By David Fong
Regional Sports Editor
COLUMBUS — There will come a day when Ethan Turner will be able to appreciate what he accomplished Saturday at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III state wrestling championships.
That day won’t be today for the Troy Christian junior.
And it probably won’t be tomorrow.
In fact, it likely won’t be for years.
That’s because while most wrestlers would consider placing second at the state wrestling tournament to be a career — and possibly lifetime — highlight, Turner holds himself to a much higher standard. And after falling 2-1 to Legacy Christian’s Gavin Brown in Saturday’s state title match, he mostly was feeling disappointment.
With his senior season still left to go, Turner now is a three-time state placer, having taken third as a freshman, a state championship last year and the runner-up title this year.
“Probably a long time after this, I’ll appreciate it,” Turner said following his match. “Probably a very long time. I’m not satisfied with this.”
Turner and Brown spent the first period feeling out one another and neither was able to put together any offense, with the period ending in a 0-0 tie. In the second period, Turner started in the top position. Halfway through the period, Brown was able to earn an escape to take a 1-0 lead into the final period.
Turner started the third period in the bottom position and was able to earn his escape point with 1:06 left, tying the match at 1-1. Turner attempted several takedown attempts, but each time Brown was able to thwart his offense.
“He had a good gameplan,” Turner said. “He kept jacking up my underhook.”
With about 42 seconds left in the match, Brown was able to get in deep on his own takedown attempt. It looked as though he was in the process of taking Turner down when Turner was able to leap off the mat and out of bounds. He was hit with a penalty point for fleeing the mat, however, giving Brown the 2-1 lead.
From there, time ran out on Turner before he could mount any offense.
It was the third time the two have wrestled this season. Turner won the regular season contest between the two, while Brown defeated Turner 2-1 in an “ultimate tiebreaker” overtime contest last week at the district tournament. Turner said Brown didn’t throw any surprises at him Saturday but was able to execute better when it mattered most.
“I just knew coming in it would be a close match,” Turner said. “But when the rubber met the road, he was able to pull the trigger before I was. Coming in, I had wanted to stay short and stay close. Stay simple. Go back to the basics.”
Up until Saturday’s final, Turner had been dominant, winning his first three matches by pin. He said he expects to see Brown again at some point next season and, regardless of how the state tournament plays out in one year, be stronger and ready to make another run at a second state title.
“I plan to improve by leaps and bounds,” he said. “I’ll be back again.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong