Hudson wrestling takes title at Austintown sectional
Chris Motter wins 145-pound title for Explorers More
- by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor
Austintown -- Regarding his team's postseason opener at a Division I sectional tournament at Austintown-Fitch High School, Hudson head wrestling coach Joe Caniglia made it clear he was looking for big things.
"We had some pretty high expectations for the guys coming into this tournament," he said.
Suffice it to say, the Explorers met most of those expectations.
Hudson won the 12-team team title with 197.5 points. Walsh Jesuit took second with 156.5 points and Stow-Munroe Falls finished third (141.5). The sectional took place Feb. 27 and 28.
More importantly, the Explorers advanced eight wrestlers to a Division I district tournament in Mentor, which is scheduled to take place March 6 (5 p.m.) and 7 (10 a.m.).
The top four finishers in each weight class at Austintown advanced.
"I'm pretty pleased with what we've done," Caniglia said. "You always want to see as many guys as you can get out."
Hudson seized control of the tournament by advancing 11 wrestlers to the semifinals and sending five to the championship matches.
However, the Explorers finished with only one weight class champion: junior 145-pounder Chris Motter.
Given the No. 2 seed at 145 pounds, Motter defeated Boardman's Tyler Dempsey 15-8 and Stow's Joey Andrassy 12-5.
"Motter is healthy and she's showing what he can do," Caniglia said. "That was a very nice win against Andrassy in the semifinals."
In the final, Motter's match with Solon's Morgan Peterson was a back-and-forth affair. Motter earned an escape in the last 10 seconds of regulation, sending the match to overtime at 10-10.
After there were no points scored in sudden victory, Peterson was called for stalling twice in the tiebreaker round, which led to Motter winning 12-11.
"I faced [Peterson] at NOCs and it was a close match there," Motter said. "He had a bunch of funky defensive moves. It's a terrible feeling knowing he's not doing anything and still scoring. I just had to stay aggressive."
However, Hudson lost its other four title matches.
At 113 pounds, freshman Dietrich Boysel looked excellent until running into Stow's state qualifier Kyle Jenkins in the final. Jenkins won the final 3-1.
Caniglia noted he felt that sophomore 138-pounder Nathan Szoch was "peaking at the right time," but Szoch was unable to get anything going against top-seeded Keith Griffin of Ashtabula Lakeside in the final. Szoch lost a 6-1 decision.
In another No. 1 vs. No. 2 seed match, Explorers' 152-pounder Billy Buehl had his chances against Boardman's Mario Graziani, but Graziani was able to pull out a 7-4 win.
Finally, 195-pounder Michael Delsanter also faced a top seed in the final. He lost an 11-6 decision to Chardon's Devin Johnson.
Advancing via the consolation bracket, Hudson 132-pounder Ben Boysel was able to take third place, beating Stow's Anthony Valore 5-2 in the third-place match.
Freshman 106-pounder Mason Coleman and junior 220-pounder Danny Baka each took fourth place to advance.
On the negative side, Caniglia lamented the fact 120-pounder Chris Owsley, 160-pounder Simon Turner and 182-pounder Ben Krizman all had to settle for alternative places after starting the day Feb. 28 in the semifinals.
Owsley and Krizman each took fifth place at Austintown, while Turner had to settle for sixth.
Caniglia was quick to point out his team's performance means nothing as it heads to Mentor.
"We could have several guys going on to states or we could end up with zero," Caniglia said. "It all depends on us being aggressive and working hard through next weekend."