Stow wrestling rocks, while Twinsburg stumbles at tri-meet
STOW — As legendary wrestling coach Dick Bliss used to say, wrestling season doesn't really start until sectionals.
Most coaches adhere to that adage, including Stow-Munroe Falls' Tyler Buckwalter and Twinsburg's Dave Mariola.
Based on their respective performances Thursday at Stow, Buckwalter has to be happy with his team's postseason preparation, while Mariola can't be pleased.
Stow dominated both of the matches in its regular-season finale, beating Twinsburg 62-15 and besting North Royalton 50-20 to finished its dual-meet season at 13-3.
Twinsburg (6-12) lost 64-15 to North Royalton in the first match of the night.
Buckwalter noted just about everything was working for the Bulldogs
"Just across the board, we wrestled really well tonight," Buckwalter said. "We had guys wrestling smart up and down the lineup. What we need to do now is to get some guys healthy."
Buckwalter even saw positives in one of Stow's few losses on the night.
Twinsburg senior Aidan Corrigan, one of the state's top-ranked wrestlers at 170 pounds, moved up to 182 pounds to face Stow's Will Edmonson.
Edmonson wrestled a smart tactical bout, keeping the match on its feet against the mat-wrestling Corrigan. After trading penalty points early, Corrigan got an escape to make it 2-1 in the third period.
Edmonson didn't take a step back, but midway through the third, Corrigan slipped out of headlock attempt and took Edmonson down. He rode him out to secure a 4-1 win.
"We were thinking Aidan would get a good test from Will," Mariola said. "I think Aidan just stayed patient and was able to win. He needs matches like that to get ready."
"I was glad they moved him up," Buckwalter said. "[Corrigan is] really good on the mat and we know he can throw a cradle from anywhere. We fought hard."
Edmonson beat North Royalton's John Haley 12-4 in his other match, while Corrigan cradled and pinned the Bears' Inti Cerrato in 1:22.
Beyond that, Twinsburg struggled in both matches.
The Tigers' only other wins against Stow were a forfeit win from 106-pound Nick DiTurno and an injury default win from 113-pounder Colin Grady, who won when Stow's Robert David tweaked his knee and did not continue.
Against North Royalton, Grady pinned Chase Mason in 46 seconds, while 145 pounder Aidan Stcuzinski won 8-2 over the Bears' Jacob Dezzuitt.
With the Tigers only able to fill 11 weight classes, Mariola knew it was always an uphill battle to win the duals meet, but his team's performance disappointed him.
"It was going to be tough to win, but we should have done better," Mariola said. "Both teams are very strong wand we only had one senior [Corrigan] out there. I pushed the freshman out there and they're competing as best they can. I am proud of what they're doing."
Stow had plenty of double winners in 120-pounder Micah Bentley (pin, forfeit), 145-pounder Brayden Cowger (pin, major decision), 152-pounder Blake Kaminski (pin, forfeit), 160-pounder JR Reed (pin, forfeit), 195-pounder Zach DiGiammarino (major decision, pin), 220-pounder Teddy Gregory (pin, forfeit) and heavyweight Mason Mennell (two pins).
However, Stow was on the wrong end of a key match with North Royalton.
Bulldog 138-pounder Vince Randall had a frustrating bout against the Bears's Dominic Mundry. After Mundry defended his way to a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation, he secured a takedown in the sudden victory period to upset Randall 3-1.
"I absolutely like to have him matches like that where he gets a different look," Buckwalter said. "We've got to be able to get some offense on our feet."
Randall took out his frustrations on Twinsburg's Isaac Cantor, pinning him in 24 seconds.
Mundry was one of four double winners for North Royalton, along with returning state qualifier David Miller at 126 pounds (pin forfeit). The Bears also got two wins from 106-pounder Luke Koprowski (pin, forfeit) and 132-pounder Paul Boersma (pin, decision)
The Division I sectional tournaments for both teams will be Feb. 27. Stow will open the postseason at Euclid, while Twinsburg will head to Wadsworth.