By Chad Grant
BROADVIEW HTS. — Both teams got something they needed in the Division I State Team Tournament Regional Final between top-seeded Brecksville and second-seeded Wadsworth on Wednesday.
Brecksville got a boost of confidence. Wadsworth got a wakeup call.
The Bees dominated from the opening bout and came away with a 47-15 victory earn a berth in Saturday’s state semifinals.
“I think what this tells me about tonight is that we are pretty tough,” Brecksville coach Todd Haverdill said. “We’ve been wrestling pretty good. We knew we were a pretty good team, but this was kind of a punch in the arm for us that we’re pretty tough.”
Behind the nationally ranked Assad brothers — Austin and Aaron — the Bees (9-0) set the tone early.
Austin earned a 14-3 major decision over Noah Baughman in the 106-pound opening match, and Aaron pinned Corey Riggenbach in 4:36 to win at 113.
“Those two kids are phenomenal,” Haverdill said. “I’m old school and I like starting at 106 with two studs like that. At a dual meet we don’t always do that, but the good thing about wrestling state duals is that you do. I don’t know if any coach could be happier than putting Austin Assad out there followed by his brother.”
The pin by Aaron Assad was the first of five matches by the Bees, who clinched the team win when 182-pounder Troy Lang earned a tough 3-2 decision over Tim Knipl.
“(Brecksville) is ready,” said Wadsworth coach John Gramuglia, whose team finished the dual season 13-2. “They are ready to go down there and, obviously, we weren’t. We were kind of like deer in the headlights tonight. But Brecksville has a great team this year and it was their gym and they were going to defend it.”
The match of the night took place at 138 pounds, when Wadsworth’s Mathias Zollinger and Brecksville’s Grayson Davis wrestled deep into the third period tied at 1.
Zollinger got a big takedown with 50 seconds left and held on for a 3-1 decision.
It was the second of four bouts Wadsworth won, as the Grizzlies got a reminder of what they would need to do to find their way as individuals at the state tournament.
Connor Gray earned a 5-2 decision over Matt Topoly at 120, Mitch Frisby knocked off Eddie Sternard 3-2 at 170 and Daryk Maki pinned Rich LeAnza in 2:37 at 285 to cap the match.
“It wakes us up,” Gramuglia said. “We’ll regroup and learn from it and wrestle harder the next time.”
Contact Chad Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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