Sunday, May 19, 2024

Independence goes toe-to-toe with top-seeded Rootstown but falls short in regional quarterfinals

Independence left the 2015 OHSAA State Dual Wrestling Tournament Region 19A quarterfinals at Rootstown with a moral victory after nearly knocking off the top-seeded Rootstown Rovers.

The Blue Devils gave up 18 points in forfeits and had an opportunity to steal the dual meet with a pin at heavyweight. Paul Deely won the match, 8-3, but the Rovers advanced to next week’s Region 19 semifinals with a 38-36 win over the Blue Devils.

“Looking at it, I’m thinking, ‘Our state placer pins at heavy we beat Rootstown 39-38, is this really possible?’” said Independence coach Ken DeAngelis. “Their heavyweight did what he should have. He ran and ducked and stayed off his back. Paul did everything he could except take off his shoes and beat him with them. We ended up winning the match but lost the dual by two.”

Rootstown’s Dalton Leightner opened the dual with forfeit at 106 pounds and the Rovers went on to win the next three weight classes to take a 22-0 lead over the Blue Devils. Brad Trescott won by pin at 113 and Tony Paulucci collected a forfeit at 120. Seth Hayes continued the Rovers’ run with a major decision at 126.

Independence’s Drew Benos temporarily snapped Rootstown’s winning streak with a 3 minute, 40 second pin at 132. Jason Sadler then put Rootstown on top, 26-6, with a major decision at 138.

The Blue Devils climbed back into the match when Jacob Spino and Tanner Hadick recorded back-to-back pins at 138 and 145, respectively, and Kevin Clymer won a 6-5 decision at 160.

“Similar to the Kirtland match (on Friday) we were down 22-0 then we started coming back little by little,” DeAngelis said. “We got a big pin at 132, a big pin at 145 and 152 and then Kevin Clymer at 160, he’s losing 2-5 with 15 seconds left and he throws the kid for two and two and we win 6-5. At that point I thought, ‘OK, we might have a chance.’”

It was at that point DeAngelis rolled the dice and gave up a forfeit to bump up Nick Sia and A.J. Senick to 182 and 195, respectively.

The move paid off as Sia and Senick both pinned their Rootstown opponents and the Blue Devils took their first lead of the match, 33-32.

A pin at 220 gave Rootstown the lead for good.

“No doubt about it, they’re king of the mountain,” DeAngelis said. “We knew looking at the landscape they were the team to beat. In the process I think we gained some respect. This was a character builder. Rootstown is where we want to be. We hung with them toe-to-toe and we’re heading in the right direction.”

Independence beat Waterloo, 41-36, in the first round.

“We had a couple close matches,” DeAngelis said. “The thing I love about dual meets is there’s so much more coaching involved. You look at matchups and try to match strengths on strengths to squeeze out the most points where you can get them. It was a fun night.”

Luke Swauger (120), Matt Mroczynski (126), Benos (132), Spino (138), Hadick, Sia, Senick and Deely all won matches for the Blue Devils.

First Round

Independence 41, Waterloo 36
106 Daulton Metheney 9 (Waterloo) won by forfeit
113 Jesse Hays 10 (Waterloo) won by forfeit
120 Luke Swauger10 (Independence) won by forfeit
126 Matt Mroczynski 11 (Independence) won by forfeit
132 Drew Benos 11 (Independence) over Tyler Glaze 10 (Waterloo) :46
138 Cal Harris 12 (Waterloo) pin Nick Mroczynski 9 (Independence) 1:55
145 Jacob Spino 12 (Independence) dec. Patrick Jordan 11 (Waterloo) 4-2
152 Tanner Hadick 12 (Independence) won by forfeit
160 Aaron King 10 (Waterloo) pin Kevin Clymer 10 (Independence) 3:04
170 Nick Sia 12 (Independence) maj. dec. Cole Hurd 9 (Waterloo) 16-6
182 A.J. Senick 12 (Independence) maj. dec. Dillon Stallsmith 11 (Waterloo) 9-1
195 Shane Diven 10 (Waterloo) won by forfeit
220 Will Bolanz (Waterloo) pin Josh Stasek 9 (Independence) 0:48
285 Paul Deely 12 (Independence) won by forfeit

Second Round

Rootstown 38, Independence 36
106 Dalton Leightner 10 (Rootstown) won by forfeit
113 Brad Trescott 10 (Rootstown) pin Luke Swauger 10 (Independence) 1:04
120 Tony Paulucci 11 (Rootstown) won by forfeit
126 Seth Hayes 11 (Rootstown) maj. dec. Matt Mroczynski 11 (Independence) 12-1
132 Drew Benos 11 (Independence) pin Jacob Kozma 11 (Rootstown) 3:40
138 Jason Sadler (Rootstown) maj. dec. Nick Myroczynski 9 (Independence) 14-0
145 Jacob Spino 12 (Independence) pin Nathan Zurzolo 10 (Rootstown) 3:06
152 Tanner Hadick 12 (Independence) pin Luke Durbak 11 (Rootstown) 5:59
160 Kevin Clymer 10 (Independence) dec. Dillon Wingard 11 (Rootstown) 6-5
170 Luke Sorboro 10 (Rootstown) won by forfeit
182 Nick Sia 12 (Independence) pin Gabe Gretz 12 (Rootstown) 3:09
195 A.J.Senick 12 (Independence) pin Jarred Dolin 11 (Rootstown) 1:30
220 Jimmy Goforth 9 (Rootstown) pin Josh Stasek 9 (Independence) 4:19
285 Paul Deely 12 (Independence) dec. Ronnie Jeffers 10 (Rootstown) 8-3

Steve Hare
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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