Beaver Local pays back Minerva

ALLIANCE — The Beaver Local wrestling team avenged a loss from a year ago to Minerva with a 44-27 team win at the Ohio High School Athletic Association team wrestling tournament at Harry Fails Gymnasium.

The Beavers to advance to the regional semifinals to face Louisville at a place and time to be determined next Wednesday.

“Last year we knew we had a good chance, but after the OVAC we were tired out and had a hard time coming back,” Beaver Local’s Skyler Lasure said. “This year we carried our momentum from the OVAC’s and it felt great to get the win tonight.”

Beaver Local lost last year in the second round of the regional quarterfinal’s to Minerva 36-33.

“Every time we get a chance to wrestle Minerva it seems to be a battle,” Beaver Local coach Jordan Williams said. “It’s two good programs that love to wrestle and it makes for a great dual. It’s always great to come away with the win.”

The most decisive match of the night was Lasure picking up a 13-2 decision over Minerva’s Ethan Mueller in the 132-pound match.

In the second period of the match their was injury stoppage with Lasure up 7-1.

“I’m not sure but I felt something in my knee,” Lasure said. “I knew my team needed me and I needed to fight through to carry the momentum for my team.”

Beaver Local’s Beau Smith picked up a quick pin in 1:19 over Minerva’s Conner Fritz in a 152-pound match.

“I had a great week of practice,” Smith said. “Going out their and having a fast match can really give a huge momentum shift for my team.”

The Beaver team had that momentum throughout the dual.

“Our community loves wrestling,” Williams said. “It takes a lot to be good at wrestling and our kids do the right things. They our willing to put in the work and they want to go the extra mile to be great. It’s a fun thing to be apart of.”

Beaver Local’s Cole McComas, who was coming off an individual title at the OVAC tournament this past weekend, picked up a 12-1 major decision over Minerva’s Luke Chaddock in a 120-pound match.

“I didn’t have my best performance today but I am glad that I could put up some points for my team,” McComas said. “Giving my team the lead early on is something I wanted to do to motivate my team.”

Beaver Local picked up decisions or pinfalls in the seven of the first nine matches leading 38-6.

Minerva would than win by pin in four of the last five matches but would fall short in the end.

“We see Beaver all the time,” Minerva coach Chad Hilliard said. “We are going to be seeing them come eastern tournament time and we would like to flip some of the results in the middle weights to try and hang with them.”

“I have nothing but respect for that program and I look forward to hopefully seeing them make a push toward the state tournament.”

Minerva beat Marlington in the first round 48-16 to advance to face Beaver Local.

“We beat them in a dual last week,” Hilliard said. “The biggest match for us in that match was in the 195-pound match where we got a big pin.”

Also in first-round action, Salem lost to Louisville 75-4.

“This was not a good performance,” Salem coach Drew Hart said. “We have a lot of work to do. We are a young team and this is the biggest amount of kids we have seen come out in a while.”

The only Salem wrestler to get a decision was Billy Robinson getting a 14-2 decision over Louisville’s Jordan Thompson in the 145-pound match.

“We aren’t happy with what we did tonight,” Drew Hart said. “We are starting from scratch with a lot of these kids and trying to teach them the attitude. Creating more of a wrestling culture.”

Hart said his standout of this year was freshman Caiden Hart, who lost to Garett Lautzenheiser in a 19-4 decision in the 106-pound match but is 22-2 on the year.

“He is a young guy that shows a lot of promise,” Drew Hart said. “We need to keep working to get better as the year progresses.”

In the other second-round matchup, Louisville beat Alliance 40-25.

“We wrestled them earlier in the year but it’s going to be a solid dual,” Williams said. “They’ve got some guys that can move around in weight and we are going to have to make some adjustments going into this matchup.”

Beaver Local and Louisville will battle at 5 p.m. Wednesday at a site to be determined with the winner going on to face the winner of Canfield-West Branch.

“Overall we just need to wrestle solid,” Williams said. “We are going to working our butt off in the room and get our bodies healthy to be in good shape.”

Match notes

¯ The Marlington-Minerva dual lasted 30 minutes longer than the other two first-round matchups of Salem-Louisville and Alliance-Canal Fulton.

¯ Marlington’s two-time Northestern Buckeye Conference football player of the year and current Denver Bronco Dymonte Thomas was in attendance.

¯ At the Top Gun Tournament at Alliance two weeks ago, Louisville finished in 4th place with 144 points and Beaver Local finished in 15th with 82 points.