COLUMBUS – Clinton-Massie’s Anthony Tissandier and Wilmington’s RJ Tolliver won their opening matches Thursday in the 80th OHSAA Div. II State Wrestling Championship at Ohio State’s Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Clinton-Massie’s Sam Brothers was pinned in his opening match at 220 pounds by Zach Baker (51-4) of Marengo Highland in 3:46.
“I felt pretty good,” Brothers said after the match. “It’s frustrating. I could have stayed with him but he turned me and pinned me.”
That dropped Brothers into the consolation bracket and faced Austin Norris of Jefferson Area. In a rugged match, Norris gained the measure of Brothers by technical fall 21-5. Brothers ends his season with a 26-14 record.
Tissandier (38-6) wrestled Brenton Miller of Carrollton (47-7) to a 0-0 first period score. From the down position, Tissandier scored a reversal to start the second period then posted a two-point nearfall for a 4-0 lead.
“It was pretty breathtaking, pretty cool,” Tissandier said of coming out of the tunnel at the cavernous Schott. “My goal was to simply make it to state. Anything else once I got there, would be icing on the cake. It feels really good to be one of the best. I’m looking forward to competing and winning against the best.”
Miller scored on an escape in the third, 4-1. After a slow start in the third, Tissandier picked up the pace and finished the match with a pin at the 5:46 mark.
Tolliver (42-9) faced Matthew Cover (43-6) from Bay Village’s Bay High School, a district champion from Mansfield. After a scoreless first, Tolliver scored on an escape in the second for a 1-0 lead. With Cover down to start the third, Tolliver would have to keep from down the entire two minutes to avoid overtime. Despite some tense moments, the WHS senior held on for the 1-0 win.
“The experience was good; the crowd is crazy,” Tolliver said. “It’ll give you a couple extra nerves.”
The championship quarterfinal round for Tolliver and Tissandier will begin at 10:35 a.m. Friday at the Schottenstein Center.
—Among the wrestlers in the three weight classes involving county athletes, there are nine returning state placers. The 182-pound weight class has four competitors who placed at state last year. Not all at 182 in 2016 but placed nonetheless.
There are three returning state placers in the 220-pound class and two at 170 pounds.
—Clinton-Massie leads the county wrestling schools with a total of 21 top eight finishers at the state tournament. Blanchester is next with 12, then Wilmington has 7.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports