COLUMBUS - Jamison Moss of Delta and Seneca East's Curt Thompson both recorded stunning semifinal victories last night in the Division III state wrestling tournament.
And while Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic maintained its lead in the team race, 92.6 to runner-up Beachwood's 89.5, the Panthers' second consecutive title is still very much up in the air.
That's partly because Thompson shocked St. Mary's Joseph Whelan, a fourth-place finisher at 140 pounds last season and the projected 152 champ this season, scoring a reverse with five seconds left to pull out a 3-2 decision.
“I sort of did a switch on him,” Thompson (48-3) said. “He got a little high on me, I got in behind him and I just held on. It's unreal. I thought I could wrestle with him, but I never thought it would come out like it did.”
The senior will face three-time state placer Matt Smilek of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (35-3) for the title today.
Moss (36-4) posted a 9-7 quarterfinal victory over Mike Mamone of Martins Ferry and a 4-0 win over Bedford St. Peter Chanel's Frank Paparone. The 135 semifinal was scoreless through two periods before Moss scored a pair of takedowns toward the end.
For his trouble the sophomore, who also qualified for state last year, got the privilege of facing projected 135 champ (defending 119 champ) A.B. Shearer (50-1) of St. Mary, who took a 17-5 major decision in his semifinal over Northwood's Josh Grigson (34-4).
“[Grigson] wrestled well; he's with the elite,” Northwood coach Nick Encheff said. “He's just got to get it out of his mind and come back tomorrow and see what happens.
“I think he needed to get closer. [Grigson] got his legs a couple times and didn't finish. A couple times he shot from too far out.”
There were also sad semifinal outcomes for Tinora's Ryan Mack (39-3), who lost 2-2 in overtime at 160 to undefeated A.J. Aeschlimann (32-0) of Massillon Tuslaw, and for Delta's Mark Nagel, who failed to get over the hump after finishing second at 215 last season and second at 189 the year before. Nagel was bested 5-1 by a much heavier Tony Carothers (40-2) of Cadiz Harrison Central.
In what's now a quest for third, Nagel (31-1) will face Hicksville's Cory Jones (31-9) in a consolation match today.
Other area wrestlers still in the championship bracket are defending champs Spencer Dye (171) and Matt Stookey (215) of Sandusky St. Mary and Mohawk's Chad Sowers (215).
Still in line to place include Elmwood's Trevor Lee (43-7 at 103), St. Mary's Cory Opfer (56-3 at 112), Fremont St. Joe's Robbie LeJeune (41-8 at 119), McComb's Justin Hill (37-7 at 125), Delta's Lucas Burkholder (34-11 at 140), Lakota's Brandon Racheter (43-6 at 145), St. Mary's P.J. Bolanis (44-7 at 160), Mohawk's Dustin Sowers (36-13 at 171) and Paul Weaver of Seneca East (45-6 at 171).
- CRAIG MANTEY39.96196 -83.00298