By Rob Kiser
VERSAILLES — Covington wrestling coach Eric Vanderhorst knew it was going to take every strategic move he could make in the Buccaneers’ Division III regional quarterfinal match of the Region 24 State Team Duals Wednesday night.
And when the smoke had cleared, the third-seeded Buccs knocked off the second-seeded Cavaliers 36-30 despite missing some wrestlers due to injury and having four freshman in the lineup.
The Buccs advance to the regional semifinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday, where they will wrestle host Versailles. Miami East and Indian Lake will wrestle in the other semifinal.
“That was a lot of fun,” Vanderhorst said after the Buccs’ win. “You could see all the strategy going on. You get to go last in half (seven of the matches). You could see all the strategy going on with both teams.”
That become evident in the second match of the dual.
After Covington’s Kellan Anderson (106) started things off with a major decision, Covington had to go first at 113 pounds.
Vanderhorst elected to forfeit, moving his son Cael Vanderhorst up to 120 pounds. When Coldwater said they forfeited, it appeared it would be a double forfeit.
But when Coldwater realized what Covington had done, they changed their mind and said they had a wrestler.
“In my mind, once they signaled forfeit that should have been the end of it (it should have been a double forfeit),” Vanderhorst said. “But we got some points later and so did they. You could see all the strategy going on.”
There were several pivotal matches for the Buccs.
After Vanderhorst received a forfeit at 120 and Riley Richards (126) won a 14-2 major decision to put Covington up 14-12, Austin Flick (138) locked up with Coldwater’s Justin Sigler.
The match was tied 2-2 deep in the third period when Flick escaped with 14 seconds to go for a 3-2 win.
“There were a lot of bonus points involved in the match,” Vanderhorst said. “If that match goes the other way, it finishes in 33-33 tie and some crazy criteria would have decided it.”
A forfeit by Fletcher Metz (152) and a pin by Keringten Martin (160) in 1:16 gave Covington a 29-21 heading into the 182-pound match.
Gavin McReynolds (182) got a late takedown for insurance to lock up a 9-5 win, meaning all Gage Kerrigan had to do was win at 195 to lock up the team win.
Kerrigan dominated the entire match, but with in the closing 10 seconds, he suddenly found himself on his back, before rolling over as Covington fans and Vanderhorst held their breath.
“That (the mover Kerrigan tried) was something you do when you are behind late, not when you are ahead,” Vanderhorst said with a smile. “But, fortunately he got off his back. I am really proud of Gage (Kerrigan). He did a great job.”
That gave Covington an insurmountable 36-21 lead and Coldwater’s wins in the final two matches didn’t matter.
Covington had advanced with a 59-14 win over Parkway.
Vanderhorst (113), Richards (126), Flick (138), Deacon Shields (145), Martin (152) and Kerrigan (195) all had pins.
Dylan Staudt (220) and Bryce Keiser (285) had forfeits, McReynolds had a 17-2 tech fall, Anderson (103) won a 7-0 decision and Hunter Clarkson (170) won a 9-3 decision.
“We knew if we beat Parkway, we would probably wrestle Coldwater (who beat Spencerville 64-6),” Vanderhorst said. “That is good Coldwater team. That is a big win.”
Which took all the right moves from Vanderhorst and a great effort from his team.
* Girls Basketball
West Carrollton 15
TIPP CITY — With crossover play over, now the Tippecanoe girls basketball team can focus on its final five division games — and then turn its thoughts to the postseason.
The Red Devils easily defeated West Carrollton Wednesday night in Greater Western Ohio Conference American League crossover play, winning 61-15 to improve to 15-2 and 10-0 in the GWOC American North Division standings with only five regular season games left — all of which are against its division rivals.
Three Tippecanoe players were in double figures Wednesday night as the Devils shot better than 50 percent from the field, going 27 for 52 on the night. Maddie Frederick led the way with 14 points, Allison Mader had 12 points and four steals and Kendall Clodfelter had 10 points, six assists and five steals. Hailee Varvel added eight points and Chloe Schretzman scored six.
Tippecanoe — which went an undefeated 15-0 last season in its first year in the GWOC American North en route to its third straight regional runner-up finish in the postseason — will begin its second run through division play by hosting Sidney Saturday.
DAYTON — Despite 21 points from Lily Stewart — including five 3-pointers — the Piqua girls basketball team lost to Stebbins 54-44 Wednesday in GWOC American action.
Piqua, 5-11 overall and 3-7 in GWOC American action, will host Vandalia-Butler Saturday. Stebbins improved to 4-10 overall and 4-6 in GWOC American play.
Piqua led 10-8 after one quarter. The Lady Indians trailed 18-17 at halftime and 36-26 after three quarters.
Kelsey Magoteaux added 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Rob Kiser can be reached at (937) 451-3334. Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.