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PENINSULA -- Heading into the Division II, Region 10 semifinal of the state dual meet tournament, the Tallmadge wrestling team knew it was coming in as an underdog.
The Blue Devils didn't show any fear in their regional semifinal against Woodridge, but the breaks all seemed to go the Bulldogs' way.
Woodridge defeated Tallmadge 48-29 Feb. 1 at Woodridge High School in Peninsula. As a result of the loss, the Blue Devils were eliminated from the state duals.
Tallmadge's dual meet record dropped to 7-2, as head coach Jason Shaw noted the wrestling gods were not with the Blue Devils.
"Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't," he said. "I'm proud of the way the kids wrestled, but we just couldn't get any breaks. We've got to get better. It's as simple as that."
Tallmadge went 5-7 in wrestled bouts and also gave up forfeits at 126 and 138 pounds, respectively.
The match started well for the Blue Devils.
Tallmadge saw 106-pounder Fred Berry pin the Bulldogs' Cambell Corfman in 2 minutes, 44 seconds, followed by Ed "Rock" Suber scoring an 18-2 technical fall win over Woodridge's Micah Blair at 113 pounds.
Shaw said he needed just one win against the heart of the Bulldogs' lineup to have a fighting chance, but it did not happen. A pin in 15 seconds by Woodridge 120-pounder Brandon Reeves set off a streak of six straight wins for the Bulldogs.
The critical bout came at 132 pounds, as the Blue Devils' Jake Potok was leading Woodridge's David Genovese in third period. However, Genovese threw Potok onto his back in the last minute and scored an 8-7 decision win.
"Potok was the better wrestler," Shaw said. "He was aggressive throughout, but he just got caught."
After the Bulldogs got pins at 145 and 152 pounds, Tallmadge 160-pounder Richie Eyre cut the lead to 33-17 by pinning Woodridge's Jake D'Avello in 3:26.
However, back-to-back pins from the Bulldogs' Trevor Garner (170) and Spencer Robinson (182) clinched the match for Woodridge.
The Blue Devils closed the match by getting pins from 195-pounder Caiden Genovese in 3:14 and 220-pounder Dimitri Fortseras in 1:57.
The heavyweight bout was the tightest of the night, as Tallmadge's Connor Franks and Woodride's Austin Hindley went to the ultimate tie-breaker round.
Given choice in the final period, Franks chose down. Franks nearly escaped, but Hindley did not let go of his leg. In the end, Hindley rode Franks out to get the 3-2 win.
The Blue Devils were set to wrestle at the Suburban League Tournament Feb. 4 at Aurora High School, but results were not available at press time.
Tallmadge is scheduled to close out its regular season against Suburban League crossover rival Stow-Munroe Falls Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.