By Dan Gilles
Alas, both squads came home empty-handed.
Lutheran West had two wrestlers reach the championship match in their respective weight classes, but neither was able to win. The Longhorns wound up with five placers in the top four and finished eighth out of 12 teams with 81.5 points.
Fairview, competing in its first PAC Tournament after leaving the West Shore Conference, had only one finalist and four placers in the top four and finished 11th out of 12 teams with 66 points.
Fellow WSC defector Firelands actually finished with one more placer and one more point (67-66) than the Warriors, finishing 10th. Only Oberlin, with three points, finished lower than Fairview.
Lutheran West, Fairview, Firelands and Oberlin were the only teams that did not have an individual champion at this year’s tournament, which was won by Buckeye.
Bryce Deblock (113) and Ryan Rusnak (126) each reached the championship match for the Longhorns. However, Deblock was pinned in 3:52 by defending state placer and two-time PAC champion Mike Hozan from Black River. Rusnak was defeated, 8-1, by Clearview’s Mike Hollingsworth.
Matt Wallace (106) was Fairview’s lone finalist. However, like Deblock, Wallace ran into a stellar Black River lightweight. This time, it was Sebastian Vidika who handed Wallace a 13-3 major decision defeat in the finals.
Tim Mecklenburg (106) and Andrew Liese (160) gave the Longhorns a pair of victories in the third-place matches in their respective weight classes.
Mecklenburg pinned Brooklyn’s Dominic Meehan in 1:40, while Liese scored a 9-1 major decision over Brookside’s Christian Quiles.
Lutheran West’s other placer was heavyweight Zach Prah.
Prah, who was pinned by eventual champion Sam Rodgers of Wellington in just seven seconds in the semifinals, pinned Columbia’s Mike Dyer in 1:49 to reach the consolation finals. However, he was pinned in 1:38 by Firelands’ Joe Dewitt.
Fairview’s Tyler Keating (182) and Kevin Thomas (195) each salvaged their team’s final round with a pair of victories in the third-place match.
Keating pinned Keystone’s Corbin Chizmadia in 4:52, and may have prevented the Wildcats from holding off Buckeye in the race for the team championship.
Thomas went to overtime with Firelands’ Caton Wilson, but got a takedown to score a 3-1 victory.
Mahmoud Awad (138) was Fairview’s other placer in the top four. Awad was pinned in 2:56 by Buckeye’s Andrew Kisiday – one of the Bucks’victories in a 7-0 performance in the final round that gave them the team championship.
Fairview, at Division II, will compete in the Medina Sectional this Friday and Saturday. Lutheran West, at Division III, will compete in the Brooklyn Sectional.