MEDINA — If Logan Henderson feels like walking away from wrestling, there may be a spot for him on the baseball diamond.
The heavyweight has been quite the closer for Cloverleaf this season, and the senior proved that again Thursday in a 41-33 non-league win over Medina.
The scenario was simple: Win and the Colts (10-2) ruin the Bees’ senior night. Lose and Medina (9-4) takes the match by eliminating what was once a 24-point advantage. The Bees held the tiebreaker.
“I kind of just zone it out and go wrestle my match,” Henderson said. “I like being the closer. I just go and do everything I can to help my team win.”
With the team score 35-33 heading into heavyweight, Henderson was reversed by Bobby Johnson in the second period and scored an escape with 12.5 seconds left to trail by one heading into the third.
Henderson gave up a penalty point to Johnson early in the third and escaped shortly after to make it 3-2 with 1:26 left.
Pushing the action the rest of the period, he tied with 2.4 seconds remaining on a stalling call to force overtime. The extra session lasted 14 seconds before Henderson picked up the pin.
“He has been huge for us in that role,” Cloverleaf coach Mark Mole said. “He has to be one of the state leaders in scoring on the edge. He wrestles for six minutes all the time. He wrestles on the edge. He doesn’t relax and has come up big for us all season. I can’t wait to see what he does in the postseason.”
The atmosphere ebbed and flowed throughout, as pins by Kane Surrarrer (106), Jake Arnold (113), Kenny Jenkins (120) and Cade Cass (126) pushed the Colts to a 24-0 edge. Quentin Whitehill (132), Matt Hamula (145) and Ethan Silvis (160) countered for Medina, while Cloverleaf got wins from Cameron Arthur (138) and Joey Judson (152).
Brody Stallings (170) won for the Colts to make the score 35-15. Things got wacky when Cloverleaf gave up forfeit victories to Seth DiCola (182), Blake Chrisman (195) and Jacob Wolf (220).
That made it a two-point match and brought the fans to their feet.
“When you have a county matchup like this where the kids can get excited, it can only help,” Mole said. “While it’s not conference, every county matchup is huge. To feel that excitement, you hope to bottle that up and ride that into the postseason. Tough matchups are ahead. To win in matches like this, shows a lot.”
It also prepared Cloverleaf for the rest of a gigantic Portage Trail Conference match next week against Norton, as well as the Division II State Duals this weekend.
“It’s pretty big just to show we’re there against all teams,” Cass said. “Whether it’s a Division I team or Division II school, we’re against great competition. This atmosphere really gets you ready. We’re already in these big matches, and we know how it feels.”
The match could have gone the other way, but Medina gave up points near the end of matches that could have swung momentum further.
The Bees will hold onto that feeling as they prepares for the State Duals, Greater Cleveland Conference Tournament and postseason.
“It fuels the final fire a lot,” Silvis said. “It’s one that we should have won, in my opinion. It’s going to drive everyone to work harder and gut it out to win those close matches in the end.
“Everyone fought as hard as we could. It just didn’t go in our favor. Losses like these make you drive harder and practice harder.”
Medina won’t have much time to look back. The seventh-seeded Bees take on No. 10 North Royalton on Saturday at 9 a.m. to open the State Duals.
“Intensity is good,” Medina coach Chad Gilmore said. “We have to find a way to win instead of finding a way to lose. We’re a young team. We only have two starters back from last year. They’ve done a great job this year, but as the intensity increases, the outtake has to increase as well.”
Cloverleaf 41, Medina 33
106: Kane Surrarrer (C) p. Weston Weil, 2:18; 113: Jake Arnold (C) p. Gavin Kaine, 1:19; 120: Kenny Jenkins (C) p. Matt Rudolph, 1:12; 126: Cade Cass (C) p. Michael Thomas, 3:33; 132: Quentin Whitehill (M) t.f. Josh Dunn, 20-3; 138: Cameron Arthur (C) d. Trevor Petkovic, 7-6; 145: Matt Hamula (M) p. Austin Peterson, :35; 152: Joey Judson (C) p. Michael Hamula, 1:34. 160: Ethan Silvis (M) m.d. Anthony Norton, 13-2; 170: Brody Stallings d. Liam Brock, 8-2; 182: Seth DiCola (M) by ff; 195: Blake Chrisman (M) by ff; 220: Jacob Wolf (M) by ff; 285: Logan Henderson (C) p. Bobby Johnson, 6:14. Records — Cloverleaf (10-2), Medina (9-4). Note: Cloverleaf lost a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct.