Pacers power into regional semifinals
By Ben Stroup email@example.com
Hayes picked up a pair of meaningful wins earlier this week, overwhelming Westerville Central 64-3 before powering past Olentangy Orange 49-24 during Wednesday’s OHSAA Division I Dual Team Tournament regional quarterfinals (Region 5-B) in Delaware.
With the wins, the Pacers advance to take on Westerville North in next week’s regional semis.
“I’m proud of our wrestlers in that they keep winning even when not at 100 percent,” Hayes coach Josh Heffernan said. “It’s a testament to their toughness and preparation. They come to practice every day ready to push to new limits … I don’t tell them enough what a joy it is to coach hard workers like them, but it is.
“As for the tournament, it’s exciting around school,” he added. “We’ve had tremendous support from administration, teachers and fellow students. There is a buzz that we have a championship team and people are excited.”
Among those who put the Pacers in position to advance were Max Wright (113), who pinned the Pioneers’ Robert Agyekum in 54 seconds; Ryan Craun (120), who pinned Michael McQueeney in 2:43; Raezel Garrett (138), who slipped past Logan Broskie 6-5; Nick Beyer (152), who knocked off Hayden Knapp 17-4; Raymond Simpson (160), who beat Connor Ryan 9-5; Chris Martinez (170), who pinned Hunter Knipp in 2:19; Shawn Johnson (182), who forced Emerson Milner to the mat in 1:30; Andrew Sierawski (22), who pinned Nick Lee in 1:09; and Derek Louck (285), who pinned Corey Erwin in 1:17 to pick up six important points.
Orange’s point producers included Grant Stewart (106), who cruised past Hayes’ Tommy Detunno 16-0; Nate Metzger (126), who edged Kaylee Cast 6-3; Michael Hines (132), who pinned Garrett Young in just 21 seconds; Alec Farmer (138), who pinned Brandyn Dydek in 3:46; and Lenn’s Kamba (195), who continued his solid senior season with a 15-3 win over Colton Richard.
Orange beat St. Charles 44-21 in the first quarterfinal of the evening.
In other Region 5-B action just down the road, Olentangy split its pair of D-I Dual Team Tournament regional showdowns in Lewis Center, dropping Upper Arlington 46-25 before falling to Westerville North 51-20.
Against the Golden Bears, Olentangy winners included Braden Held (120), who pinned Chris Chene in 3:42; Jared Wise (132), who pinned Zach Cartwright in 1:16; Max Hall (138), who handled Sam Beam 5-0; Kyler Slade (145), who knocked of Danny Tomaszewski 8-3; Cody Pollitt (160), who forced UA’s Santiago Barros to the mat in 1:33; Nate Hall (182), who beat Izak Wunderlich 16-6; Connor Slade (195), who pinned Alex Tapley in 3:35; Jimmy Elmurr (220), who pinned Nick Pavoni in just 1o seconds; and Chris Crumb (285), who picked up a forfeit win in the heavyweight division.
Jaydon Hill (106), Pollitt and Crumb were the only three Olentangy grapplers to nab wins in the loss to North. Hill beat McCade Pillow 5-0, Pollitt blanked Mason Pillow 17-0 and Crumb pinned Gage Archer in 4:12. Nate Hall picked up a forfeit win to smooth out the scoring.
North, which also beat Whetstone 84-0, will host Hayes in Wednesday’s regional semifinals in a battled of the top two seeds (North is No. 1 and Hayes No. 2) at 6 p.m. Third-seeded Lancaster will take fourth-seeded Teays Valley on the other side of the bracket, same time and place, with the winners of the two duals set to face one another in the finals 20 minutes following the conclusion of the semis.
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