STEUBENVILLE-Claymont put on a "great" performance Wednesday inside The Crimson Center to claim the Division II, Region 12 team championship.
The Mustangs won nine matches to outscore Steubenville, 40-19, and earn a berth in the state quarterfinals, set for Saturday at St. John Arena on the campus of The Ohio State University.
"They wrestled great," Big Red's Mike Blackburn said. "They changed some people around in the lineup and took some bonus points away from us. That's a great team representing Region 12 in the state event."
In January, Eric Toukenon's grapplers railed for a 31-25 victory against Steubenville.
"We definitely made some mistakes that we didn't make in the first match," Blackburn continued. "When you do that against a real good team like Claymont, it's hard to make up any points or dig out of a hole like we had to.
"But, even in a couple of the losses, we wrestled better than we did the first time around. It's all about bonus points and they definitely were able to get more than us."
Claymont jumped out to a 19-0 lead after the initial four matches. Anthony Parada got Big Red on the board when he earned a 12-6 decision against Drew Dillon at 132 pounds. The Mustangs increased their advantage to 28-3 thanks to a decision and a pin. Then, the O'Dell twins went to work for the hosts.
Zack O'Dell rallied in the third period to score a 7-5 win over John Gray at 152. Andrew O'Dell followed with a 14-8 victory against Tanner Peters at 160.
"Both O'Dells wrestled different guys than they did in the first match," Blackburn noted. "They both won the first time around and they wrestled hard (Wednesday). Zack came from behind which was a huge momentum boost for us."
Andrew O'Dell's vcitory put Big Red within striking distance at 28-9 with five matches remaining. Unfortunately, Mark Cole dropped a 6-5 heartbreaker at 170 and Brandon Jones fell to Claymont's Colt Crall at 182 to put the match out of reach.
Charlie Keenan registered a major decision at 195 and Greg Moray recorded Big Red's only pin of the evening at 220. He needed just 1:19 to put Garrett Harding on his back.
"Charlie got us a major this time which gave us some bonus points," Blackburn pointed out. "As far as Greg goes, that's something he can do all the time when he keeps wrestling."