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Patriots, ‘Rocks Claim Mat Titles

Photo by Kim North Wheeling Park’s Gavin Washington is wrapped up with Steubenville’s Nate King.

MOUNDSVILLE — Barnesville and Wheeling Park duplicated their performances in the OVAC Ron Mauck Wrestling Championships Thursday night as both captured OVAC Bill Hinegardner Dual Meet titles. However, both victories took drastically different routes inside a jam-packed John Marshall Fieldhouse.

The No. 2 seed Shamrocks roared past fourth-seeded Martins Ferry, 47-28, to earn the Class 3A title, while the No. 1 Patriots went back-and-forth with second-seeded Steubenville before prevailing, 39-28, for the Class 5A trophy.

Class 5A

The Patriots’ magical season continued Thursday night and did so in thrilling fashion as they traded the lead with Big Red four times in the middleweights before Gavin Washington sealed the deal at 220 pounds.

Just when Steubenville pulled to within 33-25 with two bouts remaining, Washington, a seldom-used junior, rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the third period to stun Nate King and the Big Red faithful with a pin at the 5-minute, 6-second mark, securing the team title.

“I was giving up like 30 pounds,” Washington said. “I just never gave up. He got me in the first period, but you’ve got to keep fighting and that’s what I did.”

Wheeling Park head coach Brian Leggett said he wasn’t surprised with Washington’s effort.

“We rested some of our starters tonight to get them ready for the weekend, but we are the good of a team to be able to have kids step up and perform. You saw that in Gavin’s performance,” Leggett said. “He’s a kid that a lot of people don’t know about. He’s in there wrestling guys like Hunter (Nixon), Erick (Brothers Jr.) and Brody (Cottrill), so it only makes him better.”

Other winners were Nixon (195) by pin; OVAC titlist Bradyn Lucas (138) and Jameson Maynard (170) by major decisions; and Robbie Coffman (113) and Gabe Carman (160) by decisions. Noah White (106) received a forfeit.

Steubenville victors included Brody Saccoccia (120), Kaiden Minella (132), Kail Simmons (145), Savier Faulks (152) and Peyton Tuttle (285) by pins. Earning a major decision was Cal Beadling (126). Brandon Kinney (195) won by decision.

“I’m extremely proud of the way my guys wrestled,” Steubenville first-year head coach Lucas Huffman said. “We knew coming in that Wheeling Park was going to a tough match because they are solid all the way through. We went out and fought and fought. That was a tough one to lose.”

Wheeling Park routed Morgantown 74-3 in their semfinal while Steubenville outscored John Marshall, 46-30. The Monarchs blanked the Mohigans, 81-0, for third place.

Class 3A

Barnesville used pins by Johnathan Huntsman (106), OVAC champion Dakota King (126), Griffen Stephen (138) and Skyler King (145); a technical fall from Caiden Thornton (152); and three forfeits awarded to Aydan Andrews (120), Reese Stephen (132) and Robby Nixon (182).

After Huntsman caught the Purple Riders’ Jase Mahoney in a tough spot while trailing 2-0, he recorded the pin in 59 seconds. Martins Ferry drew even when returning state qualifier Dylan Ward pinned Ben Ralston in 62 ticks.

That’s when the Shamrocks reeled off triumphs in the next six bouts, with Caiden Thornton’s technical fall at 152 clinching the title.

Barnesville head coach Jayson Stephen said Huntsman’s pin gave the Shamrocks a spark right off the bat.

“We’re big about not backing down or running from matchups,” Stephen said as Huntsman avenged a loss a few weeks back. “We wanted the re-match. We told him to out and do what he does. We told him he was the better wrestler.”

Martins Ferry head coach Chad Ware said it was a tough way to start against a team that is loaded in the early weight classes.

“Jase got the early takedown but then just got stacked and pinned,” Ware said. “That’s something that you can’t plan to happen, it just does. I think we finished strong with everyone from 160-up.

“All of my guys came out to wrestle. When you wrestle Barnesville you know what you’re getting,” Ware said. “You’ve got some studs early and you’ve got some in the middle. All we asked was that they go out and wrestle the best they can, and for the most part they did.”

Stephen can’t recall how many titles his team’s have won.

“I don’t how many titles this is because the duals have been canceled. I don’t know how many paper champions they’ve given, but I’m glad that my team finally had the opportunity to get out on the mat and wrestle for it,” Stephen said. “Last year with not having it, it was quite a bummer for the kids but they came out tonight and wanted it.”

Despite trailing 41-6, Martins Ferry didn’t roll over and won five of the final six bouts to make the score respectable.

In addition to Ward, Purple Riders winning included Zak Dobson (220) and Zeke Bruney (285) by pins; Alexander Finsley (195) by major decision; and George Hulsey (160) and Johnny McFarland (170) by decisions.

Barnesville roared back from an 18-0 deficit to dispatch third-seeded Shenandoah, 48-30, in the semifinals. Martins Ferry knocked off No. 1 Linsly, 48-24. The Zeps then pinned the Cadets, 64-17, for third place.

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