The Miami Trace Panthers wrestling team was looking to qualify for the third year in a row to the State dual team tournament at St. John Arena on Feb. 10.
The Panthers hosted 13 other teams for the Region 14 Division II tournament, the first sporting event in the new high school, Saturday.
Miami Trace was the No. 1 seed and London was seeded No. 2.
Those are the two teams who battled their way to the championship match Saturday afternoon.
In that dual, London defeated the Panthers, 47-24 to qualify to State.
Miami Trace had a first-round bye and faced Clinton-Massie in the quarterfinals.
The Panthers defeated Clinton-Massie, 55-18.
For Miami Trace against the Falcons, Weston Melvin (113), Storm Duffy (126), Graham Carson (132), Mcale Callahan (138), Jayden LeBeau (145), James Munro (160), Ashton Curtis (182) and Grant DeBruin (285) had pins.
Dylan Arnold (170) had a 12-2 major decision over Braxton Green.
The Washington Blue Lions began by facing Gallia Academy.
The Blue Lions won this dual match, 45-22.
For Washington, Branton Dawes (113), Will Baughn (145), Jay Fettig (160) and Dylan Moore (170) had pins.
Collier Brown (195) won a 3-1 decision over Lane Pullins.
Washington faced London in the quarterfinals and London won, 62-17.
For the Blue Lions, Dawes had a pin, Collin George had a pin at 120 pounds and Moore won a 21-4 technical fall over Garrett Weldon.
Miami Trace faced Logan Elm in the semifinals and won that match, 39-33.
Duffy, LeBeau and Munro picked up pins for the Panthers in this match.
Melvin won a 14-0 major decision over Cole Renier; Callahan won 7-1 over Peyton Bennett and Arnold won 7-5 over Luke Hinton.
London defeated Athens in the other semifinal, 42-30.
In the finals for the Panthers, Melvin, Kylan Knapp (138), Munro and DeBruin won their matches by pin.
London also won four matches by pin, one by forfeit and five by decision.
“Our coaches did a lot of research,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Fondale said. “We knew London was going to be really tough. They have a really good squad over there. Coach (Richard) Burns is doing a great job.
“I’m glad we got a chance to wrestle them,” Fondale said. “It didn’t turn out the way we hoped. My guys wrestled hard and showed a lot of heart. I want to thank my wrestlers, my coaches and the fans for coming out and supporting us.
“The kids have to bounce back,” Fondale said. “Many of them still have goals to reach for. We’ll keep working towards that. I have a lot of faith that our guys will bounce back.”
As for the match against Clinton-Massie, Fondale said:
“Clinton-Massie gave us a pretty good match the first time we faced them,” Fondale said. “We knew we’d have to bring a good level of intensity to beat them again.
“Storm Duffy had a great match and came back and beat a kid in overtime that had beaten him previously. We had a lot of kids fight off their backs.”
“Gallia was giving up some weight classes and so were we,” Washington head coach Louis Reid said. “We won that match, but we looked sluggish.
“In our second match we had the No. 2 seed, London,” Reid said. “They’re 10-0. I’m not happy we lost, but London is a pretty good team. We knew it would be tough going in.
“My guys wrestled much better,” Reid said. “Our kids came out and had some quality matches that will help prepare us for the postseason. The new format is pretty awesome, it makes it more intense, I feel.
“We want to get a good week of practice in to be ready to wrestle at the conference meet in Chillicothe,” Reid said. “We need to get back in the room and work on some of the fundamentals. We have a goal of finishing in the top three at the conference meet.”
In other scores from the tournament, Clinton-Massie beat Westfall, 48-25; Logan Elm topped Zane Trace, 58-9; McClain received a forfeit from Vinton County; Athens drubbed Waverly, 84-0; Jackson beat Wilmington, 63-13; Logan Elm beat McClain, 52-16; Athens beat Jackson, 45-24 and London advanced past Athens, 42-30.
London will be seeded No. 8 at the State tournament and will face the No. 1 seed St. Paris Graham Sunday at 11 a.m.
The FAC meet is Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. at Chillicothe High School.