The regional quarterfinals of the 2016 OHSAA state dual tournament began on Wednesday as Delta hosted and won a pair of matches to advance further in Division III, Region 17. The Panthers began with a 54-24 victory over Liberty Center, before topping second-seeded Elmwood 46-29 in the final.
Against the Tigers, every Delta victory that was not a forfeit came by way of a pin. The Panthers got pins from Cole Mattin at 113 pounds, Ross Rayfield (120), Drew Mattin (126), Dustin Marteney (138), Travis Barnes (152), Jesse Beverly (160), and Chance Veller (285).
For Liberty Center, Jake Cox earned a pin at 132 pounds, Kody Kregulka got a decision at 145, and Caleb Carpenter a decision at 195.
Delta’s lead in the final was trimmed to 36-29 after Elmwood pegged a narrow 9-8 decision for Jace Grossman over Delta’s Dylan Rogers at 182 pounds, and a major decision (18-6) for Dylan Hinton at 195 pounds.
However, their two heavier weights were able to seal the victory. Devon Richard (220) pinned Elmwood’s Luke Hagemyer to get things started, then Veller scored a 10-0 major decision over Jack Hagemyer in the heavyweight division.
“Guys like Chance (Veller) and Devon (Richard) always give you a nice little cushion to end on,” said Delta coach Anthony Carrizales. “You can always feel pretty confident that, any dual that we’re in, we can have a couple ringers at the end.”
The Panthers opened the dual with the Royals by winning five of their first seven matches, all of which came by pin. Getting pins were Cole Mattin (113), Rayfield (120), Drew Mattin (126), Jake Spiess (138), Barnes (145) and Beverly (160).
“These duals, we do them 100 different ways on paper,” said Carrizales. “You can’t ever make sure there is no surprises, but we pretty much plan for the absolute worst and make sure everything’s square.
“We have a core group of some really good kids that on paper we can count on some points. And bonus points with pins. It definitely makes the process of playing the chess game a little easier.”
Adding wins for Elmwood were Jacob Corral (132) by major decision, Dylan Hall (152) by pin, and both Kolton Bloom (106) and Griffin Sperry (170), who earned victories by forfeit.
Delta will next host the D-III regional semifinal and finals tomorrow as they are the top seed. The Panthers will begin with a match-up against Eastwood at 5 p.m., with the winner taking on either Ottawa-Glandorf or Tinora in the championship match.
“There are some places where we lost a couple really good seniors last year. So it has been hard to fill that void. At 170 (pounds), we don’t even have anybody weighed in,” said Carrizales of his team. “But, at the same time, we do have a core group of returning state champions and finalists that are really, really tough.
“We feel real confident that outside of that core group of six or seven guys, that we also have another five or six guys that we are going to be able to put on the mat, and feel really confident with.”
Evergreen kicked off the action at Wednesday’s dual but made an early exit when they fell to Liberty Center 46-24.
The Vikings did pick up four victories, all pins by Jared Fahrer (106), Travis Mersing (113), Mason Kasefang (138), and Isaac Yunker (152).
After that, and while Delta battled Liberty Center, Archbold faced the eventual runner-up in Elmwood. The Blue Streaks had a chance to tie the Royals at 40 with pins in the final two matches, but instead Elmwood got a pair of pins to earn the win.
The Streaks, who did not have a few key members, who took the opportunity to rest up for future events, handed Elmwood three forfeit victories.
“Obviously, giving them the points on forfeit (was big),” said Archbold coach Brian Becher. “At 220 we got a guy on his back. That’s a 12-point swing there. So I think if we have everybody in the lineup that’s a W for us. At least I would think so.”
The match Becher was referring to was a meeting between Luke Hagemyer and Archbold’s Trevor Short at 220 pounds. At one point, Short had Luke Hagemyer on his back and seemed to be on his way for a pin, but Hagemyer recovered and pinned Short in 3:07.
After giving up forfeits in the first two matches, the Streaks responded with technical fall victories by Gavin Grime (120) and Elijah Alvarado (132), and also a pin for Zach Rocha (126).
Other wins for Archbold were pins by Cam Miller (145) and David Bell (170).
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010