by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor
On the first evening of the Division I state wrestling team tournament, Hudson made a statement that it belongs among the better teams in Northeast Ohio.
Now, the Explorers might get a shot to wrestle Ohio's most decorated team.
Hudson was given the No. 7 seed in Region 3-B of the Division I tournament and traveled to North Royalton Jan. 23.
The Explorers shut out No. 10 seed Normandy 65-0 in the first match of the evening.
However, Hudson then defeated the second seeded Bears 36-32, avenging a 38-31 loss to North Royalton from earlier this season.
As a result, the Explorers advanced to the regional semifinals, which is scheduled to take place Jan. 30 at St. Edward High School in Lakewood.
Hudson is set to face No. 3 seed North Olmsted Jan. 30. The winner will face the winner of the St. Edward-Olmsted Falls match later that evening.
The match against the Invaders was a complete rout as the Explorers won all 14 bouts.
Hudson got pins from 112-pounder Ben Boysel, 132-pounder Nate Gregory, 145-pounder Braden Wright, 195-pounder Danny Tiley, 220-pounder Dylan Carlson and heavyweight Peter Mougey.
At 182 pounds, Michael Delsanter got a forfeit win, while 160-pounder Michael Coleman scored an 18-3 technical fall.
Scoring decision wins against the Invaders wee 106-pounder Hadley Vadyak, 120-pounder Billy Buehl, 126-pounder Chris Motter, 138-pounder Brandon White, 152-pounder Sam Semenczuk and 170-pounder Ben Krizman.
While the shutout was excellent, the big test was North Royalton.
The match played out in a similar fashion to the two teams' first encounter with the Bears dominating the lower weights and Hudson winning the upper weights.
Each team managed seven individual bout wins as the Explorers won one more bout than the first time round.
That one more win took place at 106 pounds as Vadyak avenged an early loss with a 7-2 win over Atiyyah Herron.
However, North Royalton then won the next five matches, but Wright stopped the bleeding at 145 with a 7-3 win over Tristan Buckingham.
That victory was followed by four straight six-point victories for Hudson, which proved to be the turning point in the match.
At 152 points, Semenczuk pinned Cameron Mayell in 2 minutes, 26 seconds, followed by a pin in 1:52 by Coleman at 160.
After Krizman scored a forfeit win at 170, a pin by Tiley at in 1:44 at 182 pound gave the Explorers a 30-20 lead.
However, North Royalton didn't fold as 195-pounder Jake Vogler pinned Hudson's Gabe Vehar in 3:00, followed by a pin in 2:51 by Bears' 220-pounder Garret Snyder gave Royalton a 32-30 lead.
But the Explorers claimed victory when Mougey pinned Luke Senko in 1:11 in the heavyweight match.
Hudson was set to host Brunswick Jan. 24 in its final Northeast Ohio Conference River Division match. Results were not available at press time.
Aside from the regional semifinals, the Explorers are scheduled to participate in the Northeast Ohio Conference Tournament Feb. 1 and 2 at Garfield Heights.