Bonus Points Are Key at OVACs
Beaver, South, Park each record 10 pins
WHEELING — Bonus points are always big in wrestling tournaments. That’s why the good teams rise to the top of those events.
Beaver Local, Parkersburg South and Wheeling Park all recorded 10 pins during a rapid first night of the 66th annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Ron Mauck Championships inside WesBanco Arena, but the Beavers also recorded two major decisions to one for the Wood County Patriots for a 46-43 advantage. The Ohio County Patriots checked in third with 40 points.
“We had a good day. We got bonus points in every match that we won and we won all of them but one,” Beaver Local coach Jordan Williams said. “We’re in a good position going into (today). We had 10 pins and two major decisions. Bonus points are going to be huge if we’re going to put ourselves in a position to win.”
Parkersburg South coach Sean Smith echoed those thoughts.
“I thought my guys went out and wrestled well. When you wrestle 12 matches and win 10 by pins, that’s pretty good,” he said. “Bonus points are going to be absolutely big in this tournament. They are crucial and we try to get them whenever we can.”
Wheeling Park first-year head coach Brian Leggett also liked what he saw from his squad.
“We did really well. We only had one guy lose and the rest of them won by pin,” he said. “Those bonus points are huge in a tournament like this. All of the pins were quick ones, so we’re hoping to build off of that and keep that momentum rolling into tomorrow.”
Beaver Local, which has three No. 1 seeds, and Parkersburg South, with four top seeds, each have 13 of 14 wrestlers remaining in the championship bracket. Wheeling Park has 12, as does Steubenville and St. Clairsville. Big Red is fourth in the overall team race with 38 points, which is seven more than the fifth-place Red Devils.
“It’s about what we expected,” Steubenville head coach Mike Blackburn said. “You always want to win one more than you did. Not a bad start, though. We got 12 in the championship round still. We had a couple of byes, so those guys will wrestle (today).”
Big Red had eight pins, a technical fall and a major decision among its victories.
St. Clairsville head coach Joel Sansone wasn’t real happy with the way some seeds shook out, but he was all smiles after the first round.
“The guys came out and wrestled really well. It’s kind of hard to gauge how we’re doing team-wise when four of our guys that are seeded had first-round byes, but we had nine matches and we went 8-1 with seven pins and a technical fall,” Sansone said. “I’m not even thinking about the team races right now. There are still two long days to go. It’s going to be a long weekend.
“I’m just preaching to the kids to go out there and battle. That’s all I want every time they step on the mat. Win or lose we’re going to get better.”
When asked about the seven pins and a technical fall, Sansone agreed with the other coaches.
“We’re always looking for bonus points. We were in the Southside Duals last weekend and I told the kids that dual meet tournaments are all about bonus points,” he said. “Seven pins and a technical fall isn’t a bad way to start off the tournament, though.”
All 14 wrestlers seeded No. 1-7 in their respective weight classes were all victorious. The only two upsets came at 145 pounds when Barnesville’s Dylan Glotfelty decisioned No. 8 Brise Bennett of University, 11-5; and at 152 when No. 10 Chris Parker of Toronto lost by injury default to Oak Glen’s Chase Smith.
Of the 123 pins recorded in the 148 matches contested, 44 of them came in under one minute. The fastest being when Steubenville’s defending champion Anthony Rice (152) flattened Crestview’s Ty Harrison in a mere six ticks.
All 10 defending champions prevailed, seven from last year, and a trio from the season before.
Parkersburg South leads the Class 5A team race 43-40 over Wheeling Park. Beaver Local is tops in Class 4A over Steubenville, 46-38. Barnesville and Bridgeport have 2-point leads over Bellaire and Southern Local, respectively, in Class 3A and Class 1A/2A.
Action resumes today with Session II at noon, featuring second-round matches in the championship bracket, as well as first- and second-round bouts in the consolation bracket. Session III, which begins at 6 p.m., will include championship quarterfinals, as well as third- and fourth-round consolation bouts.