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Wrestlers finish fourth at league tourney

By MICHAEL LEONARD Sports Editor Published: February 12, 2017 12:00 AM
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AURORA -- After the second round of the Suburban League Tournament, Tallmadge head wrestling coach Jason Shaw joked he wanted someone to take a photograph of the team standings.

Shaw had good reason for wanting evidence: The Blue Devils were in second place heading into the semifinals.

Tallmadge's momentum was stopped cold in the semifinals, but even that couldn't derail the Blue Devils' high finish in the tournament.

Tallmadge finished in fourth place overall with 134.5 points, as the Suburban League Tournament combined all 15 teams into on bracket this year. The tournament took place Feb. 4 at Aurora.

Wadsworth won the tournament and the National Conference title with 284 points, while Brecksville-Broadview Heights was second with 228 points. Aurora clinched the American Conference by taking third place with 176.5 points.

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The Blue Devils finished second in the American Conference overall race, beaten only by Aurora in dual meets and the tournament.

Tallmadge advanced eight wrestlers to the semifinals at the tournament, but ended up going 1-7 in those semifinal matches. Shaw said it wasn't hard to figure why the Blue Devils struggled.

"We met a lot of Wadsworth and Brecksville guys in the semifinals," Shaw said. "We're hanging in there.

"For the most part, we wrestled as well as we could. To be up with the big schools is an achievement for us."

Tallmadge's lone finalist was sophomore Ed Suber at 106 pounds.

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Suber dominated his way to the final, scoring a 30-12 technical fall over Copley's Andrew Wachs and beating Twinsburg's Rick DiTurno by injury default.

However, the final ended up being a rematch of a semifinal match from the Bill Dies Memorial Tournament earlier in the season in Akron, which saw Suber lose 16-8 to Brecksville's Julian Tagg. Suber had no better luck this time, losing a 12-2 major decision.

After the semifinals, Shaw was realistic about his team's effort.

"If we get third places, I'll be very happy with that," Shaw said.

However, Tallmadge only went 2-5 in third-place matches as well.

At 132 pounds, Jake Potok came home with one of those third-place finishes.

Potok opened with a 7-2 over Barberton's Zach Scalf, but fell 16-3 in the semifinals to Wadsworth state qualifier Luke Baughman.

Potok rebounded in the third-place match with an 8-2 win over Twinsburg's Colin Trauten.

Sophomore heavyweight Connor Franks fell just short of reaching the finals as he took third as well.

Franks opened with a 9-1 over Barberton's Magnus Mosley and the went to the tiebreaker round with Copley's William Gallien, riding him out for a 2-1 win.

In the semifinals, Franks again went to the tiebreaker round with Revere's Nick Kelly. This time, Franks dropped a 6-3 decision.

Franks took his frustration out on North Royalton's Jake Mantle, pinning him in 1 minute, 41 seconds in the third-place match.

Tallmadge got fourth-place finishes from 113-pounder Fred Berry, 160-pounder Richie Eyre, 170-pounder Dan Hepler, 195-pounder Devon Manning and 220-pounder Dimitri Fortseras.

The Blue Devils were scheduled to close out their regular season Feb. 11 at Stow-Munroe Falls. Results were not available at press time.

Tallmadge is set to compete at a Division II sectional meet Feb. 25 at Canal Fulton Northwest High School.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

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