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COLUMBUS - Maumee's Brett Boggs looked better than ever and defending champ J.D. Bergman of Oak Harbor was tested yesterday at the 66th annual state wrestling tournament at Value City Arena.
Both took quarterfinal and semifinal victories and need just one more today to capture Division II individual crowns.
Maumee's Panthers are bearing down on their goal of finishing in the top 10 as a team.
The Panthers sit sixth through the second day with 38 points to 142.5 for St. Paris Graham, which has locked up its third straight team championship. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit is next with 75.5.
Boggs, a senior who finished runner-up last season, scored a 3-2 decision in the quarterfinals over Franklin's Zach Katris, then came back last night and pinned Beloit West Branch's Seth Sharp (34-3) in 3:46. He led 2-0 at the time.
“Once I got that first takedown, I started getting confident,” said Boggs (36-3), a 275-pounder. “I think I'm going to win it. That's my plan - to win it.”
“It seems Brett saves his best for these kind of matches,” Maumee coach Ken Walczak said. “The big matches, Brett comes through.
“He is very good on top, very good on the bottom and hard to score on on his feet. Hopefully, that experience will carry over to the final.”
Boggs will need all the help he can muster. The senior will wrestle Galion's Dustin Fox for the title. Fox, who placed fourth last season, has beaten Boggs at the last two district meets.
Things went very well and very bad for teammate Justin Schutte yesterday at 171. Schutte, who placed sixth last year, edged projected champion and two-time-state placer Joe Dennis (37-3) of St. Paris Graham, 11-10 in the quarterfinal, but lost a 16-4 major decision to Ryan Knapp of Columbus St. Francis DeSales (43-3) in the semifinal.
Schutte, however, is guaranteed a place and could finish third.
“I'm confident Justin is going to bounce back tomorrow and place as high as he can,” Walczak said.
Teammate Jeff Henneman (145) is also still alive for a place spot after 7-4 win over over Norton's Scott Joseph and a 7-5 overtime victory over Carrollton's Derek Noble.
Bergman (41-0) pinned Brad Osborn of Germantown Valley View in 1:15 in the 189 quarterfinals before besting Columbus St. Francis DeSales' Dino Razzano (43-5) 4-2 in their semifinal.
Bergman, who won a title last year, will wrestle Graham's Joe Hoke (38-4) in the final.
Other area wrestlers in the running for place spots are Eastwood freshman Ryan Cubberly (45-3 at 103), Bellevue's Joe Smith (34-7 at 130) and Clyde's T.C. Hoffman (44-5 at 130) and Jonathan Taylor (46-4 at 140).39.96196 -83.00298