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"Somehow, we just found a way to get it done," stated Bellmont senior Ben Baker, after a pair of incredible wins over Yorktown (34-31) and Fort Wayne Snider (34-27) Wednesday night earned the Braves their 15th trip to the IHSAA Team State Wrestling Finals.
A lot of stars had to line up for the Braves to pull victories out of the jaws of defeat Wednesday, including senior Brian Hakes missing the start of his (Bishop Dwenger) hockey match to score three huge points for the Braves in the opening match, Landon Baker hitting a pair of match winning takedowns, and Isaac Birch sealing the deal as the last man on the mat in both historic BHS victories.
The Braves fell way behind in both duals and had to turn up the heat and run the tables to victory. Yorktown went up 31-9 with five matches to go, and a surprising Snider team led 27-15 with just four matches left.
Snider defeated Carroll 38-25, in the other semi-final to get to the title match.
Just to get the matches to the Bellmont big men, there was plenty of drama as lower weight wrestlers stayed off their backs, Bobby Keuneke stunned Snider's Erique Early 6-2, handing him only his second loss of the year, Jacob Bergman needed to jump start the rally against the Yorkies with fall, and Dewey Melcher had a sudden epiphany against Snider and reeled in six points.
"Landon's win was huge (vs. Snider). That was actually bigger than my match was. I just did what I knew I could do," praised senior Isaac Birch, who pinned Yorktown's Noah Little to finish off Yorktown.