COLUMBUS — The Wadsworth wrestling team doesn’t find itself paying homage to other teams very often.
Sunday was one of the exceptions.
The fifth-seeded Grizzlies opened the Division I State Duals against fourth-seeded Elyria and left 90 minutes later on the wrong side of a 46-20 quarterfinal loss.
“They’re a great team and well-coached,” Wadsworth coach Clay Wenger said. “You can see it. Coach Erik Burnett and Jack Gillespie, those are top-line guys. I have the most respect for them. You can see their coaching carries out to the mat.”
That was evident in the results, as the Pioneers (13-1) recorded 10 wins. Five came via pin, with two technical falls added to the mix.
Luke Baughman (138 pounds), Jacob Walsh (145), Michael North (152) and Zach Linn (285) were the only winners for Wadsworth (13-3).
“We just can’t be giving up bonus points,” Baughman said. “We gave up way too many pins, and it hurt us a lot. They’re a really good team. They’re coached really well, and they’re hammers on top. We need to work on bottom because that was embarrassing.”
Things got away from Wadsworth early, as every swing match went to Elyria.
Junior high state champion Peyton Fenton outlasted Wadsworth junior high state placer Mason Brugh 3-0 at 106.
Bryce Allison knocked off Grizzlies state qualifier Mikey Lewerchick 9-4 at 113, and multi-time junior high state placer Nate Burnett beat Wadsworth state placer Landen Hacker 2-1 at 120. Two-time state placer Dylan Shawver then pinned Hunter Griffith and Mick Burnett won by technical fall over Logan Scandlon.
That made it 20-0 before Baughman took the mat.
“Man, winning the first five weights was key,” Mick Burnett said. “When we wrestled them a couple years ago, we got off to that same fast start and ended up winning the dual.
“With (Fenton) winning and (Allison) winning and then (Nick Burnett) winning a huge match, that’s what brings the momentum to me and (Shawver) to let us do our things. That put us in a good position the rest of the match up 20-0. After that, we just kind of let it fly. They made some adjustments, we made some adjustments and it worked out in our favor.”
The Grizzlies didn’t give up with Baughman, Walsh and North winning. Baughman outlasted state placer Matt Zuckerman 4-2 in overtime, while Walsh and North picked up pins to shrink the lead to six.
Elyria rushed back out to a comfortable lead and never let up.
“We were expecting a couple of wins at the beginning, for sure,” North said. “It’s tough to come back from 20-0. Some people started getting down and started doubting and we fell from there. That’s the best team we’ve faced by far. You can’t make any mistakes on them.”
Wadsworth has no time to feel bad. The Grizzlies travel to Brecksville this weekend for the Suburban League Tournament. It’s on to sectional, district and state after that.
“It’s really important now that it’s getting close to (the individual state tournament),” Walsh said. “We just have to keep grinding and keep getting better.”
Elyria 46, Wadsworth 20
106: Peyton Fenton (E) d. Mason Brugh, 3-0; 113: Bryce Allison (E) d. Mikey Lewarchick, 9-4; 120: Nate Burnett (E) d. Landen Hacker, 2-1; 126: Dylan Shawver (E) p. Hunter Griffin, :47; 132: Mick Burnett (E) t.f. Logan Scandlon, 16-0; 138: Luke Baughman (W) d. Matt Zuckerman, 4-2, OT; 145: Jacob Walsh (W) p. Izzak Pedrazza, 1:29; 152: Michael North (W) p. Dillon Hendricks, 3:15; 160: Enrique Munguia (E) p. Dom Loparo, 3:31; 170: Jake Evans (E) d. Jon List, 4-2; 182: Ben Doehr (E) t.f. Logan Shiarla, 16-1; 195: Lewis Anguilar (E) p. Jamisen Jackson, 2:26; 220: Andrew Levis (E) p. Mason Beal, 1:07. 285: Zach Linn (W) p. Alexander Lowery, 4:22. Note: Wadsworth deducted team point. Records: Wadsworth (13-3), Elyria (13-1).