FOSTORIA - Liberty Center qualified five wrestlers for the Division III state meet and captured two titles at the district tournament last night.
The Tigers garnered championships from junior A.J. Scarberry (112 pounds) and senior Wade VanSickle (215), but finished second in the team standings to Sandusky St. Mary.
The Panthers will send nine wrestlers to the state meet next weekend in Columbus after taking three individual titles in front of a standing-room-only crowd..
"We had big hopes and we're looking for a state title," said VanSickle, who remained undefeated (44-0) with a 6-3 decision over Nick Girlie of Ayersville. "Hopefully, we have enough guys to go down there and make some noise."
Archbold, which finished third, and fourth-place Mohawk had four wrestlers qualify for the state meet. (The top four in each class qualify for the state meet).
Delta's Jamison Moss (145) captured his fourth straight title and will look to defend his 2004 state championship. The Panthers, who finished sixth, also had a second-place finish from 103-pounder Jared Evans.
Swanton's Xavier Taylor won the title at 275 with a pin of Dominic Bentz of Mohawk. The Bulldogs took seventh with three wrestlers finishing in the top four. Edison, which finished eighth, got titles from Adam Tinnel (119) and Ryan Tinnel (125).
Elmwood's Trevor Lee registered three falls and a major decision en route to capturing the title at 130. Jacob Hale of Stryker improved to 36-1 as he won at 171.
Scarberry got Liberty Center rolling with a dramatic 4-3 decision over Lee Shumaker of Arcadia. Trailing 3-2 with just 20 seconds left, Scarberry reversed Shumaker and held on for the win.
"I knew I had 20 seconds left and I knew I had to get an escape or a reversal," Scarberry said. "I went for the escape and was lucky enough to get the reversal."
Scarberry (36-5) called it the best win of his career to date.
"It's amazing, incredible," Scarberry said. "It's a big relief off of my shoulders."
The most anticipated match of the night also involved a Tigers wrestler as Marc Hoff squared off against Moss. Hoff (42-2) had handed Moss his only two losses on the season.
In a likely preview of the state final, Moss fell behind early but battled back to lead 6-3 with 1:33 left. Hoff then threw Moss to his back, but couldn't pin him. Moss (41-2) then posted two takedowns in the final minute to avenge his only losses.
"I was excited to meet back up with him," Moss said. "I needed the pressure. I went with my strengths, instead of going with his. I knew I had to keep the pressure on him and not stall.
"I'm excited to make the trip and defend my title."
VanSickle got Liberty Center back on track with his convincing win over Girlie (34-3).
"Nick wrestled well against me again," VanSickle said. "I seem to wrestle my best against him."
VanSickle said he doesn't fixate on remaining undefeated but only on winning a state championhip.
"I just want to be on the top of the podium. I couldn't care less about my record," he said. "There are no slouches down there. I'll have to wrestle a lot of tough matches and hopefully I'll come out on top."
Liberty Center's Brock Bodenbender (140) and Jeremiah Hill (152) finished third.
"We can always do better," Tigers coach Mel Rentshler said. "We we're hoping to qualify six, but we had some kids get through."
It is the third time Elmwood's Lee has qualified for state and he finished sixth as a sophomore. In Lee's 20-4 technical fall of Fairview's Tony Moss, he scored most of his points off of defensive counters.
"I was really confident going in. I knew once I got into his legs, I could turn him," the 130-pound senior said. "I wasn't going to lose this match."
Lee, whose dad is the head coach, improved his record to 43-5.
"I want to win [the state title] for me and for my dad," Lee said.
St. Mary got its first district crown of the night when freshman Troy Opfer (44-7) pinned Evans (39-2) in 2:51.
Edison then got back-to-back titles from Adam and Ryan Tinnel. Adam knocked off Corey Opfer of St. Mary by a 7-5 margin. Ryan handed Tinora's Matt Bloniarz only his second loss of the season with a 4-2 decision in overtime.
St. Mary's Brinden Baum defeated senior Juan Lopez (17-4) of Genoa in the 152 championship. The Comets, which finished 10th, got a third-place finish from Nick Purdue (37-3).
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6110.
MENTOR - Matt Holland and Tony Castillo of Perrysburg won championships as Perrysburg finished fourth in the Division I district.
Lakewood St. Edward (289.5) won the title and Elyria (146.5) was second. Springfield (62) placed eighth and Waite (53) was 10th.
Holland took an 11-6 decision over Errol Young of St. Ed in the 130-pound final. Castillo edged Elyria's John Pycraft 13-11 at 140.
The top four advance to the state championships.
Runners-up included Start's Roshawn Jones (112), Waite's Angelo Castillo (135), St. John's James Kettinger (160) and Springfield's Bryan McKenzie (215).
Finishing third was Waite's Josh Sneyd (103), Perrysburg's Tony Rodriguez (119) and St. John's Nate Savona (152).
Fourth-place finishers included Rogers' Chad Carpenter (125), Southview's Erik Mayer (135), Springfield's Cody Reitmeier (171) and Bryan McKenzie (215) and Whitmer's Tim Samson (275).
GALION - Eastwood had five individual champions and nine state qualifiers in the Division II district on the way to a team title with 235 points.
Clyde was well back in second with 150, followed by Willard at 145, Padua Franciscan 138.5, Bellevue 108, Sandusky Perkins 107 and Oak Harbor 90.
The Eagles' champs were Ben Llanas at 112, Ryan Cubberly at 125, Eric Cubberly at 135, Jeremy Foster at 152 and Kent Smith at 160.
Eastwood's Ryan Nachtrab was second at 215.
Other Eagles advancing to state are Tony Brown, who was third at 189, and fourth-place finishers Jan Ulinski at 119 and Kurt Shroyer at 130.
Bellevue's Jeffrey Pelton won the title at 103, Clyde's Robbie Michaels at 130, Oak Harbor's Keith Witt at 140, and Clyde's Matt Guhn at 275.
Runners-up included Oak Harbor's Kirk Tank (135) and Cody Magrum (160).
Third-place finishers included Clyde's Adam Thurn (119), Rossford's Jeremy Espinoza (125), Bellevue's Dusty Gurley (140), Oak Harbor's Josh Lipstraw (171), Napoleon's Kyle Fruth (215).
Finishing fourth were Clyde's Danny Michaels (112), Bellevue's Alex Malott (171) and Rossford's Mark Vuich (275).40.73389 -82.78934