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Two Solon wrestlers again win state crowns
Two Solon wrestlers again win state crowns
By TONY LANGE
Lakewood St. Edward may have won its 27th team wrestling title at last Saturday's state tournament, but Solon spoiled season-ending wins for three of the Eagles.
It takes six minutes to beat a St. Edward wrestler, because they're not going to beat themselves and give up a pin or technical fall, Solon head coach Tony DiGiovanni said.
"Those are matches where we're going to have to earn the win," he said. "I think, if anything, it probably made the victories a little bit sweeter."
At 113 pounds, Solon's Brandon Thompson won his second straight state title by defeating St. Edward's Alex Moore, 5-1.
At 145 pounds, Solon's Anthony Collica also won his second straight state title by defeating St. Edward's Markus Scheidel, 3-1.
At 160 pounds, Solon's Justin Kresevic, at the state meet for his first time, beat St. Edward's Jacob Davis, 3-1, in sudden-victory overtime during the third-place match.
Overall, the Comets went 13-1 in their bouts at the state tournament and finished fourth overall as a team with 64 points. They were edged by Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, which scored 65.5 points for third place.
St. Edward scored 223.5 points, and Massillon Perry was runner-up with 105.5 points.
At the 2011 state wrestling tournament, Solon also had two champions and a third-place finisher in Nate Hoff in the heavyweight division, but the Comets placed fifth as a team.
The fourth-place finish this year was outstanding, because it earns the Comets a banner in the high school gym, DiGiovanni said. "That's a pretty big deal to our kids, so it was great," he said.
Brandon Thompson, 113 pounds
After Thompson won the 103-pound weight class a year ago, everyone wanted to beat him, he said.
"This tournament was definitely tougher than last year," he said. "In the semifinals, I had to wrestle a state runner-up, and that was a tight match."
In that semifinals match, Brecksville's Aaron Assad, a transfer from Bedford Chanel, forced a 1-1 overtime before Thompson took him down and won, 3-1, with a sudden victory.
Leading up to that match, Thompson beat Marysville's David Sparks, 4-1, in the preliminary round and Centerville's Brendon Watson, 6-3, in the quarterfinals.
During his championship 5-1 victory against Moore, of St. Edward, Thompson was up, 4-1, entering the third period, when he escaped from the down position to increase his lead to 5-1.
At that point, Thompson did not just want to hold out for the win, he said. "I wanted to keep pressuring forward and keep trying to score," he said. "Winning the state championship again feels good. I don't really know how to explain it."
Anthony Collica, 145 pounds
After winning the 130-pound weight class a year ago, Collica was focused on wrestling one match at a time at this year's state tournament, he said. "I just kept the same attitude throughout the tournament," he said. "I just focused on putting up a lot of points and just winning."
Collica started out the tournament with pins against Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller's Dean Meyer in the first period of the preliminary round and Avon's Zane Zeman in the third period of the quarterfinals.
He then beat Cincinnati Anderson's Patrick Campbell with a 10-4 decision in the semifinals.
During Collica's championship match against St. Edward's Scheidel, there was a scoreless first period before Scheidel took a 1-0 lead with a second-period escape. Collica tied the match at 1-1 in the third with an escape of his own.
"And then with about 45 seconds left, I shot a double and caught him off balance and scored and held him off from there," Collica said about his 3-1 title win. "I just knew I had to finish the match strong and keep him down and ride hard and just win the match."
Justin Kresevic, 160 pounds
Out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and unable to work out all of last year did not deter Kresevic from making his mark at this year's state wrestling tournament. Neither did suffering a meniscus tear in his other knee earlier this season, not to mention a banged-up shoulder from the football season.
"It was great to just see everything pay off and just to leave on that mark," he said.
Kresevic beat Hilliard Darby's Matt Walker, 7-3, in the preliminary round before losing to St. Edward's Davis in a 4-3 overtime tiebreaker that went past the one-minute sudden-victory period.
In the consolation bracket, Kresevic traveled a tough road but went on to beat Cincinnati Colerain's Detuan Smith, 3-1, and Massillon Perry's Josh Arrendale, 5-4, before having to face Nico Graziani, of Youngstown Boardman.
Graziani beat Kresevic at both the sectional, 3-2, and district, 5-3, tournaments.
At states, the battle went through the one-minute sudden-victory overtime, went through the two 30-second tiebreaker overtime and into the final 30-second ultimate tiebreaker overtime.
Kresevic came out on top, 3-2, and advanced to the third-place match, where he would face St. Edward's Davis and try to evince his quarterfinals defeat.
Once again, Kresevic went into overtime against Davis, but this time it ended with a 3-1 sudden victory.
"I knew that I was in better shape than him," Kresevic said. "To go back and beat the St. Ed's kid in overtime was a great moment. I feel real accomplished like everything has paid off, and I'll step back and enjoy it for a little while before I go back to work."
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