by Michael Leonard
Garfield Heights -- In a season that has been full of solid performances, the Hudson wrestling team produced another one at the Northeast Ohio Conference Tournament Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Garfield Heights.
For the third straight year, the Explorers finished fifth with 123 points. Hudson senior Michael Coleman was the Explorers' lone individual champion after he won the 160-pound weight division.
Brunswick repeated as team champion with 252.5 points, while Elyria was the runner-up with 214.5 points.
Hudson head coach Joe Caniglia said he was pleased with his team's effort as the Explorers had five wrestlers reach the podium.
"Our kids have wrestled hard, no matter who they are facing," Caniglia said. "You get into a tournament like this and you've got to be ready to go in every match. It's a good tune-up for sectionals."
Given the No. 1 seed at 160 pounds, Coleman dominated his first two opponents, pinning Valley Forge's Aaron Smith in 31 seconds and Solon's Traci Wilson in 1:04.
In the semifinals, Coleman was dominant in terms of riding time, but North Royalton Came Mayell seemed determined not to give up anything big. Coleman beat Mayell 3-0.
"It's hard to wrestle when the guy you're wrestling is just out there trying to block everything," Caniglia said. "He just was patient and looked for his openings. He took it when they came."
The 160-pound final was a much more open affair as Coleman was able to get his offense going against Garfield Heights' David Celinski. Coleman won a 10-2 major decision to take the title.
Elsewhere, the Explorers had one other semifinalist in 132-pound sophomore Chris Motter.
Motter was given the top seed and pinned his first two opponents, sticking Shaker Heights' James Callahan in 3:56 and Parma Normandy's Mike Ryan in 5:14.
In the semifinals, Motter fell by an 8-3 score to eventual champion Nick Kuissis of Brunswick.
Motter rebounded with a 21-5 technical fall over Garfield's Floyde Samidan, followed by a 6-4 win over Solon's Chris Wymer in the third-place match.
Hudson had two other third-place finishers come through the consolation brackets.
At 182 pounds, Ben Krizman claimed third place with a 3-0 win over Brunswick's Mike Bekeny.
At 195 pounds, Hudson's Michael Delsanter scored a 5-1 win over Brunswick's Dean Warchak in the third-place match.
The Explorers' final placer was Billy Buehl, who took fourth place at 138 pounds. Buehl lost 3-1 to North Royalton's Morgan Dane Morgan in the third-place match.
Hudson's regular season is over. The Explorers are scheduled to open their postseason run Feb. 14 (3:45 p.m.) and 15 (10 a.m.) at the Division I sectional tournament at Austintown Fitch High School.