WHAT NOW, COACH?â€”Bellmont sophomore Mason Mendez looks for support from the coaching staff during the championship round at the Jay County wrestling sectionals. Mendez (left) topped ACâ€™s Anthony Mosser, 6-2, at 106 for one of six Bravesâ€™ crowns on the day. (Photo by Jim Hopkins)
PORTLAND — Bellmont got back into the sectional championship business in a big way Saturday, claiming six individual titles, racking up 279.5 points and qualifying all 14 wrestlers for this Saturday's Jay County Regional.
View more articles in:
Adams Central, which ended Bellmont's 22-year sectional skein in 2013, had three champions and advanced 10 in a solid second-place effort (211 points), while Barry Humble's South Adams Starfires took fourth, also with three champs, and seven advancing.
Only two wrestlers from non-Adams County schools took championships, and both were Jay County grapplers. The host Patriots took third place with 197.5 points.
"We knew coming in it was a race for second place if we wrestled the way we were capable of," stated Bellmont senior Fletcher Shaneyfelt, who erupted for seven second-period points to ice down his first high school tourney championship at 220 pounds.
"We came prepared, we wrestled well, and we close the deal," stated veteran Bellmont assistant coach Paul Gunsett.
"There were a couple of matches that I'd like to have back, but we wrestled a couple that the other guys would like to have back. Overall, we wrestled well."
Bellmont junior Trevor Gray earned his second sectional title, this one at 126 pounds, while taking their first crowns were teammates Mason Mendez (106), Jon Becker (113), senior Brock Braun (152), frosh Bryce Baumgartner (160), and senior Fletcher Shaneyfelt (220).
Runners-up for the Braves were: sophomore Daniel Gunsett at 120, senior Diego Hutker at 132, and junior Brett Baker at 170 pounds.
Central's Derek Ellinger repeated at the 138-pound champ, sophomore Hunter Bates topped Hutker 9-5 for his crown, and junior Kaine Luginbill scored his second sectional title, at 170 pounds, coming off of his back to pin Bellmont's Brett Baker late in that finals match.
"We had a pretty good day," stated Central coach Doug Schultz. "Andy Oliver (126) suffered a concussion and he's done for the year, so that marred our day. It was my call, the injury default. It was the right thing to do," said Schultz. Oliver scored a first round fall, but was hurt in the next round in a 6-2 loss to Ray of Jay County.
"But we still walk out of here with three champs and 10 going on."
Luginbill, who bumped up to 170 for the tourney, was handling Bellmont's Baker 7-0 in the third period when the state streeter got a scare.
Baker hit a switch, and immediately went to his trademark cradle, putting Luginbill in trouble. "We didn't choose down because Baker's got a good cradle, so to get caught in one doesn't surprise me," said Schultz.
"And Luginbill was tough and fought through it. Other than that, he pretty well dominated the match." He slung an arm out, and countered Baker's next attempt to turn him, and finished the match in 5:20.
Ellinger's three pins did not surprise Schultz. "Ellinger held court in a mediocre weight class," he summed up.
Sawyer Miller won his third title for South Adams, majoring Gunsett 14-4, while Klayton Hinshaw scored his second win, at 182. Junior Boaz Marbach came out of the strongest weight class, 145, beating Bellmont's Logan Neher in the semis, then AC's Luke Liter in the title match.