Monday, February 6, 2023

Hornets takes steps at state duals

Kirtland split a pair of dual meets at the Division III, Region 20A quarterfinals at Massillon Tuslaw on Wednesday.

The Hornets opened with a 60-24 win over Sandy Valley then ran into the top seed and defending regional runner-up Tuslaw and was shutout, 82-0.

“Tuslaw is a really good team,” said Kirtland coach Scott Francis. “When I saw we had Sandy Valley in the first round I thought we had a good chance to beat them and then go up against Tuslaw.”

Francis knew his team had a tough matchup with Tuslaw but the Hornets learned what it will take to return to the state tournament after winning the regional in 2015.

“Two years ago we went down to the state tournament and we want to get back there again,” Francis said. “It was great for my young kids to see what type of team it's going to take to do that. They know what they're up against and how hard they're going to have to work now to get to that point. There's no question how good they have to be to be that team that makes it down to the state tournament.”

Gus Mormino, Anthony Blasini and Ben Marsh all recorded pins for Kirtland against Sandy Valley. Carter Williamson, Brandon Hepper, Brayden Adkins, Will Robertson, John Miller and Khalid Alabsi all won by forfeit for the Hornets.

“Our guys that went out there and won the matches, that's what we're looking for, but even the guys that weren't winning were improving. The goal is to get as many guys out of the sectional tournament to districts and maybe down to state. That's what we want.”

Kirtland hosts Hawken, Cleveland JFK and Trinity on Friday in a quadrangular then will spend the next week preparing for the 2017 Chagrin Valley Conference Tournament.

“We missed two weeks in December because we had two weeks in a row with snow days so we got off to a slow start,” Francis said. “Now in January we're getting in all our matches in and they’re seeing a lot more wrestling. That competition is helping the guys to get better.”

Kirtland 60, Sandy Valley 24

106: Williamson, K, won by forfeit; 113: Double forfeit; 120: Hemming, SV, maj. dec. Duncan, 12-4; 126: Newell, SV, pinned Ethan Thomas, 1:51; 132: Hepper, K, won by forfeit; 138: Adkins, K, won by forfeit; 145: Mormino, K, pinned Blair, 3:07; 152: Blasini, K, pinned Delong, 3:59; 160: Robertson, K, won by forfeit; 170: Miller, K, won by forfeit; 182: Fitzgerald, SV, pinned Kusar, 2:56; 195: Marsh, K, pinned Offenberger, 4:25; 220: Finnicum, SV, pinned Dages, 1:32; 285: Alabsi, K, won by forfeit

Kirtland vs. Tuslaw

106: Jacob Kuhlins, T, pinned Williamson, 0:15; 113: Gabbard, T, won by forfeit; 120: Marthey, T, pinned Duncamn 2:27; 126: Brennan, T, pinned Hepper, 0:54; 132: Elliott, T, pinned Thomas, 0:41; 138: Shirley, T, pinned Adkins, 1:05; 145: Ryder, T, pinned Mormino, 3:37; 152: Skeens, T, pinned Blasini, 1:01; 160: Conkle, T, pinned Robertson, 0:45; 170: Powell, T, maj. def. Miller, 13-3; 182: Knox, T, pinned Kusar, 1:12; 195: Hall, T, pinned Marsh, 0:45; 220: Hamrick, T, pinned Dages, 0:39; 285: Phillips, T, pinned Alabsi, 0:40


Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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