Braves take 4 titles, advance 10 to mat semistate

    PORTLAND — "All in all it wasn't a bad day, getting 10 through with  four champs, a second and three thirds. I was pretty pleased," stated Bellmont wrestling coach Brent Faurote have his Braves flexed their muscles at the Jay County Regional wrestling tourney Saturday.
    Seniors John Mahlan, Ryley Hankenson, and Travis Thatcher all repeated as regional champs for the Braves, and and senior Daniel Meyer took the heavyweight crown, pinning promising SA frosh Maverick Morningstar in the final.
    Braves' junior Brooks Faurote took a tough triple-overtime 1-0  loss to Yorktown's latest wrestler, Cole VanHorn, in the semis, then the Bellmonter came back for third, taking SA's Charlie Hirschy in the 140-pound consolation.
    Josh Ehr won again for South Adams at 152, catching Bellmont's Will Busse in the title match. Central's Derek Roe made a spectacular comeback in the 119-pound title match, scoring 10 straight points to stun Yorktown's Chandler Carroll, 11-7 to earn his top seed in next week's Woodlan Semistate at the Memorial Coliseum.
    He was one of seven Central wrestlers to advance. South Adams, with Todd Batt winning at 125, also advanced seven to the semistate.
    Bobby Keuneke at 119 and Blake Adams at 125 earned thirds for the Braves while Jacob Girod at 112 and Ben Baker at 189 took fourths.
    "It was a sort of a Peterson, or kinda a flop," explained Roe on his sudden turn in the second period, a six-pointer that tied the match at 7-7. Carroll's nose plug fell out, keeping him in the match, but resulting in a four-point nearfall. Roe had lost 11-1 to Carroll in a dual meet.
    "I thought I had him flat," said Roe. "I'm so excited, looking forward to the semistate. I'm looking to win again next week. I won't be satisfied with third or fourth."
    Next week, of course, sets up the state bids for the area wrestlers.
    On Wednesday, Bellmont has to regroup and battle Yorktown for the AC Team Regional title, and that will decided one of eight state slots.
    "We avenged five loss and won the ones that we could win. It's the best we've done in a long time," stated Adams Central coach Doug Schultz.
    Schultz wasn't surprised that Roe came back for the win. "He was down 7-1, scored the nearfall and got the kid back on his heels. Roe wrestled solid the rest of the way," added Schultz.
    "We had some quality thirds. It was a good day for us," added the coach.
    Cody Walburn rebounded from a loss to Ben Fiechter of Southern Wells in the semis to score a 5-1 win over Girod for third at 112. Derek Ellinger scored an overtime takedown to beat Conner Wyatt of Jay County, avenging a previous loss, for a 7-5 win at 130 for third. Zeke Schultz came back from his loss to TJ Burnfield of SA in the semis to beat Kyle Walters of Union City 7-1 for third at 145. Jarod Schwartz fell to Ehr then nipped Grayson Smith of Norwell 4-3 for third at 152.
    Adam Cook at 103 and Chantz Luginbill at 160 took fourths for the Jets.
    Coach Faurote was unhappy with the officiating at 140. Brooks had VanHorn on his back with his "Lewis" move from underneath, but didn't get the call in the 0-0 match. In overtime, VanHorn backed out of bounds with Faurote having both arms around his shoulders, but the escape was granted as time ran out in the period.
     "I thought we had the nearfall. That same move was called at semistate against Norton last year. I don't know if he (the ref) hadn't seen it before or what. Brooks held him there for 15 seconds and didn't get any points. On the escapte I thought they were out of bounds," said Faurote.
    Brooks Faurote had on a smaller brace Saturday on his broken left hand.
    In a 0-0 consolation battle with Hirschy, Faurote used a Turk for the reversal and rolled to a 6-0 win.
    Another key consolation win for BHS came at 125 as Adams defeated Yorktown's Rhett Hiestand 6-2, using a fireman's carry and a single-leg shot for the win. At 119, Keuneke cradled Eric Pimentel of South Adams for a 50-second consolation fall.
    Mahlan jumped out 5-0 in his title match with Winchester's John Simmons, then had to play defense to hold him off in a 5-2 win for the Braves at 160.    "I don't know how that happened," said Mahlan on the move that exposed his back as Simmons went for the nearfall. "I knew the line was close and I just wanted to get out."
    Mahlan bridged out of bounds to stay out of trouble.Simmons was 35-1 going into the match. " Now he's 35-2. It was a good win because I'll be facing foruth seed. I'm not going nto choke like I did last year," promised Mahlan on his shot at state.
    Hankenson scored an 11-6 win over Seth Edwards of Yorktown in the semis, but needed just 55 seconds to cradle Eric Sauser of Winchester in the finals at 171.
    "Things have slowed down a lot for me, even from last year," noted Hankenson,, who feels that getting through next week to state "is definitely a doable goal."
    Thatcher was taken down by Andrew Chalfant in the finals at 215 and injured an ankle. He popped a couple of takedowns and won 5-4.
    "Those were two outstanding slide-bys," said Faurote of Thatcher's winning moves. "He hasn't hit it a lot this year, but against a good kid those were nice, real slick. It was a good win."
    Ben Baker shot in on Scott Neff of Yorktown in the semi-finals, but instead was taken down in an eventual 9-2 loss. He then missed a couple of attempts at tossing Corey Crabtree of Muncie South in a 7-3 consolation loss.
    Batt held off Philip Gerber of Bluffton in a 5-4 title win at 125 for the Stars. Burnfield hit a three-point nearfall on Andrew Hiestand of Yorktown, taking the lead, but he was caught in a standing cradle and felled in 4:42 by the Tigers' wrestler in the 145-pound title match.
    In a key semi-final battle at 135, Gabe Sprunger shot in late and Isaiah Bradley of Muncie South countered, earning the takedown and a 3-2 win. Sprunger pinned Kohler of Muncie Central for third, while Devon Jackson tipped Bradley 5-3 in the finals.
    Meyer had three falls for his title for the Braves, needing just 57 seconds to down Morningstar in the title match.