Independence placed four wrestlers among the top eight in their respective weight classes to finish 16th out of the 34 teams at the 2017 North Coast Classic on Saturday.
Josh Stasek finished second at 285 pounds while Michael Kucera was fourth at 126, Nick Rossi was seventh at 160 and Nick Mroczynski finished sixth at 170.
Stasek finished 6-0 in pool wrestling with four pins and two major decisions then advanced to the championship bout with a 2-1 decision over Bay’s Brendan O’Doherty.
“I was very satisfied with what I did this weekend,” Stasek said. “I took a loss last week at Hawken and I wanted to redeem myself for that.”
Belle Vernon Area High School’s Logan Petrosky edged Stasek in the finals, 3-1.
“My strategy for every match was the same,” Stasek said. “Get out there and beat up my opponent. I’m always looking to score bonus points. I stayed very physical with my hands and stopping my opponent’s offense. Once I got on top all I thought was, ‘Alright, how can I pin this guy?’”
Kucera also finished 6-0 in pool wrestling with six pins.
“I felt I wrestled pretty good this weekend and did a good job staying on the offensive side for most of my matches,” Kucera said. “I still feel that I could’ve picked up the intensity on a few of my matches.”
Kucera recorded four pins in less than one minute.
“My goal going into each match was to be the aggressor and to set the pace of the match,” he said.
He opened the championship bracket with a loss to Belle Vernon Area’s Logan Seliga but bounced back with a 37-second pin over Twinsburg’s Jacob Flask in the consolation semifinals. He dropped a 6-3 decision to Solon’s Trysten Zahoransky in the third-place match.
Rossi finished 6-2 in the tournament with four pins and a technical fall while Mroczynski was 6-3 with two losses to Sandusky Perkins’ Lucas Salmon, 6-3 in the final round of pool wrestling and 4-2 in the fifth place match.
Liam Walker finished 3-4 at 132, Alex Nelson was 3-2 at 182, Luke Clymer was 2-2 at 195 and Charlie Starling finished 3-3 at 285. Richie DiGeronimo (120), Ben Vitron (152), Seth Patterson (160) and Vinnie Bucci (170) also competed for the Blue Devils.