McComas nets another runner-up
COLUMBUS — Beaver Local sophomore Cole McComas was in position for another overtime stunner on Saturday at the 81st Ohio high school state individual wrestling tournament.
In his second straight state championship final and coming off a a big triple-overtime win over Div. II, 113-pound favorite Christian Wayt of West Branch in Friday’s semifinal, the stage was set for McComas to bring home Beaver Local’s first state championship since 2002.
Instead, St. Paris Graham Local’s Tanner Jordan scored a takedown with three seconds to go in overtime to edge McComas 5-3 in the Div. II, 113-pound final.
“I pretty much stayed with the gameplan and it was a close match going into overtime,” McComas said. “He just happened to get the takedown.”
McComas had a 3-0 lead early in the second period after escaping, but Jordan, 44-3, narrowed the margin to 3-2 with a takedown late in the period. An escape by Jordan knotted things at 3, and the Falcons’ junior secured his first title with the takedown in overtime.
Last year, McComas (45-4) fell to Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy’s Jacob Decatur in the 106-pound final. Decatur, ranked first nationally in his weight class, repeated as 106-pound champ with a 7-3 victory over Perry’s Kyle Rowan moments before McComas’ 113-pound final. A little later, Jordan Decatur, the twin brother of Jacob, grabbed the 132-pound championship to mark the first time in Ohio wrestling history where a set of twins repeated as state champions.
Speaking of family matters, Tanner Jordan’s cousin Rocky Jordan won the 170-pound title on Saturday. Rocky is the grandson of John and Shirley Jordan. The couple’s two sons and five grandchildren have won 25 individual state titles between them.
The area produced five other state placers in what proved to be an eventful day. West Branch’s Christian Wayt (fourth, 113), Beaver Local’s Skyler Lasure (fourth, 132), Beaver Local’s Beau Smith (fourth, 145), Crestview’s Andrew Hardenbrook (sixth, 145) and Minerva’s Travis Kuttler (fifth, 285) all capped strong runs at the tournament with podium spots.
Wayt, eliminated from the winner’s bracket by McComas on Friday, rebounded in the consolation semifinal to beat Wauseon’s Gavin Ritter 8-2. In the third-place final, Jake Gentry of Hamilton Ross scored a 1-0 decision to send Wayt to the fourth place finish. As a sophomore, Wayt (41-2) was fifth at 106.
Lasure (40-9) got a taste of revenge in his consolation semifinal as he beat Aurora’s Jack Gorman with a 3-1 sudden victory. Gorman had beaten Lasure with a 6-4 sudden victory in an opening round match on Thursday. In the third-place final, Lasure fell 5-1 to Wauseon’s Hunter Yackee.
Smith, who qualified for the state tournament as a fourth-place finisher at the Claymont district, was able to defy expectations with his fourth-place showing. Smith advanced to the third-place match with a 10-4 win over Dayton Chaminade Julienne’s Micah Marshall in the consolation semifinals, but Louisville standout Jax Leonard pinned him in 2:47 in the third-place final. Smith finished the season 41-12.
Kuttler (45-9) capped his career by gracing the podium after a pin of Oberlin Firelands’ Sean Lipscomb in 1:35 in the fifth-place match. Kuttler lost the consolation final by a 6-5 count earlier in the day to Claymont’s Lyle Clark.
In Div. III, Crestview senior Andrew Hardenbrook (36-6) didn’t have an answer for Lima Central Catholic’s Joey Caprella in the fifth-place match. Caprella, who beat Hardenbrook 5-2 in the championship quarterfinals, won with a pin in 4:27. Hardenbrook landed in the fifth-place match with a 3-2 loss to Garfield’s Logan Kissell in the consolation semifinal earlier in the day.
Hardenbrook is the second Rebel to place at state joining his brother Matt who was fifth at 170 pounds in 2013.
¯ Former West Branch head wrestling coach Mike Helm was inducted into the Ohio Wrestling Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Saturday.
Helm served as a head wrestling coach at Marlington from 1994-1996 and at West Branch from 1997-2012. He had a dual meet record of 191-41 and was a seven-time Northeastern Buckeye Conference coach of the year. He also was named the 2012 Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association Div. II Coach of the Year.
Under his leadership the Warriors had 32 state qualifiers, 17 state placers and three state champions.
¯ Six sets of twins have won state titles in the same year.
¯ Canfield senior David Crawford claimed the Div. II state title at 182 pounds. He won at 170 last year making him the first Cardinal to win two state titles. Canfield’s Tyler Stein also won a state title at 220 to mark the first time the Cardinals won two state titles in one tournament.
¯ Sound system issues caused a delay toward the end of the championship session.
¯ St. Paris Graham Local’s Mitch Moore became Ohio’s 30th four-time champion with a win at 145. He’s won at 132, 126 and 113 in previous tournaments.
¯ St. Paris Graham won four state titles on Saturday and scored to 231 points to lap the Div. II field. Canfield was second with 77 points. Genoa Area led Div. III with 113.5 points.
¯ Steubenville’s Jashon Hubbard came up short in his 152-pound final as did Steubenville’s Tyler Ely at 285.
¯ The final session attendance was 12,271. Attendance for all five sessions was 53,401.