By Rob Kiser
CASSTOWN — When Covington, Miami East and Mechanicsburg get together on the wrestling mat, you know what you are going to get.
Some competitive, outstanding wrestling.
And Wednesday night at Miami East High School was no exception.
“And there is no love lost,” Miami East coach Mark Rose said. “We all have great respect for each other. But, once the matches start, it is very competitive.”
After both Covington and Miami East handled a Mechanicsburg team that was missing three of its key wrestlers — the Buccs outpointed the Vikings 40-31.
Covington coach Tom Barbee was pleased with his team’s effort.
“This is what you want (the competition),” Barbee said. “I was really proud of our kids tonight.”
And with a number of returning state placers and qualifiers involved in the deciding match, it came down to several key matches.
One of those was Covington 220-pounder Seth Thomas erasing a 5-1 deficit and recording a pin at the 1:34 mark.
“I would say that was a pivotal match,” Barbee said. “The guy was going to roll through with his hips and Seth used that leverage against him. That makes you feel really good as a coach, when a wrestler does what he has been coached to do. We are always telling them you have to use what they give you.”
Rose was disappointed with outcome in the Covington match, but knows it won’t be the last time they wrestle.
“We will see them a couple more times,” he said. “There were just a couple pivotal matches — I don’t know if I would say upsets — but they didn’t go our way.”
For Covington, Ryan Ford (145), Deron White (160), Lance Miller (170), Brandon Magee (195) also won by pin.
Gage DeHart (160) had a major decision, while Coleman Ryan (120) won by forfeit
For Miami East, Ben Ferguson (285) won by pin.
Graham Shore (113) won by major decision, while Daniel Everett (182), Alex Isbrandt (126) and Zane Strubler (132) won by decision.
Trey Rush (138) and Cole Taylor (106) won by forfeit.
The highlight match of the night was Isbrandt and Jared Ford wrestling at 126.
The match was tied 5-5 when Isbrandt got a takedown near the edge of the mat with nine seconds to go.
“That was a great match — there were a lot of great matches,” Rose said. “The Graham Shore match against Connor Ryan — last year that went to overtime and this year it was a major decision.”
Covington had started the night with a 39-18 win over Mechanicsburg.
Recording pins were Jared Ford (126), Ryan Ford (145), Miller (160) and Magee (182).
Keringten Martin (132), Joey Schmerzer (170) and Thomas (220) all won by decison, while Coleman Ryan won by forfeit.
“We came out and wrestled really well against Mechanicsburg,” Barbee said. “There were a number of matches that could have went either way that we won. I was really proud of the way our kids wrestled that match.”
East then defeated Mechanicsburg 60-21.
Winning by pin were Strubler (132), Colton Kowalak (160), Everett (182), Caden Hellyer (220), Ferguson (285) and Isbrandt (126).
Winning by forfeit were Cody Niswonger (195), Taylor (106), Derrek Tennant (113) and Shore (120).
“We did (wrestled well against Mechanicsburg),” Rose said. “Mechanicsburg was missing three guys, but I think there were some things we could have done (to win the match) even if they had those guys.”
Overall, Rose was pleased with the night.
“It was nice to have it here at home,” Rose said. “The wrestling fans got to see some great wrestling before the holidays.”
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.
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