By Garth Shanklin
Less than a week after competing in the dual team tournament in Columbus, the Bethel-Tate Tigers returned to the mat at the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference championship tournament in Blanchester.
The Tigers continued their run of success on the mat, tallying 139.5 points to win the National Division title and place second overall behind Western Brown (234.5 points).
Goshen placed fourth overall with 112 points, followed by New Richmond at 94. CNE finished eighth (46.5), with Batavia in ninth (36) and Williamsburg 10th (35).
Two locals placed at the 106-pound class. Bethel-Tate’s Joe Reinert defeated Blanchester’s Daniel Davenport in his first match, but fell to East Clinton’s Wyatt Ridldle in the semifinals. Meanwhile, Goshen’s Chase Huff defeated Western Brown’s Owen Bingamon to advance to the championship match against Riddle. Riddle defeated Huff 10-6 to win the title, and Bingamon pinned Reinert in 45 seconds to place third.
In the 113-pound class. Goshen’s Josh Dunn defeated Batavia’s Jakob Brown via tech fall (18-3), then did the same to Wilmington’s Cameron Smart (19-3). That sent him to the title bout against Western Brown’s Brandon Lucas, where he was pinned in 3:10.
In the consolation rounds, Bethel-Tate’s Zack Gutknecht defeated Brown via pin in 2:28 then knocked off Smart 7-5 to place third.
Two more locals placed at 120. Bethel-Tate’s Trey Sander pinned his way to the finals against Western Brown’s Jed Marlow. Marlow won the match 12-4.
Batavia’s Bryan Sauter dropped his first match of the tournament to Wilmington’s Sam Eastes, but rallied through the consolation bracket to earn a rematch with the Hurricane sophomore in the third-place match. Eastes won again, pinning Sander in 3:30 to take third place.
CNE’s Seth Patterson placed third in the 126-pound class, despite falling to New Richmond’s Elijah Richards 4-2 in the quarterfinals. Patterson defeated Bethel-Tate’s Donnie Harrison and Williamsburg’s Ezra Wallace to earn a rematch with Richards in the third-place match. Patterson won the rematch 5-2.
In the 132-pound class, Bethel-Tate’s Austin Carter fell to Western Brown’s Seth Taylor in the quarterfinals of the championship bracket. Carter then defeated CNE’s Foster Kuntz via pin in 1:49 and Wilmington’s Dylan Dummit via pin in 59 seconds to place third.
New Richmond’s Ryan Wolf defeated Bethel-Tate’s Mike Whittington in the championship semifinals, setting up a match against Western Brown’s Jordan Hamblin in the 138-pound class. Hamblin defeated Wolf 11-0.
In the consolation bracket, Goshen’s Brice Briggs pinned two opponents to earn a shot at third place, but he fell to Whittington 11-6 in the consolation final.
Goshen’s Zach Dunn earned the top seed in the 145-pound class and showed why, pinning his first opponent in nine seconds. He then defeated Western Brown’s Ezra Marlow via tech fall (16-0) before capping off his title run with a pin of Clinton-Massie’s Bryson Mills in 1:16.
In the consolation bracket, New Richmond’s Casey Washburn defeated Marlow 6-2 to place third.
The top overall seed in the 152-pound class went to Williamsburg’s Wyatt Lefker, but the senior missed the podium due to injury.
Lefker fell to Matt Hall in the semifinals 5-4, then withdrew from the consolation bracket, sending Goshen’s Collin Briggs to the third-place bout. Briggs fell to Western Brown’s Derek Spears via pin in 2:01.
In the championship match, Hall defeated Blanchester’s Clayton Schirmer 10-8 in overtime to win the title.
Only one local placed in the 160-pound class. CNE’s Luke Rayburn fell to Wilmington’s Isaac Allen in the semifinals, but bounced back with a pin of Western Brown’s Kennedy Sizemore in the consolation bracket. Rayburn then fell to Blanchester’s Colt Conover via pin in 3:25, settling for fourth place.
In the 170-pound class, Bethel-Tate’s Owen Holtke pinned Western Brown’s Justin Noble in 1:40 to advance to the championship match, where he fell to Western Brown’s Eric Altman 5-2.
In the consolation bracket, Noble defeated Blanchester’s Ramiro Torres 12-6 to advance to the third-place match, where he fell to Clinton-Massie’s Colton Doyle in a 12-0 major decision.
Three of the four podium spots at the 182-pound class went to Clermont wrestlers. Batavia’s Daniel Greiner pinned his way to the title match, as did New Richmond’s Ryan Buckley. Greiner won the title by default.
In the consolation round, Clermont Northeastern’s David Pride rallied from a first-round loss to pin Bethel-Tate’s Owen Mattes, defeat Blanchester’s Steven Latchford 8-2 and pin Clinton-Massie’s Joe Baughman in 2:14 to place third.
In the 195-pound class, Bethel-Tate’s Nate Owens fell to New Richmond’s Trent Felts in the semifinals. Felts then dropped a 4-2 decision to Western Brown’s Davey Stamper in the title bout.
The consolation bracket saw Owens defeat Williamsburg’s Gavin Barnhart via pin in 21 seconds to advance to the third-place match against Clinton-Massie’s Braxton Green. Owens won the match with a pin in 2:32.
In the 220-pound class, Bethel-Tate’s Bradley Lewis pinned New Richmond’s Camron Griffey in 12 seconds to advance to the third-place match. Goshen’s Jacob Tatman met him there with a 57-second pin of Wilmington’s Thomas Womble. Lewis defeated Tatman 5-1 to place third.
In the heavyweight division, Williamsburg’s Brian Stears continued his dominance, pinning his first two opponents to earn a match against Wilmington’s Conner Barton. Stears defeated Barton 11-3 to win the title.
Goshen’s Andrew Arnold defeated Western Brown’s Seth Jermer 5-2 to earn third place.
Local teams now prepare for the individual state tournament, which begins with sectionals on Friday, Feb. 23.
Batavia, Goshen and New Richmond will compete in sectionals at Batavia High School, while Bethel-Tate, Clermont Northeastern and Williamsburg wrestle at Blanchester High School.