2-0. Placed second.
182: RJ Tolliver 41-9 (W) pinned Zane Mancillas (Greenville) 1:32; dec Nate Warniment (Indian Lake) 6-4 OT; was dec by Jackson Gear (McNicholas) 3-2; dec Tim Tidwell (Bellbrook) 2-1; was pinned by Baden Pinson (Reading) 2:20. Placed fourth.
220: Sam Brothers 26-12 (CM) was pinned by Wyatt Hillard (Franklin) 3:55); pinned Tyler Schmidt (Eaton) 0:30; pinned Corey Frank (Reading) 1:40; pinned Nathaniel Clayton (Alter) 4:30; dec Garrett Mitchel (Logan Elm) 3-2 UTB; was dec by Wyatt Hillard (Franklin) 15-5. Placed fourth.
285: Conner Barton 31-18 (W) was pinned by Karson Chasteen (Ross) 0:12; dec Elijah Cochran (Chaminade-Julienne) 9-3; dec Khrizdon VanHoose (St. Paris Graham) 5-1; dec Sam Homan (Alter) 10-1; was pinned by Karson Chasteen (Ross) 0:14; was pinned by Colin Wolffe (Miami Trace) 3:27. Placed sixth.