The Washington Blue Lions will be sending seven wrestlers to the District tournament after this weekend’s third place overall finish at the Division II Sectional, which the school hosted.
Miami Trace won the Sectional title with 166 points, followed by Circleville with 156.5 points and the Blue Lions were in third with 149 points.
The Blue Lions finished ahead of Clinton-Massie, Wilmington, Logan Elm, McClain, Hillsboro, Unioto, Bellbrook and Waynesville.
Washington had one weight class champion at the Sectional, junior Trevor Hicks at heavyweight.
Senior Mason McCane was runner-up at 182 pounds.
Senior Steven Willis was looking at District alternate status, after placing fifth at 195 pounds.
However, when one of the competitors lost the battle for third and fourth place, this competitor apparently lost his composure and was disqualified, ending his season and bumping Willis up from fifth to fourth place.
Sophomore Chris Martin placed fourth at 113 pounds.
Junior Tre Thomas finished fourth at 120 pounds.
Zane Nelson placed third at 132 pounds.
Sophomore Chris Conger took second at 138 pounds.
“We’re pretty ecstatic about getting seven kids to the District,” Washington head coach Louis Reid said. “We thought we could get anywhere from as few as three to as many as eight. So, we’re pretty happy to get seven through to the District.
“We’re happy with the third place,” Reid said. “We would have liked to have won it. We were in the team hunt, but we didn’t capitalize during the consolation semifinals. So, I’m a little disappointed in that sense.
“We had a couple of matches where, we could have ended up with as many as nine District qualifiers,” Reid said. “Actually, 10. But, considering how young our team is, where we started at the beginning of the year to where we are now, I’m really excited. Seven kids have a chance to make it to State, plus Collin George and Ethan Stewart are District alternates.”
Hicks began the Sectional with a 3-0 decision over sophomore Benito Guerrero of Circleville.
Hicks pinned sophomore Wesley Lunsford of Wilmington at the 1:57 mark of the match.
In the finals, Hicks faced sophomore Colin Wolffe of Miami Trace.
Hicks won this match by pin at 2:46 to claim the Sectional title.
Hicks (now 37-7 on the season) will face freshman Max Evans (20-13) of Middletown Madison in the first round of the District tournament that begins Friday and continues Saturday at Wilmington High School.
“Last year at the Sectional, Trevor was third,” Reid said. “This year he wins the Sectional up a weight class. We’re really proud of him. He looked tough.”
Wrestlers who place in the top four at the District meet qualify to the State tournament that begins at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at The Ohio State University in Columbus.
At 113 pounds, Chris Martin started the Sectional with a 9-4 tech fall loss to sophomore Matt Asher of Clinton-Massie.
Martin next faced sophomore Wes Gandee of Miami Trace in the consolation semifinals. Martin won a 10-7 decision in this match.
In the match for third and fourth place, Martin lost to junior Travis Foster of Waynesville, 5-0.
Martin (13-32 on the season) will face sophomore Drew Price of Middletown Madison (36-1) who won a Sectional title at Tippecanoe.
“I was pleased with Chris Martin at 113 pounds,” Reid said. “Last year, Chris won two matches. This year, he’s been league champ and he’s a District qualifier.”
Tre Thomas began the Sectional tournament with a 13-3 major decision victory over freshman Tanner Tite of McClain.
Thomas suffered an 11-7 major decision setback to the No. 1 seed, sophomore Isaac Bennett of Logan Elm.
In the consolation semifinals, Thomas pinned freshman Ashton Moody of Unioto before losing a 15-0 tech fall to sophomore Tyler Matthews of Circleville.
Thomas (35-16) faces Sectional champion Justin Stickley (35-3) a senior from Graham Local, in the first round of the District tournament.
“This is the second time Tre Thomas has qualified to the District tournament,” Reid said. “He ended up getting fourth. We were hoping to finish a little higher. We have a few things we need to work on in the room. He’s had a really solid year.”
Zane Nelson began the Sectional with a pin over Hillsboro sophomore Wyatt Wilkin in 5:44.
In the quarterfinals, Nelson pinned again, this time it was against senior Jamaine Barnhart of McClain at :20.
In the semifinals, Nelson lost to sophomore Gavin Moore of Miami Trace, 7-4.
In the consolation semifinals, Nelson picked up a third pin on the day at the 5:51 mark against sophomore Bryson Mills of Clinton-Massie.
In the match for third and fourth place, Nelson pinned junior Braeden Butler of Logan Elm at :36.
Nelson (now 26-16 on the season) will meet senior Ryan Arnold (31-10) of Monroe in the first round of the District meet.
“Zane didn’t get to wrestle in the Sectional last year,” Reid said. “I think he would have qualified (to the District), but, he didn’t. He wrestles in a very tough 132-pound weight class.
“He bounced back after a tough loss to Gavin Moore from Miami Trace, whom he had beaten the week before at the league meet,” Reid said. “He picked up a win in the consolations over a tough kid from Clinton-Massie who beat us last year. We beat him to make it in to the District meet. He kept wrestling and picked up some key points in the third period.”
At 138 pounds, Chris Conger made it through to the finals, falling to junior Greg Brewer of Circleville, 8-5.
Conger began the Sectional with a pin of senior Trevor Lane of Logan Elm at :48.
He then pinned sophomore Tommy Johnson of McClain at the 2:25 mark of the match.
Conger improved to 3-0 on the day with a pin of Clinton-Massie junior Zack Dillow in 1:48.
Conger lost in the finals to junior Greg Brewer of Circleville, 8-5.
Conger (now with a record of 36-11) will face off against senior Damian Walton (23-6) of Taylor in the opening round of the District meet.
“Chris Conger wrestled a good tournament,” Reid said. “He was in position against a kid who beat our Shawn Murphy last year. Chris was actually in the match. This is Chris’ first time at the District meet.”
Mason McCane began the Sectional with a pin of Wilmington sophomore Brady Bergefurd in 1:36.
In the semifinals, McCane defeated Miami Trace senior Matthew Hottinger by a 13-5 major decision.
In the finals, McCane met senior Tyler Wiederholt of Bellbrook.
Wiederholt won the Sectional title with a 16-7 major decision.
McCane (whose record improves to 45-4) will face sophomore Spencer Reynolds (19-21) of Eaton in the District opening round at 182 pounds.
“Mason lost to the projected State champ,” Reid said. “He’s a returning State runner-up. We need to work on our defense a little bit. Mason wrestled solid. We’re going to have to beat kids like that to get on the (State podium). That’s our ultimate goal.”
Steven Willis began the Sectional with a 2-0 loss to junior R.J. Tolliver of Wilmington.
Willis kept alive in the consolation bracket with a 7-3 decision over sophomore Sam Brothers of Clinton-Massie.
In the consolation semifinals, Willis was pinned by junior Nick Vagnier of Logan Elm in 3:40.
Willis picked up a 5-3 overtime win against sophomore Deegan Boris of Hillsboro to earn fifth place.
As mentioned above, when the loser of the match for third and fourth place apparently lost his cool, he was disqualified, which put Willis into the Districts in fourth place.
Willis (34-12) will face senior Jack Harris of Urbana. Harris (with a record of 29-1) won one of the two Sectional meets at Tippecanoe.
“We preach to our wrestlers that it’s important to get fifth place,” Reid said. “You never know when you might get a chance. Now Steven gets to wrestle at the District meet.”
Washington freshman Collin George (106) went 2-2 at the Sectional, finishing in fifth place with a record of 9-14. If for any reason one of the top four competitors at 106 is unable to go, George would get the chance to compete in the District.
George lost his first Sectional match to freshman Nathan Allgyer of Clinton-Massie by tech fall, 15-0.
In the consolation bracket, George defeated freshman Aaron McNeeley of Waynesville, 4-2 in overtime.
In the consolation semifinals, George lost to sophomore Cameron Smart of Wilmington, 6-0.
In the match for fifth place, George pinned freshman Shane Huff of McClain at :29.
At 126 pounds, freshman Chance Hall went 0-2, ending the season at 4-13.
Hall was pinned in the first round by senior Nick Weaver of Bellbrook in :44.
In the consolation bracket, Hall was pinned by sophomore Braeden Butler of Logan Elm.
Connor Chrisman (a junior) went 0-1 at the Sectional, falling to sophomore Caleb Linton of Logan Elm by a 10-2 major decision.
Chrisman ended the season with a record of 15-21.
Freshman Elijah Shaw competed at 152 pounds for the Blue Lions.
In the first round, Shaw pinned freshman Anthony Barhorst of Bellbrook in 3:00.
Shaw suffered a pin to Davey Tunon of Clinton-Massie in :53.
Senior Trevor Hemming of Circleville picked up a pin in the consolation semifinals over Shaw in 2:05.
Shaw lost a 12-6 decision to McClain freshman Kyler Trefz to place sixth. Shaw ends the season with a record of 16-23.
Junior Ethan Stewart competed for the Blue Lions at 160 pounds.
Stewart began the Sectional with a 6-3 loss to sophomore Ross Lennon of Clinton-Massie.
In the consolation bracket, Stewart pinned senior Nick Keaton of Circleville in 4:37.
Stewart picked up another pin, this one over freshman Lucas Pollack of Waynesville.
Stewart lost to senior Bryant Bergefurd of Wilmington, 6-4 in the consolation semifinals.
In the match for fifth and sixth place, Stewart defeated sophomore Jacob Tinkler of Miami Trace, 7-1.
Stewart ends the season with a record of 23-20.
“Eli and Ethan both dropped weight classes here at the end of the year,” Reid said.
At 220 pounds, Washington had freshman Colton McNichols competing.
McNicholas was pinned in his first Sectional match by junior Nick Robinette of Unioto in 1:17.
McNicholas lost to junior Gage Smith of Wilmington in the consolation semifinals, 8-2.
McNicholas fell to Miami Trace sophomore Dalton Bartley in the match for fifth place, 11-4.
McNicholas completes the season with a record of 15-23.
“Colton wrestled a solid tournament for us,” Reid said.
“We have to wrestle tough (this week) at the District tournament,” Reid said. “We’re going to get back to work. The season’s not over. We want to qualify as many as we can to the State meet.”
The District tournament starts Friday at 3 p.m. The tournament continues Saturday at 10:30 a.m. The finals have a scheduled starting time of 4:30 p.m.
1. Miami Trace 166.0
2. Circleville 156.5
3. Washington 149.0
4. Clinton-Massie 142.5
5. Wilmington 128.0
6. Logan Elm 115.0
7. McClain 82.0
8. Hillsboro 76.0
9. Unioto 74.0
10. Bellbrook 73.5
11. Waynesville 52.0
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1