WILMINGTON – Three Clinton County wrestlers qualified for the Division II state wrestling tournament during Saturday’s district wrestling meet at Wilmington’s Rodger O. Borror Middle School gymnasium.
Clinton-Massie’s Davey Tunon and Matt Asher will be joined by Wilmington’s Jacob Boldman at the state tournament held at the Schottenstein Center at Ohio State beginning Thursday. In addition, Wilmington’s Isaac Allen was fifth at 145 and is the first alternate.
Tunon, who finished third in the state last year, will return to Columbus after winning the 152-pound weight class at Saturday’s district meet. He had two thrilling matches along the way to the district title.
Friday night, he had to dispatch a tough customer from a wrestling factory. Tunon defeated St. Paris Graham’s Joey Sanchez 6-2.
“Probably the toughest one was against Sanchez from Graham,” CM head coach Spencer Running said. “I knew Sanchez was going to give us a good match. He wrestles with Garrett Jordan (160 district champion) and Alex Marinelli (4 losses in HS, 3-time state champion), two of the best wrestlers in the nation. That’s his practice partners.”
Running said the tough practice competition has allowed Sanchez to master a defensive style that is tough to contend with.
“He knows how to block off, he knows how to stop you,” Running said. “It’s hard to get into someone who’s being defensive. It was a hard-fought match. Came up, hit a lateral drop, got 5 (points) and ended up winning.”
After Tunon cruised through his semifinal bout, he faced Jack Peura of Tippecanoe in the final. Tunon got two takedowns in the first period and was never really threatened in a 5-3 victory.
“He wrestled an extremely smart match,” Running said. “He got two takedowns right away. That gives you a big mental edge over your competitor. If you can take them down twice in the first period, that’s a very good sign.
“That kid is a state placer. Those are the kind of matches you have to win at the state tournament if you want to place or get to the state finals.”
For Tunon, his focus throughout the season helped him get through this difficult district.
“Wrestling is full of excitements and different scenarios,” Tunon said. “Everybody goes crazy. You saw my quarters match last night with the kid from Graham. That’s never going to bore you. I don’t care who you are that’s so exciting and exhilarating. That feeling afterward is so great.
“Just go out there and give it your all, no matter who you’re wrestling against. Whether you’re wrestling in December or March 5 in the state finals, you’re going to go out there and give it your all.”
Matt Asher rode the roller coaster of emotions in his consolation semifinal bout. With the winner guaranteed of at least fourth and a spot at state, Asher battled Drew Price of Middletown Madison at 113 pounds.
“We wrestled that kid last year and beat him for fifth and sixth in the district tournament in Division III,” Running said. “Now we both moved up, same district, and I thought that was kind of funny how it worked out.”
It appeared as if Asher was going to lose late when he was reversed to erase a two-point lead. The lead official counted and awarded Price two near-fall points. Running contested the decision, and after discussing it with the other on-mat official, the points were wiped out.
In the first of two 30-second double overtime periods, Price was hit with his second stalling which awarded Asher a point. Asher was able to hang on during the other 30-second double overtime period to advance 5-4.
“It was incredible,” Running said. “It’s probably the closest ‘go-to’ match I’ve ever coached. Matt’s been working his butt off this week. He’s a man on a mission right now.”
Asher, a sophomore, will make his first appearance in the state tournament.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Asher said. “It’s been my goal all season to make state. I’m really happy to make it this year.”
As for Boldman, he won his first two bouts 6-1 and 11-4 before losing in the championship semifinals to Ryan Thomas of Graham.
Boldman dropped into the consolation semifinals, where he faced Micah Marshall of Chaminade-Julienne for the second time after beating him 6-1 in his opener.
It was a physical affair, with Boldman pulling off the 13-4 major decision victory that guaranteed him a spot in Columbus.
“It’s unexplainable,” Boldman said. “All the hard work finally paid off. I feel like I should have qualified a couple years back. It feels good to do it my senior year for sure.”
Boldman defeated New Richmond’s Brandon Planck 6-4 in the consolation final to finish third.
“He persevered well,” WHS head coach Kelly Tolliver said. “Things fell about the way we thought they would. We had planned on being in that match. Of course, we were hoping to be in the finals. We weren’t sure how that would shake out with Graham.
“I think he’s definitely got potential to be on the podium in Columbus. He’s got the tools to get the job done. Winning that match (for third) was huge. Our position on the bracket is going to be key. If he wins that first round match, that will be huge. He’ll be in striking distance.”
In addition to Boldman, Allen finished fifth at 145 and will be the first alternate next week. If there is an injury to one of the top four placers from the district, he could have a chance as well to wrestle at state.
Both Wilmington and Clinton-Massie had to contend with wrestlers from St. Paris Graham, who won the district tournament by an absurd 209.5 points over second-place Western Brown. The Broncos finished with 119.5 points.
“We came up against six Graham wrestlers,” Tolliver said. “This is one of the better districts. There are at least six projected state champions in this district.”
Running prepared his team for the gauntlet by doing some travelling during his week of preparation.
“We travelled a little bit for practices and went up against some of the better kids in the state,” Running said. “We knew it was going to be tough. We lost quite a few very tight matches. We were able to get two guys out, and I’m just happy we were able to get both those guys out to the state tournament.”
Tolliver believes Boldman is hitting his stride with the state tournament approaching.
“He probably should have gone to state before now,” Tolliver said. “He was in a meat-grinder of a weight class last year too. Some of the toughest kids in the state are in this district.
“The kid has earned it. He’s worked hard all year. He’s got a great practice partner in (WHS grad) Isaac Bray. He’s hitting on all cylinders right now. He’s peaking at the right time and that’s key.”
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016
@ Rodger O. Borror Middle School gym, Wilmington, Ohio
Division II District Wrestling Tournament
Team Results: 1. Graham Local 329.0; 2. Western Brown 119.5; 3. Ross 115.0; 4. Eaton 86.5; 5. Franklin 68.0; 6. Circleville 67.5; 7. Urbana 64.0; 8. Tippecanoe 57.0; Mid. Madison 57.0; 10. WCH Washington 55.5; 11. Miami Trace 52.0; 12. Indian Lake 51.0; 13. Clinton-Massie 48.0; 14. Valley View 42.5; 15. Logan Elm 41.0; 16. Bellbrook 37.5; 17. Norwood 32.0; 18. New Richmond 31.0; 19. Reading 30.5; 20. Wilmington 30.0; 21. Fenwick 27.0; 22. Ben. Logan 24.0; 23. Waynesville 23.0; Thurgood Marshall 23.0; 25. Carroll 22.5; 26. Wyoming 21.0; Hillsboro 21.0; 28. Unioto 16.0; McClain 16.0; 30. Talawanda 15.0; 31. McNicholas 14.0; 32. Kenton Ridge 13.0; Greenville 13.0; Monroe 13.0; 35. Cham. Julienne 8.0; 36. Batavia 7.0; Oakwood 7.0; Taylor 7.0; 39. Trotwood-Madison 6.0; 40. Badin 3.0; Meadowdale 3.0; Indian Hill 3.0; 43. Goshen 2.0; 44. Mt. Healthy 1.0; Mariemont 1.0
Clinton County Results
106: Nathan Allgeyer (CM) was dec. by Logan Iams (Ross) 10-3; dec. Kaleb Ream (Shawnee) 6-3; was dec. by Sam Price (Monroe) 6-0. Did not place.
106: Cameron Smart (W) was tech falled by Colton Robins (Reading) 18-3; was pin by Austin Lacey (Greenville) 4:12. Did not place.
113: Matt Asher (CM) pin Ian Campbell (Oakwood) 0:52; was dec. by Jake Gentry (Ross) 4-3; dec. Russell Ramsey (Tippecanoe) 10-3; dec. Ayyoub Muhammed (Marshall) 5-0; dec. Drew Price (Madison) 5-4; was dec. by Gentry (Ross) 8-3. Finished fourth.
132: Bryson Mills (CM) was pin by Ryan Thomas (Graham) 1:07; dec. Jacob Kube (Goshen) 3-2 UTB; was dec. by Ryan Arnold (Monroe) 3-1. Did not place.
132: Jacob Boldman (W) dec. Micah Marshall (CJ) 6-1; dec. Ezra Lee (Urbana) 11-4; was tech falled by Ryan Thomas (Graham) 19-3; dec. Marshall (CJ) 13-4; dec. Brandon Planck (NR) 6-4. Finished third.
138: Zack Dillow (CM) was dec. by Yima Nyamor (Wyoming) 6-4; tech falled Mike Osterfeld (Alter) 15-0; was dec. by Mitchell Moyer (Urbana) 10-3. Did not place.
145: Isaac Allen (W) dec. Gavin Clark (NR) 7-3; was pin by Mac Altom (Eaton) 5:19; dec. Chance Daisy (Indian Lake) 10-5; dec. Caleb Blake (Tippecanoe) 6-5; was dec. by Gavin Pearson (Talawanda) 8-4; dec. Braeden Lehman (Urbana) 6-3. Finished fifth.
145: Christian Poynter (CM) was pin by Noah Pitman (Wyoming) 1:30; was pin by Mitch Current (Ben Logan) 0:47. Did not place.
152: Davey Tunon (CM) pin Gage Sanders (Franklin) 0:21; dec. Joey Sanchez (Graham) 6-2; tech falled Trevon Ward (Norwood) 19-0; dec. Jack Peura (Tippecanoe) 5-3. Finished first.
160: Bryant Bergefurd (W) was pin by Garrett Jordan (Graham) 4:44; dec. Preston Bressler (Talawanda) 12-2; was dec. by Gunnar Dawson (Madison) 11-8. Did not place.
160: Ross Lennon (CM) was dec. by Drew Moore (Eaton) 5-1; dec. Ryan Buckley (NR) 9-4; was dec. by Eric Altman (WB) 6-2. Did not place.
170: Anthony Tissandier (CM) was dec. by Chase Sayers (Ross) 9-7; pin Lane Harshbarger (Alter) 2:08; was dec. by Ben Davenport (Unioto) 5-4. Did not place.
195: RJ Tolliver (W) pin Justin Peterson (Kenton Ridge) 4:58; was tech falled by Kavan Sarver (Graham) 20-5; dec. Steven Willis (Washington) 4-2; was dec. by Jared Fenner (Miami Trace) 10-2. Did not place.
220: Gage Smith (W) was pin by Mikey Addis (Norwood) 4:53; was tech falled by Matt Todd (Eaton) 18-3. Did not place.
285: Wesley Lunsford (W) was pin by Colvin Turner (Franklin) 1:07; was pin by Jake Pugh (Batavia) 1:33. Did not place.
Matt covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @mattsports.