MT. ORAB — The Washington Blue Lions turned the tables on Miami Trace with a surprising 42-32 victory in the State Duals Regional Semifinals match on Wednesday. The event was held at Western Brown High School.
Two weeks removed from a 55-17 drubbing at the hands of their rival, Washington pushed their way to the brink of qualifying for the State Dual Meet Championships with the win. The resurgent Western Brown Broncos would dash their hopes in the “go-to” match by defeating the locals by a 54-20 score.
Washington worked their way through the tournament with wins over Chillicothe, 62-7; and Wilmington, 42-33 at the Regional Quarterfinals.
The Regional Semifinals began with the win over Miami Trace, 42-32, to set the stage against Western Brown.
The Broncos defeated Alter, 66-15; Fenwick, 56-21; and New Richmond, 57-21 in route to their finals appearance against Washington.
Washington was a No. 2 seed coming out of Region 15 while Western Brown was the top seed from Region 16. There are eight regions in each of the three divisions of wrestling. Division I (large schools) comprise Regions 1-8; Division II (medium-sized schools) are assigned in Regions 9-16; and Division III (small schools) are Regions 17-24.
Ethan Stewart (170), Steven Willis (182), Mason McCane (195) and Trevor Hicks (285) all went 2-0 at the duals for Washington on Wednesday.
Hicks finished the meet with Miami Trace with the Blue Lions leading 36-32 heading into the heavyweight match. His pin over a quickly-improving Colin Wolffe sealed the win.
Stewart, Willis and McCane all had key pins over their Miami Trace opponent to help Washington to its upset.
Other key wins came from Zane Nelson (132) and Chris Conger (138) as they were able to pick up pins after having lost to their Miami Trace opponent at the league dual.
Western Brown is one of the top wrestling teams in the Cincinnati area, regardless of division. They are coached by Wendel Donathon who guided Franklin High School to wrestling prominence.
Washington head coach Louis Reid was impressed with their squad.
“Western Brown is extremely tough. They have hammers from 106 through 126. They have 45 kids in the program and have an off-season freestyle wrestling program. They are a young team with just two seniors in the starting line-up.”
Reid moved some of his wrestlers up a weight class to get better competition and hopefully gain a points advantage against both Miami Trace and Western Brown.
Tre Thomas moved from 120 to 126 and Mason McCane bumped from 182 to 195. Thomas would fight hard but lost both of his matches to excellent wrestlers in Coby Hughes of Miami Trace and Jordan Hamblin of Western Brown.
McCane fared very well with the change. He pinned Miami Trace’s Jared Fenner who recently won the McDonald’s/Miami Trace Invitational and defeated Jacob Aultman of Western Brown with a technical fall, 18-3 score.
Aultman is a returning District place winner at 195 pounds losing a close decision to Miami Trace’s Jerimiah Jones in the match to qualify for the State Tournament in 2015.
Coach Reid was very pleased with his team’s improvement.
“We are excited about what we have accomplished. This was a big win for us. We defeated two teams at the State Duals (Wilmington and Miami Trace) that beat us earlier in the year. This is as far as any of our previous teams have gone in this tournament. It has been a great journey. We have momentum going into the league tournament and our kids now believe we can compete against the best competition. Our motto this year is, “All about family.” Family got us here.”
For the Miami Trace Panthers, first-year head coach, Ben Fondale, realized his team must move on from a disappointing loss.
“We need to get ready for the league tournament,” Fondale said. “We have two and a half days to prepare. We need to put this behind us. We had an opportunity to win and didn’t. We are in good position to win the league. We talked to our kids after the Washington match. They want to win the SCOL title outright and not share it. We need to get healthy and we will be okay.”
Miami Trace had several starters out due to illness. They were replaced by capable reserves which reflects well on the strength of the program.
Western Brown will be joined at the Division II State Dual Meet with seven other teams that include: Graham, Steubenville, Mentor Lake Catholic, Wauseon, New Lexington, Hamilton Ross, and Akron St. Vincent/St. Mary.
Interestingly, our two local head wrestling coaches have their alma mater competing at the State Duals. Reid hails from Steubenville and Fondale is a graduate of New Lexington High School.
The SCOL Tournament is next for both Washington and Miami Trace. The Panthers are in the driver’s seat with a 7-0 record. Washington sits at 4-3 entering the event which combines dual meet results with the tournament finish to determine league placement for the eight teams.
The Annual SCOL Wrestling Tournament will be held at East Clinton High School on Saturday, with the prelims at 5 p.m.
2016 OHSAA Regional Dual Team Tournament Division II Region 15 Finals
Washington 42, Miami Trace 32
106 Timmy Chaney 11 (MT) dec. Collin George 9 (WCH) 8-2
113 Wes Gandee 10 (MT) dec. Chris Martin 10 (WCH) 9-7
120 Courtney Walker 10 (WCH) Forfeit
126 Coby Hughes 10 (MT) tech. fall Tre Thomas 11 (WCH) 17-1
132 Zane Nelson 10 (WCH) pin Bladeth Leamon 9 (MT) 3:04
138 Chris Conger 10 (WCH) pin Derek Moore 11 (MT) 2:30
145 James Munro 9 (MT) pin Austin Hixon 12 (WCH) 1:10
152 Austin Lovett 12 (MT) pin Jerry Knapp 12 (WCH) 0:42
160 Jacob Tinkler 10 (MT) dec. Elijah Shaw 9 (WCH) 10-8
170 Ethan Stewart 11 (WCH) pin Trenton Henize 10 (MT) 5:50
182 Steven Willis 12 (WCH) pin Skyler Havens 10 (MT) 1:30
195 Mason McCane 12 (WCH) pin Jared Fenner 11 (MT) 3:37
220 Dalton Bartley 10 (Mt) Forfeit
285 Trevor Hicks 11 (WCH) pin Colin Wolffe 10 (MT) 5:40
Western Brown 54, Washington 20
106 Jedidiah Marlow 10 (WB) pin Collin George 9 (WCH) 1:03
113 Brandon Lucas 10 (WB) pin Courtney Walker 10 (WCH) 0:44
120 Seth Taylor 10 (WB) pin Chris Martin 10 (WCH) 1:13
126 Jordan Hamblin 10 (WB) dec. Tre Thomas 11 (WCH) 11-4
132 Jacob Haggerty 10 (WB) pin Zane Nelson 10 (WCH) 4:21
138 Derek Spears 9 (WB) dec. Chris Conger 10 (WCH) 5-3
145 Jake Henderson 11 (WB) pin Austin Hixon 12 (WCH) 0:48
152 Malachi Marlow 12 (WB) pin Jerry Knapp 12 (WCH) 1:08
160 Eric Altman 10 (WB) pin Elijah Shaw 9 (WCH) 0:31
170 Ethan Stewart 11 (WCH) dec. Dylan Mosher 9 (WB) 6-4
182 Steven Willis 12 (WCH) Forfeit
195 Mason McCane 12 (WCH) tech. fall Jacob Altman 12 (WB) 18-3
220 Justin Carpenter 12 (WB) Forfeit
285 Trevor Hicks 11 (WCH) pin Zach Stacy 10 (WB) 1:25