By David Fong
COLUMBUS — Ethan Turner wanted more than just a state title.
The Troy Christian sophomore wanted a piece of Oscar Sanchez.
He got them both Saturday in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III state tournament at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, defeating Genoa Area’s Sanchez in a 3-2 tiebreaker, capturing a 113-pound state title and avenging a loss suffered to Sanchez in last year’s semifinals. Turner finished third last year, while Sanchez went on to win a state title.
“I wanted him in the finals,” Turner said. “I would have been happy winning a state title no matter who I wrestled, but beating him definitely put an exclamation point on it. I wanted to beat him in the finals in front of everyone.”
Turner was one of two Troy Christian wrestlers to reach the state finals. At 132 pounds, Genoa Area junior Dylan D’Emilio beat Troy Christian senior Jacob Edwards 7-0 to win his third state title.
Turner and Sanchez were neck-and-neck the entire way in a match that was tied at the end of regulation and had to be settled in a tiebreaker. Tied 2-2 going into the third and final period — Sanchez scored a takedown in the first period, but Turner earned an escape, then picked up another escape after starting the second period in the down position — Turner started on top in the third and was able to ride out Sanchez the entire third period to force extra time.
Sanchez nearly scored an escape that would have won him the match with just seconds remain in regulation. He was initially awarded the point, but after the two referees held a brief discussion, they waved off the point, leaving the two wrestlers deadlocked.
“I just wanted to stay calm and keep my composure,” Turner said of the moments when it looked like Sanchez might be awarded the match. “I kind of had to reel myself back in.”
Neither wrestler was able to score a takedown from the neutral position in sudden victory time. Turner was able to score the escape to take a 3-2 lead in the first tiebreaker. In the second tiebreaker, he again was able to ride out Sanchez, holding on for the state championship.
“His strength is on top,” Troy Christian coach Steve Goudy said of Turner. “We wanted to keep this match on our feet and when we had a chance to ride him, ride him tough. Ethan is a kid who has worked so hard to get to this point. He’s been a good captain. He’s only the second sophomore captain I’ve ever had. The first was (two-time state champion) Casey Thome, so that tells you what kind of kid Ethan is.
“I know he wanted to wrestle Sanchez. Last year, we didn’t get on the right side of the bracket and ended up seeing him in the semis. Then Ethan wrestled him again in the summer and lost, so they’ve got kind of a little thing going now.”
Turner said that loss to Sanchez in last year’s semifinals has kept him motivated for an entire year.
“I’ve thought about it every day since last year,” he said. “Every time I walked into the practice room, I thought about it. This feels unreal. Words can’t even express how this feels.”
Edwards finishes second
One day, Jacob Edwards will be able to appreciate all he’s accomplished in his storied wrestling career.
Saturday, however, Edwards still was stinging following an emotional 7-0 loss to Dylan D’Emilio in the 132-pound title match.
“He’s got nothing to hang his head about,” Goudy said. “I know this is tough for him, because I know how hard he’s worked. He’s a kid who weighed 96 pounds his freshman year and we wondered how we could ever get him up to 106. He’s a kid who has placed second, third and second. That’s pretty impressive.”
Edwards will leave Troy Christian a four-time state qualifier and a three-time state placer. He placed second as a sophomore — losing to D’Emilio in the finals — and third last year.
“His two losses in the state finals have come against a nationally ranked kid, Goudy said. “There’s no shame in that. He’s had a great career.”
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong
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