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Wrestlers win EBC title, finish fourth in state duals
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By Carol McIntire
Minerva won the first match by pin. Carrollton won the last match by pin and the 2023-24 outright Eastern Buckeye Conference wrestling championship.
The two traditional rivals met in the Minerva High School gym Feb. 8 with the outright championship on the line which has become the norm the past several years.
The Warriors (4-0) would win the outright title with a win. The Lions (3-1) could play spoiler and if they won, would share the title with Carrollton and Salem (3-1) if they won the match.
Carrollton claimed the title with a 33-27 victory.
“This was a team win,” Carrollton Coach Joe McGee said after the event concluded at 10 p.m.
“This feels good,” he said of league championship. “I hope this can become the norm every year.”
He noted the team added to the school’s lengthy history of winning championship title.
“This is the second time in school history a team has won three consecutive championships,” he pointed out. We always talk about the history of this program and the team loves adding to that tradition. Hopefully I’m here in 30 years and we’re talking to another group of kids about what this team accomplished.”
Mixed in between the first and last matches was an array of pins, decisions, a forfeit and a major decision.
Minerva state qualifier Hunter Dietrich put six points on the board for the Lions with a pin over Carrollton’s Dalton Naylor (3:30) at 190 pounds. The Warriors quickly erased the lead when Owen Spilker (215 lbs.) decisioned Enoch Brodzenski 6-1 and Aidan Shaw pinned Hatcher Sabatin (HWT) in 3:27.
As the match dropped to the lower weight, Carrollton added to the point total when freshman Cael Lowdermilk (106 lbs.) pinned Tyler Phillips in 49 seconds and Landon Jenkins (113) picked up a forfeit.
The Lions chipped away at the 21-6 lead in the next three weight classes.
Mark Mueller (120) posted a 21-8 major decision over Kail Snair, Connor Norris(126) got by Levi Pidgeon 4-2 in a hard-fought match that went into overtime and Joey Brockelhurst (132) earned an 11-4 major decision over John Childs.
Suddenly, the Lions were within 21-16.
Carrollton senior Josh Carman (138) stretched the lead to 27-16 with a 1:42 pin of Ashtin McCrobie.
The Lions climbed back to within three points at 27-24 with two major decisions: Lincoln Wallace (144) over Jayden Sutton 10-1 and Sylas McClish (150) over Darrion DePalmo 12-4.
Dalton Sweeney gave Carrollton a little breathing room at 157 with a pin over Ethan Weaver in 2:24.
Carrying a nine-point lead (33-24) the two teams headed into the final two weight classes knowing with a pair of pins, the Lions would win the match.
Breck Miller (165) got three points for the hosts with a 13-6 decision of Jamasen Powell, leaving it up Dylan Klimavicius to post a pin for the Lions to tie the match.
Carrollton junior Gavin Slutz had his own idea on how the match would go. The 175-pounder fought for a takedown and a 2-0 in the first period and then rolled Klimavicius onto his back for a pin at the 3:37 mark to secure the victory for Carrollton.
McGee had praise for Slutz.
“He does a good job, works hard and has done a really good job growing his year over last year.”
Carrollton finished undefeated in the EBC with a 5-0 record and carry a 16-2 overall record with one match remaining on the schedule, this Thursday at New Philadelphia.
title (16-2 overall).
Minerva finished 3rd in the EBC with a 3-2 record.
Izzy Nuzzolillo (100) kicked off the girls match for Carrollton with a pin of Ella French in the 1:13 into the match. Teammate Kira McDaniel (105) followed it up with a pin of Bridget Hilliard with eight seconds remaining in the opening period.
Minerva’s Ashlyn Persons (110) pinned Carlee Bryant with six seconds remaining in the first period followed by teammate Hannah Snodgrass’ pin of Alyssa Detchon (115) in the first minute of the match.
Lion Bailey Pierce (130) battled with Warrior Raygen Speelman for three periods, posting a 12-3 win before Bella Scarry pinned Gianna James in the opening period.
Carrollton freshman Riley Alborn brought the final score to 41-24 with a first 59-second pin of Joslynn Jobes.
The Warriors placed fourth in the Division II State Dual Meet competition Feb 10.
The Warriors won the opening match 36-35 over Bishop-Waterson to advance to the final four where they fell to an always tough Paris Graham team 48-22. The team faces Wauseon in the battle for third place, falling by a score of 52-27.
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