Monarch heavyweight Tyler Connolly (right) hooks up with Graham’s Khrizdon Van Hoose during their match at the Division I state duals tournament on Sunday. Connolly won the bout by a pin at The Ohio State University’s St. John Arena. The Falcons won the team contest and went on to capture the state title.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
The name of St. Paris Graham is certainly no stranger when it comes to talking about excellence in high school wrestling.
The Falcons of neighboring Champaign County have won the state Division II championship each year for well over a decade.
Graham did nothing to tarnish that reputation on Sunday when it finished first in the Division I state team duals at The Ohio State University’s St. John Arena.
The Falcons, who went on to beat Lakewood St. Edward, 28-23, in the championship round, began their day by defeating Marysville, 56-15 in the tournament’s quarterfinals.
The Monarchs earned a berth in the state tournament by winning their sub-regional championship with victories on their home mat against Westerville North and Lancaster.
MHS went into Sunday’s competition with the No. 8 seed, while Graham was No. 1.
Marysville won three of the 14 matches as Jamieson Bigler scored a pinfall at 120, Jacob Marsh earned a hard-fought decision at 152 and Tyler Connolly earned bonus points with a pin at 285.
The Monarchs found themselves down early by a 12-0 count as Quentin Miller (106) and Nathan Thompson (113) were put to the mat.
Miller was pinned by Trace Braun with 57 seconds left in the second period.
Thompson moved into the lineup as Michael Jones was nursing an injury.
Graham’s Tanner Jordan scored the pinfall over Thompson at the 1:24 mark of the opening set.
The Monarchs were able to halve their deficit with Bigler’s late first-period pin over Hayden Lingrell.
“Jamieson was able to get some bonus points for us,” said Marysville head coach Shawn Andrews.
The next four bouts went the Falcons’ way.
Lincoln Heard lost a 16-1 technical fall to Nick Moore at 126.
Isaiah Stickley gave the Falcons additional bonus points with his 16-0 technical fall over Payne Miller at 132.
That decision pushed Graham out to a 22-6 lead.
Marysville’s Sam Shroyer was pinned in the 138-pound match by J.D. Stickley with 1:05 left in the opening set.
MHS trailed 28-6 as Walker Heard took the mat for the 145-pound bout against Mitch Moore.
Heard trailed 2-0 at the end of the first period and was outscored 6-2 the rest of the way to lose 8-2.
The Monarchs fell behind 31-6 before Marsh (152) won their second match of the day.
He and Joey Sanchez battled to a 0-0 stalemate by the end of the first period.
Marsh went on top 2-1 after a nearfall and eventually won the three-set match by a 3-1 count.
“Jacob got into one scoring scramble and was able to take advantage of it,” said Andrews.
Tyler Bates lost the 160-pound match by a 10-0 major decision against Ryan Thomas.
The Falcons then increased their lead to 41-9 when Rocky Jordan pinned Nathan DeWitt (170) with 14 seconds remaining in the first period.
Jacob Legge battled hard against Andrew Shaffer during the 182-pound contest.
Legge fell victim to a number of takedowns before losing a 21-11 technical fall.
Logan Painter (195) trailed 7-1 before he was pinned with four seconds left in the initial period.
Gage Braun’s pinfall gave Graham a 52-9 advantage.
Ethan Smegal dropped the 220-pound match to Johnny Shafer by a 13-0 major decision.
The Falcons led 56-9 as the final bout brought heavyweights Tyler Connolly of Marysville and Khrizdon Van Hoose of Graham to the mat.
Connolly went on top with an early takedown and added two more to take a 6-2 lead.
The Monarch grappler led 8-3 before he got Van Hoose on his back with a pin with 1:13 left in the second period.
“After Graham’s wrestler pushed back early, Tyler was able to score points on him,” said Andrews.
“Nobody likes to lose, whether it’s an individual match or a team match,” the Monarch coach said. “I think time will offer some perspective on all of this.
“The guys are disappointed with how the team match went, but it was a great opportunity for them to wrestle at St. John Arena.”
The Monarchs opened the regular season a little more than two months ago by going 3-1 during their annual invitational.
The lone setback that day came by a 46-18 count against Graham.
MHS won four of the 14 matches that day.
Did Andrews see any difference in the two matches?
“I saw more fight out of guys today,” he said. “When we wrestled Graham to start the season, we had some guys give in. However, we didn’t see that today.”
The Monarchs will wrap up their Ohio Capital Conference Central Division slate on Thursday by competing at Central Crossing.
They will then host a Division I sectional on Saturday, Feb. 24.
In addition to the state duals, Marysville had several wrestlers compete at the All-North Tournament at Dublin Jerome and the Dublin Scioto freshman All-State tournament on Saturday.
Competing for the Monarchs at Jerome were:
-126: P. Miller, 3-2, fifth;
-132: Lucas Moser, 2-2;
-138: Jayden Simmons, 4-1, third;
-138: Chris Lambert, 2-2;
-145: W. Heard, 4-0, first;
-160: Zach Lowe, 4-1, third;
-182: Legge, 3-1, second;
-182: Jacob Ishmael, 1-2;
-195: Adam Hettel, 4-0, first;
-220: Joey Palmer, 2-2;
-285: Steven Shamhart, 3-2, fifth.
“We worked really hard this season to create a schedule that would challenge all of our wrestlers,” said Andrews. “We are in the unique situation of having nine seniors, some of whom are unable to crack our starting line-up, as well as some juniors who are also stuck in the depth chart.
“The All-North is another of those varsity tournaments that we were able to get some of those wrestlers into, in addition to some of our guys who have struggled with injuries throughout the season who needed to get some additional mat time.”
MHS grapplers placed as follows in the state freshman tourney:
-106: Nathan Thompson, sixth;
-126: Lincoln Heard, first;
-160: Parker Reese, eighth;
-170: Grant Marshall, second;
-195: Jagger Snyder, first;
-220: Zach Eades, eighth.
“This was a freshman-only event which invites teams from all over the state,” said Andrews.
There were 27 teams present for this year’s tournament.
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