Gentry grinded to a 1-0 win over Beloit West Branch’s Christian Wayt, who had defeated Gentry 5-3 in the quarterfinals on Friday morning.
“It was rough,” Gentry said after finishing third. “It is in the back of my mind, but now I am at ease because I know I’m definitely better than he is.
“I just had to put pressure on him and it paid off.”
Gentry won four straight matches after the quarterfinal loss to improve on his back-to-back seventh-place finishes.
“You are always going to take some licks in life,” Gentry said after finishing 47-5. “When I lost that match, it was ‘Now, I’m ready to go, I got to keep winning.’ This is my last year and I wanted to finish it off strong.”
As in the past two years, Gentry was not predicted to finish as high on the podium as he did.
It is something that has provided both motivation and a shrug.
“Every year I have been here I have been underrated and that shows that rankings aren’t important,” Gentry said. “I know I can beat anyone in the tournament.”
Still, the last five seconds of that early loss to Gentry kept creeping back into his head.
“It’s still right there,” Gentry said tapping his head. “It is ‘Oh shoot, I could have,’ but it is freeing to know that I am better than he is.
“It wasn’t my goal, but it was a successful year for me.”
Madison’s Drew Price finished fifth at 138 while Fairfield had a trio of placers.
Senior Zach Shupp wrestled Saturday night for a state title while 113 Moustapha Bal was sixth and 126 Jabari Thomas finished seventh.
“I think I could have done better,” Bal said. “There were some places where I could have finished takedowns and I didn’t.
“I’ve been here before and saw it, so I knew what it was like. (After I lost) I knew I had to come back the next match and keep going.
The state championship matches in all three divisions were Saturday night.