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COLUMBUS - The second time was double delightful for Oak Harbor's J.D. Bergman, who defended his 189-pound title in the Division II state wrestling championships yesterday at Ohio State's Value City Arena.
The second time wasn't so good for Maumee heavyweight Brett Boggs, who lost in the title match again - this time in overtime.
Bergman (42-0) won in just as convincing fashion as he had last year. He pushed his win streak to 86 consecutive matches while pushing St. Paris Graham's Joe Hoke all around the mat in a 7-1 decision that gave him his school-record 128th win to go with just 13 losses.
Bergman, who lost to Hoke in the eighth grade in their only previous meeting, demonstrated early that that wasn't about to happen again. He slammed Hoke (38-5) to the mat with 41 seconds to go in the first period and was in control from there.
“He's so confident. I don't think you can break him,” Hoke said. “He's by far the best I've ever faced in my life. He's completely dominating in every aspect.”
Bergman completed the season without a single opponent scoring a takedown against him.
“My game plan was to get as many takedowns as I could, stay on him and stay aggressive,” Bergman said.
He described winning the title as “awesome,” but in his usual businesslike manner, added, “It feels good to finally get it out of the way.”
Boggs, the runner-up last season, thought he, too, would claim a crown, but he just couldn't get over the hump against Galion's Dustin Fox (46-0), who has beaten him in the past two district meets after placing fourth at state last year.
Fox turned a reverse early in the second period to break a scoreless deadlock, but Boggs (36-4) got even with a pair of escapes. Then they went to overtime, where Boggs shot and Fox quickly countered for a takedown and a 4-2 win.
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“I'm not saying I feel good because I lost,” Boggs said. “But, you know what, I matched what I did last year, so I can't be upset. I did my best up till overtime. It must not have been good enough.”
The Panthers tied with Parma Padua Franciscan for fifth place (48 points), their best finish ever.
“I'm very satisfied with the team's performance,” Maumee coach Ken Walczak said. “I credit those seniors. Justin [Schutte], Jeff [Henneman] and Brett will be sorely missed next year.”
St. Paris Graham ran away with its third straight title, posting a division-record 191.5 points to runner-up Columbus St. Francis DeSales' 90.
Henneman and Schutte each placed fourth, at 145 and 171, respectively.
Henneman won his semifinal 9-6 but fell to Graham's David Erwin 6-0 for third-place.
“I went for a desperation move at the end and got put on my back,” Henneman (45-8) said. “It helped me go on in one match, it didn't help me in another.”
Schutte (32-6) won 7-3 in his semifinal before falling 3-1 to defending champion Jason Hackett of Hamilton Township.
“It's not where I wanted to finish,” Schutte said, “but I placed pretty high in the toughest weight class in the state. I upset a few people.”
Eastwood freshman Ryan Cubberly (47-3) wrapped up a fine effort by taking 7-0 and 5-2 decisions to claim third.39.96196 -83.00298