BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHISP — Taking the mats for the final time in 2019, Twinsburg wrestling endured some ups and down at the 55th annual Kentston Invitational Tournament, which took place Friday and Saturday.
It was a middle of the pack finish for the Tigers, who took 17th place in the 40-team field with 79 points. Geneva won the team title at the KIT with 156 points.
Still, Tigers coach Dave Mariola saw progress in his team’s work at Kenston.
"I think we won close to 20 matches this weekend," Mariola said. "That’s way better than last year. I have to be happy about that. A lot of our kids won two or three matches and just missed making the podium.
"As far as team-wise, I think we’re getting there," he added.
The Tigers had three wrestlers who did reach the podium at the KIT.
Junior 170-pounder Aidan Corrigan once again led the charge for the Tigers, although he failed to reach the finals in a tournament for the first time this year.
As Mariola noted, there was good reason for Corrigan to stumble: The 170-pound weight class at the KIT was loaded and included two wrestlers ranked nationally by InterMat.
"I don’t think I’ve ever seen a weight class as tough as 170 was here before," Mariola said.
Corrigan was seeded fourth at 170 and took care of business early, as he reached the semifinals with a trio of pins.
In Saturday’s semifinal, however, Corrigan faced a rematch of the final at the Solon Comet Classic, as he tangled with Ashtabula Lakeside’s Jacob Lagoa.
"He’s very strong, he’s very quick and he’s got a low stance, which is very hard to break down," Mariola said of Lagoa.
Lagoa pulled away late to score a 9-3 win.
Corrigan didn’t dwell on the loss, as he rebounded with an 8-2 win over Rootstown’s Dalton Duvall. In the third-place match, Corrigan went to the tiebreaker round with Lakewood’s Jayden Jackson but scored a 2-1 win to take third place.
"I think he’s right on the brink," Mariola said.
Senior 152-pounder Jack Turle also reached the semifinals at the KIT, beating Geneva’s Caleb Selman in the quarterfinals.
However, Turle’s offense was shut down by Painesville Riverside’s Danny Martich, as he lost a 5-1 decision. Turle then lost another tight one in the consolation semifinal, losing 2-1 to Boardman’s Nate Thompson.
Turle was able to rebound to take fifth place, scoring three takedowns while not giving up any in a rematch with Selman.
"I think Jack is wrestling the best he’s wrestled in his life right now," Mariola said. "He just needs to trust himself."
Twinsburg also saw senior 113-pounder Ricky DiTurno take seventh place at the KIT. DITurno claimed seventh with a 7-2 win over Ravenna’s Bradly McKenzie.
Things will only get tougher for the Tigers at the start of 2020. Up next is the Suburban League Tournament Saturday, which will be hosted by Copley. First match is at 8 a.m.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_GHO