COLUMBUS — Wilmington will have three wrestlers standing on the podium when the 85th annual OHSAA Division II State Wrestling Championship ends Sunday night at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.
Thad Stuckey and Thane McCoy will finish no worse than sixth and Brett Brooks will wrestle for seventh place Sunday morning.
Wilmington sent a school record four athletes to the tournament and three of them reached the podium, signifying at least a top eight finish in their respective weight classes. Stuckey and McCoy will be named All-Ohio based on their finish.
McCoy continues to methodically work his way through the 138-pound consolation bracket. He decisioned Mark Emmerling of Beaver Local 5-4 to guarantee a top eight finish then led wire to wire against Dylan Strouse of West Holmes to earn at least a top six finish.
In the match against Emmerling, McCoy scored a late escape to break a 4-4 tie and post the one-point win.
Against Strouse, McCoy led 2-1 in the second but had to fight off a precarious situation to remain on top. The WHS junior scored on a reveral to go up 4-2 before giving up an escape in the second and another in the third to get the win.
Stuckey, notched an 8-5 win over Nick Chaddock in his first consolation match Saturday then face Steven Duffy of Woodridge. The winner would be guaranteed top six.
Things didn’t start well for Stuckey, though. He was unable to finish a takedown and was immediately taken down and put on his back. WHS coach felt a pin wouldn’t have been a surprise call but the official wasn’t in the right position.
But despite being down 5-0, Stuckey perservered. An escape, a takendown and a three-point nearfall put him on top. Duffy tied the match 6-6 on a penalty point late in the second.
To start the third, Stuckey gave up a point to go neutral and the strategy paid off. He got a takedown to go up 8-7 with 43 seconds left in the match. Right at the final whistle, Stuckey had Duffy on his back but Duffy scored on a reversal. Stuckey said he heard the official count two on his nearfall so the reversal merely made it 10-9 with Stuckey coming out on top.
Brooks picked up a mammoth 5-1 win to open his day against Peyton Tuttle of Steubenville. All of Brooks’ point came in the waning seconds of the match.
In the second bout against Gauge Gibson of Howland, Brooks tried a throw, was caught off-balance and Gibson took advantage. The Howland wrestler got Brooks on his back and picked up the pin in 1:56.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports