State team wrestling: Ross only local squad to advance

Fairfield’s Moustapha Bah is en route to a 106-pound victory over Springboro’s Michael Gust during a dual Jan. 19 at Fairfield’s Performing Arts Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Fairfield’s Moustapha Bah is en route to a 106-pound victory over Springboro’s Michael Gust during a dual Jan. 19 at Fairfield’s Performing Arts Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Lakota East and Lakota West were both upset in the opening round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association state wrestling team tournament Wednesday on an evening when defending regional champion Fairfield was also upended.

East, which entered as the top seed in Region 8-A, dropped a 36-30 decision to eighth-seeded Sycamore.

“We wrestled tough, but not to our fullest potential,” East coach Jim Lehman said. “We missed some opportunities that would have changed the result, but we will be ready at the end of the season.”

The Thunderhawks, who earned their first top seed in the tournament, fell behind 36-6 before making a comeback against the Aves, winning the final four matches with three pins and a forfeit, but couldn’t finish the surge.

West, the second seed, opened the evening with a 48-27 win over Milford at Loveland before falling 37-36 to the third-seeded Tigers.

“We had a couple of guys with a chance to score bonus points, and we couldn’t put them away,” West coach Tony Bradberry said. “When wrestling a good team you have to take care of business in those situations, and we just didn’t get it done tonight.”

Loveland opened with a 15-0 lead before West got on the board with a pin at 126 by Andrew Oeters, but just missed an extra bonus point for a technical fall at 132 and a major decision at 145.

Fairfield, which reached the state tournament last year, dropped a 36-25 decision to second-seeded La Salle at St. Xavier.

The Indians trailed 21-20 with four matches remaining, but La Salle won three of the final four.

“Hats off to a solid La Salle team,” Fairfield coach Jason Laflin said. “The kids that wanted to win found a way. We competed with heart tonight, but it just wasn’t enough.”

Division II: Ross is back in familiar territory.

The top seed in Region 15-B cruised into the regional semis with 54-26 win over Talawanda and a 49-19 win over Monroe.

“We wrestled well tonight to get the two wins and advance to the next round in the state duals,” Ross coach Rich Dunn said. “I am proud of the guys. We had several matches where guys stepped up to the challenge, and we are really excited about next week.”

Monroe had pulled a mild upset to advance to face Ross. The fifth-seeded Hornets knocked off fourth seed Norwood 55-18 in the opening round.

Fenwick never really got on a roll against fourth-seeded Wilmington at Western Brown in a 54-24 setback. Wilmington won the first six matches before returning state placer Alex Kowal won by pin in 1:13 at 145 to get the Falcons on the board.

Badin just missed advancing at Eaton in Region 15 action. The Rams’ match with third-seeded Reading came down to the last match of the night, with the Blue Devils pulling out a 5-4 decision in ultimate tiebreak to take the 37-36 win.

Travis Argentati started a five-match string for the Rams at 145 with a pin to erase a 28-6 deficit.

Division III: It was a rough night for Carlisle against second seed Milton-Union.

The Indians got wins by Caleb Byrnes at 106 and Reece Human at 220, but that was it in a 72-12 loss.

The regional semis and finals will be held Feb. 1 at a site to be announced. The state tournament will be held at St. John Arena in Columbus on Feb. 12.

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