COLUMBUS -- Dalton Nicely was beaten soundly in a wrestling state championship match Saturday evening, and if the Wauseon senior had a do-over he'd do the following differently.
"Nothing I can think of," he said. "I don't really know what I did wrong."
Nicely encountered a buzzsaw, the nation's second-ranked wrestler at 138 pounds in Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit's Nate Skonieczny, and lost 13-5.
PHOTO GALLERY: Ohio State Wrestling Tournament championship round
Nicely's teammate, 220-pound junior Zane Krall, dropped a 6-1 decision to Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy's Matt Meadows.
The Wauseon duo's teammate, freshman Wade Hodges, finished seventh at 113 pounds and together they amassed 50 points and finished seventh in Division II. St. Paris Graham won its 12th straight title with 183.5 points while Lexington (97.5) was second.
Nicely (46-7) executed his game plan initially, stymying Skonieczny's offensive attacks and bringing a scoreless match into the second period. From there, the University of Iowa recruit got busy, besieging Nicely with double leg attempts. Skonieczny (42-1) scored three takedowns in the third period and led 6-3.
"A lot of kids try to slow you down or hold on, but that kind of tires them out for the later periods," said Skonieczny, a two-time champ. "The third period I started to take him down a bit."
When these two met last year, the score was 12-11, with Nicely running out of time in his upset bid. Skonieczny said he was determined to win by a wider margin this time.
"Proud of myself," Nicely said. "I reached my goal. My goal was to be in the finals. I didn't necessarily think it would be that bad."
Krall (47-4) allowed two first-period takedowns and never managed to generate any offense in losing to the projected champion Meadows. Unlike Nicely, Krall will have one more chance to win a title.
"I let him get a lead early and I couldn't get momentum back," Krall said. "I wasn't attacking offensively like I should be."
Central Catholic's Alex Mossing (132) punctuated an excellent tournament with two wins Saturday morning to finish third. Mossing's teammates, senior Levi Pickerel (285) and freshman Nate Hagan (113), were sixth and seventh, respectively.
Oak Harbor's Luke Cramer (138) and Alex Bergman (152) accomplished the unusual feat of each capturing fourth place after finishing in that same spot at the district tournament. Shelden Struble, Bryan's first state qualifier and its first placer since 1992, was seventh at 138 pounds. Eastwood's Kyle Patterson (182) took eighth.
Mossing, who blew a one-point lead in the final 20 seconds in a semifinal loss Friday evening, scored a five-point move in the final period to beat London's Arron Thompson 8-2. Mossing (47-11) pinned Mantua Crestwood's Dylan Kager to start the day.
"It was a great tournament for me," Mossing said. "I wrestled every match the best I could."
Oak Harbor's Cramer and Bergman basically mimicked one another the past two weeks. After finishing fourth at districts, both made the semifinals, lost, and took fourth. Cramer opened the day with a 4-3 win over Cameron Campbell, a Sandusky Bay Conference foe from Sandusky Perkins, before losing by fall to Millersburg West Holmes' Max Rohskopf in 2:16.
"This gives me a lot of confidence for next year," Cramer (38-11) said. "I'd like to hopefully take it all the way and be in the finals."
The four wrestlers who advanced from the 152-pound field at Marion Harding last week gobbled up the top four spots at state. Bergman (40-11) pinned West Holmes' Justin Stitzlein in 30 seconds before dropping a 5-2 decision to Tiffin Columbian's Seth Williams in the consolation finals.
"Kind of mixed feelings," Bergman said of the end to his high school career. "Of course I'm going to miss all of my friends. There's no tournament like the state tournament."