COLUMBUS — Mogadore’s Paul Skye thought he was headed to the state finals.
In his 220-pound Division III state semifinal against Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic’s Chris Kuhn on Friday, Skye looked to have rallied from an early deficit with two takedowns in the final period to win 6-5 and reach the finals.
However, SMCC coaches protested Skye’s last takedown, saying Kuhn had not turned around after escaping from Skye. After a long discussion, the referees wiped off the takedown and put 24 seconds back on the clock.
Skye drew a stalling call and shot on Kuhn twice in the last 24 seconds, but could not secure the decisive takedown, giving Kuhn a 5-4 win in controversial fashion.
A furious Skye called it "the worst officiating he ever saw." Mogadore coach Duane Funk was incredulous after the match.
"He said (Skye) let him go and because he never turned around, it wasn’t a takedown," Funk said. "He made the call the first time. He should have stuck with it. Who has ever experienced anything like this?"
Skye’s crazy finish was emblematic of the semifinal round for local wrestlers at Friday, as Portage County wrestlers went 0-8 in semifinal matches.
In the team race at states, Rootstown sits ninth in Division III with 34 points. The Rovers had four wrestlers clinch All-Ohio honors Friday.
In Division II, Aurora also had four wrestlers claim All-Ohio honors. Aurora sits in 12th place in the team race with 28.5 points.
Rootstown coach Craig Wise acknowledged it was a tough round for his team.
"We’ve got to be able to finish out shots," Wise said. "Everybody is banged up down here. You’ve got to go out there and battle."
At 138 pounds, Rootstown’s Niko Chilson scored his second first-period pin of tournament, as he stuck Northmor’s Aaron Kitts in 1:39 in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinal vs. Troy Christian’s Jacob Edwards, however, Chilson dropped a 4-3 decision.
Rootstown 182-pounder Chris Langguth reached the semifinals with a 7-3 win over Martins Ferry’s Drake Dobbins.
In the semifinal, Langguth ran into Milan Edison’s Sam Stoll. It was the fourth meeting of the season for the two, but Stoll pulled out a 4-3 win.
Rootstown also had freshman 113-pounder Caleb Edwards in the semifinal. Edwards gave a good account of himself before losing 5-1 to defending state champion Oscar Sanchez of Genoa Area.
"He’s really looking good," Wise said of Edwards. "Hopefully, he can come back and get third."
Rovers 195-pounder Ryan Boyle clinched his second All-Ohio finish, though he lost his opening match 10-3 to Bluffton’s Deandre Nassar.
"He’s kind of short and really strong," Boyle said of Nassar. "He had a really big move that changed the match. I had to chase after that."
Boyle rebounded with a 6-5 win over Columbiana Crestview’s Landon Talbert to clinch his podium spot. He then lost to Martin’s Ferry’s Dalton Hoover, and will wrestle Saturday in the consolation semifinals.
Roostown had hoped freshman 106-pounder Mike Prikryl also could earn an All-Ohio spot, but Prikryl was eliminated in the morning session with a 3-2 loss to Nelsonville-York’s Collin Yinger.
Elsewhere in Division III, Garfield senior Logan Kissell’s quest to become the G-Men’s first state champion came to an end Friday.
Kissell nearly didn’t make it the semifinals. He was in trouble in the quarterfinal, trailing 3-0 to Gibsonburg’s Hugo Villareal entering the third period.
Kissell escaped and forced two stalling calls on Villareal, and got the decisive takedown with 20 seconds left to win 4-3.
"I was very sloppy in the first two periods," Kissell said. "Once I heard the first stalling call, I knew I had him. (The quarterfinal) was always the match I had a mental block with."
In his first state semifinal match, Kissell faced Conan Becker of Galion Northmor. Becker took an early 4-0 lead and was able to hang on for a 6-2 win.
Crestwood 106-pounder Brett Szuhay secured his first All-Ohio spot, but had to do it via the consolation bracket.
Szuhay lost his quarterfinal match 11-2 to Covington’s Kellan Anderson, but then rebounded with a tight 6-4 decision win over Greenview’s Teagan Hendricks.
"I want to get as high as I can on that podium. It will set me up for next year," Szuhay said. "I should have won my first match. I just wasn’t aggressive enough."
Szuhay faced Yinger in the evening session and lost 10-2, sending him to the seventh place match on Friday.
In Division II, Streetsboro 120-pounder Dominic Carone said he felt more like himself in his quarterfinal match, as he scored a 7-3 win over Jonathan Alter’s Jacob Johnson.
"I knew I had my low shot against him," Carone said. "I just tried to stay there and not let him throw me."
Carrone admitted he had a revenge motive in the semifinals, as he faced off with Circleville’s Nate Keaton — the same wrestler who beat Carone in the Division II state final a year ago.
After losing to Keaton 1-0 last year, however, Carone fared no better Friday. He was defeated 4-0 by Keaton and sent to the consolations.
Aurora ended up with four All-Ohio placers on the day.
At 152 pounds, Greeman Will McGhee reached the semifinals with a 5-3 win over Tiffin Columubian’s Joey Simcoe.
"I was just trying to get the win," McGhee said. "He’s got funky hips. I feel like I could win this, because there’s no one that’s outstanding in the bracket."
In the semifinal, however, McGhee was pinned in 1:23 by Steubenville three-time All-Ohioan Jashon Hubbard.
Aurora 132-pounder Jack Gorman also lost in the semifinals, as he fell 8-4 to Eaton’s Wad Monebrake. The result had Aurora assistant coach Mark Bugara fuming.
"Mad is an understatement," Bugara said. "We were out there doing all the work and the referees reward the kid for wrestling defensively."
Meanwhile for Southeast, the Bailey family’s legacy at states is complete — at least until the next generation.
With father Shawn and brother Brett coaching in his corner Friday, Southeast senior 138-pounder Cole Bailey saw his high school career come to an end.
Cole Bailey tangled with Uhrichsville Claymont’s Maxx Peters in the second consolation round, but lost a 4-1 decision and was eliminated.
"It was a tough matchup from the beginning," Shawn Bailey said. "We kind of gave up on a couple of shots. It is what it is."