MEDINA — Brunswick’s Brett Thomas has been making quick work of opponents this season.
That trend continued Friday night, as the 126-pound senior won all three of his bouts by pin to secure a spot in today’s semifinals of the 39th Medina Invitational Tournament.
Thomas was one of nine Medina Countians to reach the semis, while 25 others are alive in the consolation bracket.
“It was just about being physical,” Thomas said. “It’s a great feeling just getting on and off the mat and getting work done.”
That’s been the theme of the All-Gazette selection’s season, as Thomas is 19-0 and hasn’t had anything worse than a major decision.
On Friday, he pinned his first two opponents in a combined 2:25 and then took down Oak Harbor’s Jake Huston in his quarterfinal match in 1:49.
Thomas, the fifth seed, will battle top-seeded David Bavery of Massillon Perry in semifinal action.
“I think it’s about all around being aggressive, always going for points and not waiting for them to make a move on me,” he said. “I didn’t expect it be that easy, but this is what I’ve been working for, so it’s kind of expected.”
Thomas was one of four Blue Devils to qualify for the semis, joining Ethan Rivera (113 pounds), Josh Heil (120) and Nicky Kiussis (132).
The top seed in the 120-pound bracket, Heil came out of the gate with a dominating pin and followed with two decisions — 4-1 and a 1-0 squeaker over Mike Stewart of Sparta Highland — that left a bitter taste in his mouth.
“I just didn’t get my offense going on my feet, and that led to close matches,” said Heil, who will face fifth-seeded Damian Short of Archbold in the semifinals. “Winning is nice, but I’d rather dominate. But it is what it is, and I just have to look forward to (today).”
A pair of Brunswick freshmen in Rivera and Kiussis made the most noise, keeping their tournament alive in the championship bracket. Rivera beat the No. 6 seed (Willard’s Juan Estrella) and No. 3 seed (Richmond’s Aaron Kilburn) to move on.
His win over Kilburn, who was third at the Michigan state meet last year, was impressive, as he had to hold on in the closing seconds for a 5-3 decision.
“I just had to keep fighting and keep moving my feet,” Rivera said of the final seconds. “It was too much time. I had to keep circling and staying low.”
Kiussis, a junior high state champ last year, shocked the MIT crowd by shutting out top-seeded Nick Durieuz of Westerville North 7-0 and then rallying from an early deficit to beat Jason Ferguson of Pickerington North.
“After my first match, I think I started to get warmed up and hit my moves better,” Kiussis said. “I just used technique (on Durieuz). He was pretty strong, but I got him.
“Now I get to eat and come back fresh.”
Like Brunswick, Wadsworth has four wrestlers in semifinal action, as Noah Baughman (106), Darrin Gilkerson (126), Robbie Bosley (152) and Tim Knipl (170) posted 3-0 records.
Like Rivera, the unranked Gilkerson dismissed the No. 3 seed (Evan Toth of Detroit Catholic Central) and No. 6 seed (Zach Garrett of Hilliard Darby) with hard-fought decisions.
“He’s just getting more confidence,” Grizzlies coach John Gramuglia said of his 126-pounder. “He’s getting his offense together and he’s finally down to his weight after wrestling at 132, so he feels a lot stronger.”
After a pair of pins, Bosley capped his day with a 6-5 decision over fifth-ranked Kenny Price of Archbold, while Knipl held off Hoover’s Tyler Maloy for a 5-4 victory. Both will take on the top seed in their respective weight classes today.
Baughman was also efficient, posting a decision over St. Edward’s Alan Hart, who was a placer at the Ironman Tournament earlier this month, and a pin against West Holmes’ Cody Woods to set up a match with top-seed Tyler Warner of Claymont, a defending state champ.
The victory over Hart was one Baughman felt set the tone for the day.
“When you beat a competitor like that, it kind of gets you rolling,” the sophomore said. “I wrestled well and that carried on to my second match.
“(Today’s) match is going to be a big one, but I just have to take it one match at a time, keep advancing and wrestle tough.”
CVCA senior and Brunswick resident Tyler McClellan came out of the gate with a pin and a major decision before beating No. 6 seed Mike O’Malley of St. Edward 7-0.
Second-day action starts at 10 a.m., with the championship semifinals at 12:30 p.m. Finals begin at 6 p.m. with the 103-pound weight class.
Medina has five wrestlers alive — Alex Defraine (126), Zach Defraine (145), Zach Priebe (160), Alex Sadowski (170) and Austin Peak (182) — in consolation action.
Buckeye and Cloverleaf each have three. The Bucks’ Eric Bartos (106), Kyle Fowler (132) and Mike Keith (138) will compete today, along with Greg Briggs (120), Anthony Kozma (138) and Connor Carneal (160) for the Colts.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDINA — Results Friday from the 39th annual Medina Invitational Tournament at Medina High School.
Team standings: 1. Massillon Perry 121, 2. St. Edward 109, 3. Detroit Catholic Central (Mich) 108, 4. Claymont 101, 5. Wadsworth 82½, 6. Brunswick 75, 7. Perkins 74, 8. Richmond (Mich.) 68½, 9. Lexington 66, 10. Jackson 58½, 11. Westerville North 56½, 12. Oak Harbor 52, T-13. Olentangy, Pickerington North 51½, 15. Rootstown 49, 16. Lancaster 47½, 17. Bedford 45, 18. Central Crossing 43, 19. Archbold 42, 20. New Lexington 41, 21. Hilliard Darby 40½, 22. North Canton Hoover 39, 23. Olmsted Falls 38, 24. Indian Lake 37, 25. Riverside 25, 26. Hudson 32½, 27. West Holmes 31, T-28. CVCA, Upper Arlington 29½, 30. Medina 29, 31. Willard 26½, 32. Napoleon 22, 33. CLOVERLEAF 21½, 34. Northwestern 20, T-35. Buckeye, Highland, Beavercreek 18, 38. Clear Fork 13, 39. Wellington 12, T-40. Liberty-Benton, North Royalton 11, 42. Lutheran West 8, 43. Groveport-Madison 7, 44. Sparta Highland 4.
106—Tyler Warner (Clay) vs. Noah Baughman (Wad); Tommy Genetin (Per) vs. Bruce Hrynciw (OH). 113—Dustin Warner (Clay) vs. L.J. Bentley (St. E); Ethan Rivera (Bru) vs. Seth Beard (Nap). 120—Josh Heil (Bru) vs. Damian Short (Arch); Jake Newhouse (Per) vs. Tyler Sarreshteh (L-B). 126—David Bavery (Per) vs. Brett Thomas (Bru); Darrin Gilkerson (Wad) vs. Joshua Wilmer (CC). 132—Nicky Kiussis (Bru) vs. Major Moore (Wil); Justyn Bostic (Jack) vs. Hunter Ladnier (St. E). 138—Nick Burg (Rich) vs. Nick Boggs (Riv); Myles Amine (DCC) vs. Cody Burcher (Clay). 145—Malik Amine (DCC) vs. Tanner Miller (Lanc); Austin Vannatter (Rich) vs. Logan Day (Arch). 152—Devin Skatzka (Rich) vs. Robbie Bosley (Wad); Nick Bennett (DCC) vs. Casey Sparkman (Per). 160—Michael Coleman (Hud) vs. Zack Ladich (Root); Cody Pollitt (Olen) vs. Tony Dailey (Per). 170—Drew Garcia (DCC) vs. Tim Knipl (Wad); Isaac Bast (Per) vs. L.J. Henderson (IL). 182—Travis Linton (Root) vs. Gabe Dzuro (St. E); Nate Hall (Olen) vs. Drew Kasper (Lex). 195—Nick Giese (DCC) vs. Bailey Faust (Lex); Tyler Maclellan (CVCA, Brunswick resident); Jake McKiernan (Rich). 220—Andy Struttman (WN) vs. Travis Jaramillo (Arch); Garrett Snyder (NR) vs. Garrett Harding (Clay). 285—Jordan Lee (OF) vs. Mat Hunter (Nwn); Geno Rollo (PN) vs. Ralph Nichols (St. E).
County residents still alive in consolation bracket
106—Eric Bartos (Buck); Justin McNeely (Bru). 113 — Brandon Randolph (Wad). 120 — Connor Gray (Wad), Greg Briggs (Clo). 126 — Alex Defraine (Med); Parker Moffa (High). 132 — Brandon Linder (High); Kyle Fowler (Buck); Devon Gilkerson (Wad). 138 — Jordan Schleigh (Wad); Mike Keith (Buck), Anthony Kozma (Clo). 145 — Zach Defraine (Med). 152 — Eddie Rininger (High); Ray Floyd (Bru). 160 — Shane Mast (Wad); Zach Priebe (Med), Connor Carneal (Clo). 170 — Mike Bekeny (Bru); Alex Sadowski (Med). 182 — Austin Peak (Med), Alex Carrell (Wad). 195 — Clayton Brandenburg (Wad). 220 — None. 285 — Jeremy Randolph (Wad).