COLUMBUS – After a pin in the first match, No. 5 Blanchester dug itself a hole it couldn’t get out of Sunday in a 45-25 loss to No. 4 Rootstown in the Division III State Team Duals tournament at Ohio State’s St. John Arena.
For both Blanchester and Rootstown, the appearance was the third in the state team tournament. It was the best showing for the Wildcats, who also advanced to the Elite Eight in 2013 and 2014.
“I’m happy with the way our guys performed,” BHS coach Scott Nicely said. “At the end of the day, we want them to wrestle hard, get better and give it earything they have in every match. They did that.”
Rootstown, champion of Region 20, is located east of Akron and north of Canton.
“We had a couple of matches that were key for us,” Nicely said. “Matches that we had to win, probably pin and that didn’t happen.”
Jacob Hamm got things off to a fast start for the Wildcats, which may have come as a surprise to some.
“This week (against Badin and Fenwick) he looked horrible, the worst I’ve seen wrestling all year. I was really disappointed,” Nicely said.
The 106-pound freshman didn’t wrestle like a wide-eyed youthful kid in a slump. He was up 8-1 after one and was in control the entire match before ending things with a pin in 3:57.
But the Rovers went to work with wins at 113, 120, 126, 132 and 138 to take a 24-6 lead.
Gage Huston stopped the Rootstown run with a 14-6 win at 145 to make it 24-10. After Rootstown went up 30-10, Clayton Schirmer started a string of wins for Blanchester that tightened things a bit. His tech fall preceded a pin by Ramiro Torres and a decision by Steven Latchford, who avoided what would have been a devastating pin in his 182-pound match. Suddenly it was 30-25.
The Rovers, though, closed with three wins to seal the victory and advance.
February 10 2019
Division III State Team Duals
@St John Arena, OSU
Rootstown 45 Blanchester 25
106: Jacob Hamm pins Gabe Orpesa 3:57
113: Levi St. John was pinned by Caleb Edwards 1:24
120: Adam Frump was decisioned by Mike Prikryl 16-6
126: Gage Berwanger was decisioned by Mason Kline 7-1
132: Andrew Frump was tech fall by Trent Duvall 17-0, 3:12.
138: Bryan Bandown was pinned by Niko Chilson 0:51.
145: Gage Huston decisioned Cameron White 14-6.
152: Colt Conover was pinned by Chris Anderson 0:28
160: Clayton Schirmer tech fall Caleb Drennen 17-2, 3:46
170: Ramiro Torres pinned Austin McKibben 1:49
182: Steven Latchford decisions Alex Banks 16-3
195: Christian Stubbs was pinned by Chris Langguth 1:21
220: James Peters was decisioned by Ryan Boyle 5-1
285: Blanchester forfeits to Logan DeAngelis
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports