Big Red loses to Mustangs

STEUBENVILLE – Claymont put on a “great” performance Wednesday inside the Crimson Center to claim the Division II, Region 12 team championship.

The Mustangs won nine matches to outscore Big Red 40-19 and earn a berth in the state quarterfinals, set for Saturday at St. John Arena on the campus of the Ohio State University.

“They wrestled great,” Big Red’s Mike Blackburn said. “They changed some people around in the lineup and took some bonus points away from us. That’s a great team representing Region 12 in the state event.”

In January, Eric Toukenon’s grapplers rallied for a 31-25 victory over the Big Red.

“We definitely made some mistakes tonight that we didn’t make in the first match,” Blackburn continued. “When you do that against a real good team like Claymont, it’s hard to make up any points or dig out of a hole like we had to.

“But, even in a couple of the losses, we wrestled better than we did the first time around. It’s all about bonus points and they definitely were able to get more than us.”

Claymont jumped out to a 19-0 lead after the initial four matches. Anthony Parada got Big Red on the board when he earned a 12-6 decision over Drew Dillon at 132 pounds. The Mustangs increased their advantage to 28-3 thanks to a decision and a pin. Then, the O’Dell twins went to work for the hosts.

Zack O’Dell rallied in the third period to score a 7-5 win over John Gray at 152. Andrew O’Dell followed with a 14-8 victory against Tanner Peters at 160.

“Both O’Dells wrestled different guys than they did in the first match,” Blackburn noted. “They both won the first time around and they wrestled hard tonight. Zack came from behind which was a huge momentum boost for us.”

Andrew O’Dell’s win put Big Red within striking distance at 28-9 with five matches remaining. Unfortunately, Mark Cole dropped a 6-5 heartbreaker at 170 and Brandon Jones fell to Claymont’s Colt Crall at 182 to put the match out of reach.

Charlie Keenan registered a major decision at 195 and Greg Moray recorded Big Red’s only pin of the evening at 220. He needed just 1:19 to put Garrett Harding on his back.

“Charlie got us a major this time which gave us some bonus points,” Blackburn pointed out. “As far as Greg goes, that’s something he can do all the time when he keeps wrestling.”

This is the first time the OHSAA has conducted the team dual tournament in this format.

Blackburn and company will be back in action tonight, hosting the Bill Hinegardner OVAC Dual Meet Championships. Big Red, which claimed the conference team crown earlier in the season, will tangle with Martins Ferry in one Class 4A semifinal with Harrison Central and Oak Glen going at it in the other. Championship and consolation action will follow.

In the Class 2A/1A event, also set for the Crimson Center, Catholic Central will go against Caldwell and Shadyside will test Toronto.

The semifinals begin at 6 p.m.

“With the schedule we’ve had this year, there have been some ups and downs,” Blackburn noted. “Our guys have to understand they need to stick together. I thought during OVAC time they stuck together as a team and we probably did some of the best wrestling we’ve done all year.

“They need to get focused and understand this is the last time we get to wrestle before sectionals. We need to go out there and make a statement tomorrow.”

Claymont 40, Big Red 19

106 Tyler Warner 9 (Claymont) major decision Tariq Wilson 9 (Big Red) 10-1

113 Dustin Warner 11 (Claymont) pinned Dakota Goff 9 (Big Red) 3:14

120 Kollin Clark 11 (Claymont) forfeit

126 Cody Burcher 11 (Claymont) d. Anthony Craig 12 (Big Red) 10-6

132 Anthony Parada 12 (Big Red) d. Drew Dillon 12 (Claymont) 12-6

138 Drew Avery 12 (Claymont) d. Jacob McKitrick 12 (Big Red) 5-4

145 Caden Herron 11 (Claymont) pinned Nico Moray 9 (Big Red) 3:20

152 Zach O’Dell 12 (Big Red) d. John Gray 11 (Claymont) 7-5

160 Andrew O’Dell 12 (Big Red) d. Tanner Peters 11 (Claymont) 14-8

170 Matt Dennis 11 (Claymont) d. Mark Cole 12 (Big Red) 6-5

182 Colt Crall 11 (Claymont) pinned Brandon Jones 10 (Big Red) 0:40

195 Charlie Keenan 12 (Big Red) major decision Nate Gray 10 (Claymont) 9-1

220 Greg Moray 12 (Big Red) pinned Garrett Harding 11 (Claymont) 1:19

285 Kyle Henry 11 (Claymont) d. Ryan Wood 12 (Big Red) 4-3