The Olentangy wrestling team is headed to its first Division I Dual Team Tournament regional semifinal, but host Hayes certainly made it earn its ticket.
After cruising past seventh-seeded Springboro in the first round, the Braves got huge wins from freshman Corey Hill and sophomore Colton Doup down the stretch to seal a 34-33 Region 6 quarterfinal win over the Pacers, who beat Tecumseh 57-18 in their opener, Wednesday in Delaware.
“They were all good matches,” Olentangy coach Dennis Lyberger said of the showdown with Hayes. “We got a big win at 170 from a freshman, got a couple pins … it was just a hard-fought battle. Both teams competed.
“We gave up things that you can’t give up if you want to win duals, but we did more good than bad.”
Hill fell behind Hayes junior Zane Hypes 2-0, but evened things up with a momentum-changing takedown on the way to a 6-3 win to put the Braves up 25-21 with four matches to go.
Hayes senior Carter Davidson pinned Ethan Robinson at 182 to put his team back on top, 27-25, but Doup had an answer, beating freshman Tyler David 8-3 at 195 to make it a 28-27 match.
The back-and-fourth battle continued when Pacer senior Max Wright pinned Michel Rosales Flores in 1:06 at 220, but a forfeit win in the heavyweight division gave the Braves the one-point victory.
“We had some injuries this year — three elbow injuries — and were a little thin tonight,” Hayes coach Josh Heffernan said. “It is what it is, but the seniors did what seniors are supposed to do and our younger guys made small improvements. They wrestled hard … they’re just a little inexperienced.”
Olentangy padded its point total with three pins — Jacob Sherman in 1:05 at 113, Brady Pathel in 1:06 at 132 and Alexander Gore in 1:00 at 145. Max Hall also picked up a win for the Braves, beating Corbin May 14-5 at 152.
Pacer standouts, other than Wright and Davidson, included Zach Raquepaw, who pinned Caleb Wester in 4:24 at 120; Zach Williams, who handled Nick Varanelli 4-1 at 126; James White IV, who outlasted Avery Flanagan 14-11 at 138; and Jake Henley, who slipped past Brice Kade 7-6 at 160.
Other Region 6 quarterfinal winners included Hilliard Darby, Dublin Coffman and Marysville, which beat Olentangy Orange 65-15.
Orange beat Dublin Jerome 69-3 in its opener. Cole Jackson (106), Rocco Torio (120), Mike Monago (132), Tristan Bluntschly (145), Jimmy Sensibaugh (170), Adam Kreutzer (195) and Zach Stevenson (285) each picked up pins.
Monago and Bryce Houston picked up wins against the Monarchs, Monago by a 6-0 decision and Houston via a pin at 220.
Host Big Walnut doubled up New Albany 48-24 in its first-round matchup, but fell to Watkins Memorial 61-15 in the Region 5 quarterfinal Wednesday in Sunbury.
Big Walnut got pins from Bailey Munday at 120, Cole Foster at 132, Ryan Colletta at 138, Carson Dearth at 152 and Luke Apple at 195 on the way to the lopsided win.
Points were harder to come by against the Warriors, though. Munday beat Alec Fulwider 17-2, Josh Halbakken pinned Brad Swearingen in 1:37 at 145 and Dearth beat Kevin Mullins 13-5 to smooth out BW’s scoring summary.
Buckeye Valley 2,217, Pleasant 1,854; Hilliard Bradley 1,930, Orange 1,680.
Buckeye Valley 1,887, Pleasant 1,651; Orange 1,867, Hilliard Bradley 1,838.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.