CLAYTON — Northmont’s varsity wrestling team advanced to the State Dual semifinal with victories Wednesday night over Stebbins 66-12 and Beavercreek 37-27 during the State Dual quarterfinals at Northmont High School.
The Thunderbolts had little difficulty disposing of Stebbins in the opening round before locking horns with Beavercreek, which defeated Butler in its first match of the evening.
Beavercreek forfeits at 106 pounds and 113 gave Luke Holloway and Terry Roth victories to put Northmont up 12-0 right out of the gate.
In the first contested match at 120 Chad Craft took a lead of 6-2 after the first round against Creek wrestler Collin Neuner. Craft went on to post a 10-2 major decision to extend the team lead to 16-0. Twin brother Chase Craft had similar success taking leads of 6-0 and 10-0 en route to a 10-0 major decision victory over James Claypool in the 126 pound match to extend Northmont’s lead to 20-0.
Beavercreek scored its first match win in the 132 pound match when Kody Konicki rallied from a 4-2 deficit after two rounds. Konicki scored an escape and in the finals seconds of the third round scored a reversal to score a 5-4 victory over Hunter Terrill.
The Beavers closed the gap to 20-9 when Ian Heiland won by a fall in 3:08 against Ezra Smith in the 138 pound match.
Northmont bounced back with Josh Winston (145) winning by a fall in 26 seconds against Lucas Turner to put the Thunderbolts up 26-9.
Beavercreek won the next match where Andrew Asencio (152) won by fall in 1:10 against Weston Hoening.
The Thunderbolts’ Solomon Miller (160) won an 11-9 decision over Reece Blackmore with 5 seconds remaining in overtime to give Northmont a 29-15 advantage.
The Beavers fought back with Max Towers (170) winning by a fall in 1:52 against Bryan Heyward.
The rough and tumble 182 pound match saw Northmonts’ Gabe Newburg score a 7-2 decision over a very tough Seth Rowling. The Thunderbolts were penalized one team point for unsportsmanlike conduct during that match as Northmont increased its lead to 31-21.
Dylan Moran (195) increased the lead to 34-21 by scoring a 3-1 decision against Josh Walls.
Beavercreek scored its final points of the night in the 220 match when Bradley Smith won by fall in 3:20 against Tim Sexton.
In the heavyweight match David Henson scored a 5-2 decision over David Hughes to make the final tally 37-27.
“I talked about in the last couple of weeks how we weren’t pushing the action and were lackadaisical,” said Northmont Coach Scott Newburg. “The last two days we talked about putting energy in the room and talked to our younger kids about finishing the season strong because we have six weeks to go. The freshmen are used to their season being over by now. We had two good practices the last two days with high energy and the kids working hard and Monday was probably one of the hardest practices we’ve had all season. The kids responded well and came back yesterday when we drilled them hard. We came out here today and I could just see a spark.”
Newburg pointed out that despite losing one match in the final seconds his wrestlers also won three or four matches in the closing seconds, which proved to him that his team took all their matches seriously unlike some of the performances in recent weeks.
“That’s what I like to see,” Newburg said. “We practice to wrestle at opponents all the time and tonight I thought we brought it back up to that level.”
When it was pointed out that the coaching staff also seemed to lack its typical fire and brimstone the last few weeks, Newburg acknowledged that having the coaching staff fired up during a match seems to also make a difference.
“Yes, it does help,” he added. “You know, the last two matches it was hard to get fired up. Tonight I knew this was a match we could win or lose. The other ones I knew that even if we didn’t wrestle well we really didn’t have a chance to lose because of opponents’ forfeits, so it was hard for me to get up for those matches. With the situation tonight going against an almost full team, it got my blood boiling again even though I am a 57-year-old man.”
The State Dual semifinal will be held on Wednesday, February 3 at a location to be announced.
Chad Craft (120 pounds) scored a 10-2 major decision against Beavercreek’s Collin Neuner.
Chase Craft (126 pounds) scored a 10-0 major decision over James Claypool.
David Henson won the heavyweight match with a 5-2 decision against David Hughes.
Hunter Terrill (top) lost in the final seconds of his match against Kody Konicki.
Solomon Miller scores a take down against Reece Blackmore in the 160 pound match. Miller scored an 11-9 decision in overtime.