CLAYTON — In a hotly contested match Saturday between two of the area’s top wrestling teams the Vandalia-Butler Aviators came from behind to score a 39-30 victory at Northmont.
Tempers flared throughout the evening with coaches from both teams conferencing with the official over calls, or non-calls, during several of the matches. Northmont was slapped with a reprimand late in the match for a comment that came from the area of the bench. After the match, Assistant Coach Jonah Newburg and Head Coach Scott Newburg both exchanged words with someone standing behind the Butler bench who was neither a wrestler nor a coach. It was that kind of night.
With Northmont leading 30-21 after 11 matches the Aviators finished strong with three consecutive pins to secure a 39-30 come-from-behind victory.
Bailey Suddeth started the rally by pinning Logan Jacobs in 3:05 in the 132 pound match. Michael Cypher, who was trailing Ezra Smith 4-0 in the 138 pound weight class match, came back to pin Smith in 4:40 to put the Aviators on top 33-30. Jestin Love made it a trifecta of pins by pinning Northmont’s Hunter Terrill in 3:59 in the 145 pound match to secure the overall match victory for Butler.
In the 120 pound match Ronnie Pietro, a state qualifier last year for Dayton Christian who transferred to Butler gave Northmont state qualifier Chad Craft (41-1) all he could handle. Craft narrowly scored a 2-1 victory over Pietro.
“We knew it was going to be a tough match,” said Butler Coach Mark Peck. “Pietro is pretty tough. We have three kids that live in our district that came over from Dayton Christian the last two years and Pietro is one of them. He is a two-time state placer, so we knew it was going to be good match between him and Chad Craft.”
As far as his team’s comeback and the overall atmosphere, Peck noted the obvious.
“It was entertaining,” Peck said. “Dual meets are great. I love dual meets. I think we have an opportunity to have a good season as long as we continue to work hard and improve. We still have a lot of work to do. It’s still early in the season and guys aren’t really in the right weight classes at this point, and I’m sure it’s the same way with Northmont. Their kids might not be in the right classes either. We are just trying to get better every day.”
The evening started out with Weston Hoening scoring a 14-6 major decision over Butler’s Brent Forbes in the 152 pound match to give Northmont a 4-0 lead.
Butler took the lead when Mason Motter pinned Josh Winston in 5:57 in the 160 pound match to put the Aviators up 6-4.
Butler increased its lead to 12-4 when Nick Coyle (170 pounds) pinned Northmont’s Fouad Saleh in 1:31.
The Thunderbolts picked up three points when Gabe Newburg scored a 5-2 decision over Ethan Cyrette in the 182 pound match.
Butler forfeited at 195 pounds to give Northmont a 13-12 lead.
In the 220 pound match Dylan Moran scored a 21-10 major decision over Dylan Sager to increase the Thunderbolts’ lead to 17-12. Despite the score Sager put Moran on is back twice and could have pulled off the victory with a little luck.
Butler forfeited at heavyweight as Northmont’s lead swelled to 23-12, but Northmont forfeited at 106 pounds to make the 23-18.
Logan Hoskins scored a 5-3 decision over Northmont’s Andrew Knick in the 113 pound match to cut the Thunderbolts’ lead to 23-21. Pietro then battled Chad Craft hard but lost 2-1 as Northmont took a 26-21 advantage.
Chase Craft scored a 9-0 major decision over Butler’s Josh Suddeth to earn the final points of the evening for Northmont before Butler scored three consecutive pins at 132, 138 and 145 pounds to earn the win.
“I have a lot of respect for Mark Peck,” said Northmont Coach Scott Newburg. “We have been coaching against each other for 25 years now. We both love beating each other and we’ve had the upper hand the last couple of years, but I know that they have a good team this year. Every match was contested pretty much through the third period tonight and it just came down to use losing a couple of matches at the very end by getting pinned and that’s what put them over the top. Butler has a good team and we have a good team too. Give us another month and maybe the decision is a little different, but we will move on.”
Even with the loss Newburg was happy with his team’s overall performance.
“I was pleased with the way most of our kids wrestled,” he added. “We talked about intensity and about going the full six minutes and not giving up bonus points and scoring bonus points because that’s what these types of matches come down to is major decisions, technical falls and falls. That’s what it came down to. They had three more pins than we did and they beat us by nine points.”
Butler will host Miami East, Sidney and Stebbins on Thursday, December 8 at 6 p.m. and on Saturday will travel to Cincinnati Oak Hills for a dual match at 10 a.m.
Northmont travels to Michigan to face Brighton High School on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday will participate in the Howell High School Highlander Invitational at 9 a.m.