Braves top Stars for 21st straight mat sectional title

    Bellmont earned four championships and advanced 12, rolling up 266.5 points to hold of a solid effort by South Adams Saturday at Jay, winning a 21st straight sectional wrestling crown and a spot across from Yorktown in Wednesday's Team Regional.
    "We had to have every thing go perfect to have a shot, and everything went pretty well and we still fell quite a bit short," stated South Adams Coach Eric Myers, whose Starfires stacked up 228.5 points.
    "Our guys wrestled aweseome, with 12 getting through and four champs. I don't know if I can ask for anything more. I was prealy proud of our guys."
    As expected, Bellmont dominated the upper weights, getting four champs and two runners-up out of the final six weight classes. Seniors Travis Thatcher at 215 and Daniel Meyer at heavyweight both won for the third time at the Jay Sectional to pace the Bellmont effort. Ryley Hankenson pinned his way the the 171-pound title, as did senior John Mahlan at 160.
    "It was pretty good team effort. We had a  great semi-final round, putting nine in the finals, and that was the difference," said Bellmont coach Brent Faurote. South Adams put six into the championship round.
    Bellmont, rated No. 9 in the latest poll, will face No. 5 Yorktown at 6 p.m. at Adams Central Wednesday, while No. 8 Carroll will take on Fort Wayne Snider, a surprise winner at New Haven, in the other semi-final match. Bellmont lost to Yorktown 35-25 early in the season, and the Braves have dual-meet wins over Carroll and Snider.
    "Will Busse avenged a losse (beating AC's Jarod Schwartz at 152), and Jacob Girod (112) had a big win over (Cody) Walburn, although Walburn is coming off that thumb injury and we know he's not 100 percent," said the BHS coach, highlighting the top wins in the semi-finals for his club.
    "Busse got the early takedown, ann escape and a penalty point, but the big thing is that he wrestled under control, and popped in the finals where he got beat by (SA's Josh) Ehr. Will had a pretty good day, he's advancing on as a sectional runner-up in a good weight class, one of better weight classes on the day. Schwartz needed a 4-2 overtime win to get third (over Norwell's Grayson Smith."
    Todd Batt of South Adams won for the fourth time over Philip Gerber in the title match 8-4 for the 125-pound crown. SA's Gabe Sprunger won at 135 pounds for his first sectional title, and T.J. Burnfield shook off a slow start to take Kyle Walter of Union City 11-4 in the 145-pound title match.
    Adams Central won titles at 103 with Adam Cook and at 119 by Derek Roe, who survived a made scramble of a match with Bellmont's Bobby Keuneke for a 9-8 win. Cook survived a four-point toss in the waning seconds by Union City's Aurelio Terriquez for his 11-10 win.
    "The Keuneke-Roe match was exciting and entertaining. Both kids scrambled and fought," described AC coach Doug Schultz.
    Keuneke headlocked Roe in the second period and had him on his back for several seconds for a five-point move, putting the Bellmonter up 6-2. Roe escaped and then caught Keuneke on a four-point move to take a 7-6 lead.
    A Roe escape was followed by a Keuneke takedown to tie the match. Roe escaped, then held off Keuneke's takedown efforts for the win.
     "That was probably one of better matches I've seen down here. Two quality wrestlers really let it flow," said Faurote. "Sometimes the wrestlers get into conservative matches, but these kids were hitting a lot of different things. It was a fun match. We hate to lose it but it was a fun match to be a part of. Keuneke had a tech fall and a pin to set it up."
    AC's Zeke Schultz was injured at practice on Wednesday, suffering a blow to the nose, and he had trouble breathing Saturday. AC's Jarod Schwartz struggled with a sore knee.
    "We didn't have a good second round, and after a little talk the kids went out and won seven of eight, so we placed a bunch of kids," said Schultz.