Nordonia wrestling edges Stow in competitive match
STOW — The pandemic caused the Suburban League to cancel its league wrestling tournament this winter, erasing one of the best league tournaments in the state.
Two National Conference stalwarts reminded fans Thursday how competitive Suburban League wrestling can be.
Stow-Munroe Falls and Nordonia went down to the last bout when the Bulldogs hosted a dual match at the James G. Tyree Gymnasium, and a pin in the heavyweight bout gave Nordonia a 36-31 win.
Both coaches indicated they knew they were in for a brawl.
"Stow is a well-coached team," Knights coach Jason Walters said. "We expected a match here. [Stow coach] Tyler [Buckwalter's] accolades speak for themselves.
"There's a couple kids that I'm displeased with tonight, but we didn't expect Stow to be easy," he added.
"We knew it was going to be a battle against Nordonia," Buckwalter said. "I think we wrestled a lot of good matches. Not having anyone at 126 hurt us. I think we could have been competitive there."
Stow (10-2) gave up forfeits at 106 and 126 pounds, though Nordonia (12-8) gave one forfeit back at 160.
The heavyweight match turned out to be the decider, after Stow took a 31-30 lead on pins by 195-pounder Zach DiGiammarino (5:07) and 220-pounder Teddy Gregory (47 seconds).
In the heavyweight bout, Stow's Mason Minnell (280 pounds) had nearly a 50-pound weight advantage over Nordonia's Corey Parker (232). Still, it was Parker who spun behind for the opening takedown in the first period, then took Minnell right to his back, getting the pin in 2:53 to give Nordonia the match.
"Corey has been working hard," Walters said. "He's starting to get it."
"That's a tough spot to be in for Mason," Buckwalter said. "I think that was maybe his 15th match ever, so he's still figuring it out. He could have used a 30-match season."
The lightweight bouts featured some tight fights.
In a battle of talented freshmen at 113 pounds, Stow's Robert Davis pulled out a 3-2 win, as he rode out Nordonia's Nathan Miller.
At 120 pounds, Knight freshman Gino Perrine won a tactical bout with Stow's Micah Bentley 7-4.
After a slow start, Nordonia 132-pounder Israel Petite scored six takedowns in the third period en route to a 17-9 major decision over Stow's Nathan Craft.
"We've just got to get Israel to believe what he is," Walters said. "He lacks confidence in himself. We need to just have him use his talents."
At 138 pounds, Nordonia's Caleb Ridgely did well to survive a pair of cradles by Stow senior Vince Randall. However, the Bulldogs' cradle master switched tactics in the third period, using a bundle to score the pin in 4:36.
Cutting down to 145 pounds for the first time this season, Nordonia senior Tyler Angus looked solid in a 14-5 major decision over Stow's Brayden Cowger.
In another competitive bout between future stars, Nordonia 152-pounder Jeremy Olszko used his riding skills to pound out a 4-2 win over Stow's JT Hill.
Stow senior Ty Bukowski scored a 9-0 major decision over Nordonia's Josh Wujnovich at 170.
At 182 pounds, Stow's Will Edmonson knew what he was getting into when he faced undefeated Knight state placer Sal Perrine.
"We knew Sal is a one of the best wrestlers in the state, but Will didn't take a step back," Buckwalter said. "This kind of match will be good for him."
Perrine took some time to get going, but showed off some new wrinkles to his game, including an assassin roll on a couple of occasions. Perrine scored a 15-1 major decision, but appeared upset not to have scored a technical fall.
Walters said he wasn't concerned.
"We wanted Sal to work on some things tonight, particularly being about work on top and ride the kid," Walters said. "We know we can take him down from our feet."