by Michael Leonard
Macedonia -- Last year, Hudson head coach Joe Caniglia rated the inaugural Division I state dual meet tournament as the turning point for his team.
The Explorers made it all the way to the regional semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Lakewood St. Edward.
Unfortunately, Hudson's state dual-meet run lasted only one night this year.
Given the No. 3 seed in the Division I, Region 3-A bracket, the Explorers paid a visit to Nordonia High School in Macedonia Jan. 22 to open the tournament.
Hudson started well, dominating Green by a score of 54-17 in its opening match.
However, against second-seeded Nordonia, the Explorers fell 38-18.
Hudson's dual meet record stood at 12-3 as of press time.
Caniglia said he knew the Knights would be a major challenge.
"Everybody knew that Nordonia was great team," he said. "I thought we wrestled well. I though we'd be competitive in six weight classes. We won six matches and were competitive in some others."
In the match with Green, the Explorers benefited from 30 points worth of forfeits as the Bulldogs had no wrestlers at 106, 160, 170, 195 and 285 pounds, respectively.
Hudson got a pin from Nate Szoch in 3 minutes, 58 seconds at 132 pounds, a 16-0 technical fall from Ben Boysel at 126 and a 15-2 major decision win from Billy Buehl (138) against the Bulldogs.
The Explorers also got decision wins from Braden Wright (145), Simon Turner (152) and Ben Krizman (182).
The key to the Nordonia match was bonus points. All six of Hudson's wins against the Knights came by decision, which is worth three points apiece.
By contrast, Nordonia scored four pins (six points apiece) one technical fall (five points) and one major decision (four points), along with two decision wins.
The Knights set the tone in the match's first bout, when Andrew Coghill pinned Hudson's Christian Owsley in 1:34 at 113 pounds. That was followed by a tight 9-8 win by Nordonia Matt Seleman over Kyle Minore at 120.
Hudson then scored three straight wins to tie the match.
At 126 pounds, the Explorers' Ben Boysel won 12-9 over Adrian Belli.
At 132 pounds, Hudson's Chris Motter scored a 9-5 win Nordonia's Nick Collica.
Then at 138 pounds, the Explorers Billy Buehl scored a very tight 2-1 win over Jake Urich. Both of Buehl's points came due to stalling calls.
Knights' state qualifier Mikey Decesare attempted to avenge Urich's loss by beating Hudson Braden Wright at 145. Decesare won 18-6.
The Knights then got a key pin in a toss-up match as Jacob DeJesus pinned Hudson's Simon Turner in 3:49 at 152.
Explorers' All-Ohioan Michael Coleman scored a 6-0 win over Ryan Taylor at 160, but Nordonia answered with another pin from Anthony Perrine, who stuck Hudson's Eric Terry in 45 seconds at 170.
Hudson got two straight wins when Krizman beat John Iannetta 10-3 and Michael Delsanter squeezed out a 4-3 win over Nick Bina at 195.
The wins cut Nordonia's lead to 24-18, but that would be as close as the Explorers got.
Nordonia All-Ohioan Alex Woicehovich made quick work of Danny Baka, pinning him in 47 seconds at 220.
Then, a third-period takedown by Knights' heavyweight Alec Camelli won him his bout with Dylan Carlson and clinched the match for the Knights.
Nordonia Cam Duvall completed the match with a 16-1 technical fall over Hudson's Nicci Polifrone at 106.
The Explorers were set to host Stow Jan. 24, but results were not available at press time.
Hudson is scheduled to compete at the Northeast Ohio Conference Tournament Jan. 31 (4 p.m.) and Feb. 1 (10 a.m.) at Garfield Heights High School.