By Ben Stroup
The Lawson brothers highlighted what was a sweet and sour second day of the OHSAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament for area standouts, punching a pair of tickets to today’s championship finals with solid semifinal wins Friday at OSU’s Schottenstein Center.
It was all sweet for the siblings.
Competing on mat 1 in back-to-back matches, Kyle Lawson (160) — a junior with a pair of Division II championships as a member of St. Paris Graham Local already under his belt — was the first of the two to take the stage … and he dominated.
Things were tight early, but he was never in too much trouble, slowing padding his lead on the way to an eventual 7-2 win over Lakewood St. Edward’s Michael Carpenter. With the win, Kyle Lawson will take on Wadsworth’s Joey Baughman, a 5-2 winner over Cincinnati Oak Hills’ Dylan Roth, for the right to claim his third straight state championship.
The younger Trevor Lawson (170), a sophomore, will be competing in his first state championship match after holding off Massillon Jackson’s Victor Marcelli 3-2 in the semis to secure his spot. He’ll be up against Pickerington Central senior Joseph Terry, who beat Westerville North’s Brandon Goldsmith 7-5 in the other semifinal, for the right to stand on the top of the podium. Trevor Lawson picked up a thrilling 3-2 ultimate tiebreaker win over Terry to take top honors at last weekend’s district tournament in Hilliard.
Hayes senior Greg Brusco (152) and Liberty junior Brakan Mead (106), meanwhile, left Friday’s action with a sour taste in their mouths.
Brusco, the Pacers’ all-time winningest wrestler and a four-time state qualifier with a pair of fourth-place finishes to his credit, pinned Barberton’s Gary Wokojance in 2:27 to reach the state semis for the second straight season. Once there, though, he saw Brunswick junior Nick Kiussus use a late reverse to flip a tight battle into an 8-2 win.
The setback sent Brusco to the consolation bracket, where he will take on Fairfield’s Andrew Sams in the semifinals.
Mead, who nabbed state runner-up honors at last year’s state championships, suffered a similar semifinal fate. He lost a late lead before Brecksville-Broadview Heights freshman Gabriel Tagg rallied for a 6-4 sudden victory.
Mead will take on Fairfield’s Zach Shupp in today’s consolation semifinal for the right to compete in his weight classes’ third-place match.
Three other local standouts will be in action on the final day, too, meaning half of Delaware County’s 14 state qualifiers survived the first two days. Liberty freshman Connor Brady beat Maple Heights’ Andre Stowers 9-3 to advance to today’s consolation semifinal, Patriot junior Trey Grenier did the same with a 10-1 win over Hudson’s Chris Motter and, in Division II, Buckeye Valley junior Wes Cochran used a pair of wins to keep his hopes of a third-place finish alive and well.
Cochran outlasted Canfield’s Mason Giordano 2-1 in a tiebreaker before pinning Mansfield Madison Comprehensive’s Sean Williams in 4:07 to move on to the consolation semifinals.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @aimmedianetwork.com