High School Wrestling: Ross headed back to state duals finals

Ross 106-pounder Ben Breaker works on turning Chaminade Julienne’s Dylan Johns during the Division II, Region 15 finals Wednesday night at Chaminade Julienne High School. Breaker won by decision and the Rams advanced to the state tournament for the fourth time.

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Ross 106-pounder Ben Breaker works on turning Chaminade Julienne’s Dylan Johns during the Division II, Region 15 finals Wednesday night at Chaminade Julienne High School. Breaker won by decision and the Rams advanced to the state tournament for the fourth time.

Ross senior Austin Hamblin stood just off the mat at Chaminade Julienne High School on Wednesday night with the pin chain draped around his neck.

The giant chain that could hold a yacht at bay was adorned with a large “R” and Hamblin was wearing it with pride.

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Hamblin’s pin in 58 seconds at 195 pounds clinched the Rams’ 41-22 win over Chaminade Julienne in the Division II, Region 16 finals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association state team tournament to send his squad to St. John’s Arena for the fourth time in six years.

“I didn’t know how far ahead we were,” Hamblin said. “When I saw the team react, I knew.”

The trip to the state finals on Feb. 11 will be the third for Hamblin, who knew it would be a tough battle to knock off a CJ team that had edged the Rams for the team title at the Eaton Invitational over the weekend.

“We knew it would be close if everyone did their job,” Hamblin said. “Even if you only get to go (to the team state tournament) once, it is the best experience you will have in your high school career.”

The Rams also reached a couple of milestones with the win.

Their 48-34 win over Goshen in the semifinals was coach Rich Dunn’s 250th career win and junior Brayden Ploehs picked up career win No. 100 after going 2-0 on the night.

“We knew the matchups were going to be tough,” Dunn said. “They are well coached, but the good thing about wrestling is one guy can’t beat you like in football.”

Ross got off to a fast start in the finals, claiming decisions in the first two matches before Jake Gentry picked up the first bonus points of the night with a pin at 120.

Chaminade Julienne state placers Isaiah Wortham and Micah Marshall each picked up wins for the Eagles, but the Rams held Wortham to a technical fall and Marshall to a major to save team points as the Eagles cut the lead to 22-17.

“We knew it was going to get close and those two matches were big for us,” Dunn said. “Obviously, some of our big guys stepped up and did what they were supposed to do, but the success of a team is the underlying guys that went up against CJ’s studs and kept it close.”

Ross won the final three weight classes to pull away from an Eagles team competing in the state tournament for the first time.

Division I

Fairfield came up just shy of advancing to the Division I, Region 7 finals for the first time since 2016.

The Indians dual with Mason went down to the final match before the Comets prevailed 36-28.

The Indians had jumped to a quick lead after dropping the opening match of the night.

Zach Shupp recorded a technical fall at 113 to start a 13-0 run that ended with a technical fall by Jabari Thomas at 126 for a 13-4 lead.

After Mason took a 13-12 lead, the two teams swapped the lead with Fairfield getting wins from Luke Gabbard and Connor Beerman to knot the match at 18-18 with four matches remaining.

Mason took a 30-16 lead on a pair of pins, but the Indians got pins from Adam Bartels and Brandon Smith to cut the deficit to 30-28 heading into 285.

The Comets won by fall at 285.

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