STEUBENVILLE - Steubenville High School wrestling added another trophy to its case Thursday at the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 4A Dual Meet Championships.
Nearly three weeks after Big Red claimed the OVAC 4A team title in Wheeling, Big Red came out and and won its second straight 4A dual meet title with a 48-30 finals victory against St. Clairsville after a 42-29 semifinals victory Oak Glen. This was only the second year for the dual meet tournament.
"It definitely is a good feeling," Big Red coach Mike Blackburn said. "We've been so up and down with how young we are and with some of the mistakes we make. We definitely had some great high this year though. We got beat last night by Cambridge and we were kind of upset by how we wrestled losing 37-36. We knew coming in we had a couple starters out and Oak Glen was going to give us a pretty good test. Our guys came out tonight and wrestled great.
"St. Clairsville came out and wrestled great too. It was a real good tournament. When the chips are on the line, with OVACs and the tournaments we've been in like this OVAC dual tournament, we wrestled tough."
In the finals Big Red received wins by pin from Branden Jones at 170 pounds and William Poplowski at 285 pounds. Both Jones and Poplowski won by pin in their semifinal matches as well. At 113 Tariq Wilson tech falled St. Clairsville's Alex Timko 19-4 in the finals after pinning Danny Wyke of Oak Glen in the semifinals. Shawn Livingston (145) picked up a win by tech fall (17-2) over Logan Thompson in the finals and by majority decision (11-1) over Patrick Arneault in the semifinals. Big Red's 120-pounder Dakota Goff pinned Donte Vincenzo in the finals and beat Robert Bozek 9-4 in the semifinals.
"I think overall we had kids stay alive where they needed to stay alive and we had kids get falls where we needed bonus points," said Blackburn. "That's how you win duals."
Another wrestler who stood out for Big Red was Niko Moray at 152 pounds. After a disappointing night against Cambridge Wednesday he bounced back in a big way to help Big Red bring home another team trophy.
"In yesterday's match Niko Moray was a little disappointed with himself and what happened," said Blackburn. "It wasn't the best match. He's had a great year and came out tonight to prove a point and he had a tech fall (against St. Clairsville's Logan DeLong) and a major decision (against Oak Glen's Alex Shuman) and wrestled pretty tough.
"Actually it was the third time he wrestled the kid from Oak Glen, and at the OVACs we were losing all the way until the end and came back to beat him so he's a tough kid. He definitely had a great evening for us."
Oak Glen took home third place with a 48-15 win over Harrison Central in the 4A consolation match. The Golden Bears took firm control of the match with three consecutive pins by Shuman, Will Hogan (160), and Devon Chadwick (170).
Nick Tice (138) and Lakota Grimes (182) each picked up pin in the semifinals against Big Red. Tice won by decision in the consolation match while Josh Cornell (126) won by decision against Harrison Central and by tech fall against Big Red.
Hunter Pizzino (132) took home a pair of victories with a pin of St. Clairsville's Colton Stevens and a decision over Oak Glen's Avery Flowers.
Shadyside claimed the Class 1A/2A title with a 39-36 win over Caldwell in the finals and 56-22 over River in the semifinals.
Toronto took home third place with a 40-28 win over River after losing 41-30 to Caldwell in the semifinals.
Drew Lowery led the Red Knights with a pin of River's Luke Matusik in the consolation match after defeating Caldwell's Sheldon Archer in the semifinals. Donnie Starkey had a major decision over River's Chase Schultheis to go with a forfeit while Max Tice and Charles Ross III each had a decision win and a forfeit.