By Rob Kiser
CENTERVILLE — Piqua advanced four of its nine wrestlers to the Division I district tournament Saturday, with a fifth earning alternate status at the Centerville D-I 2 sectional tournament at Centerville High School.
“We had some solid performances, we just didn’t get the upsets we needed,” Piqua coach Scott Kaye. “But, maybe we can do that next week at district.”
Sam Herndon (120), Kobe Scott (138) and Andrew Bolin (145) all finished second, while Tristan Hostetter (126) finished fourth to advance as well.
Brennan Hicks (160) finished fifth to earn alternate status, while Nick Baker (132) finished sixth.
Herndon, the second seed, pinned unseeded Jacob Boulton of Springboro in the semifinals.
Herndon faced top seed Ronnie Pietro of Vandalia-Butler in the finals and lost a 10-2 major decision.
“I thought Sam wrestled a solid match,” Kaye said. “He made him work for his point. He just had trouble getting any offense going. It was good to see how he would respond to upper level competition.”
Scott, the second seed, recorded a 12-4 major decision over third seed Aundre Zomes of Middletown in the semifinals, before facing top seed Jestin Love in the finals.
A controversial two-point near fall awarded early in the match proved critical in Scott’s 8-7 loss.
“I questioned the call,” Kaye said. “The official had an answer for me. I didn’t agree with it, but this is not the week that matters.”
Scott had taken a 5-4 lead in the third period before Love escaped to tie it.
After Love had a takedown and a near nearfall, Scott reversed him to tie it with 40 seconds to go.
He let Love up to try and get a takedown, but ran out of time first.
“We had some chances,” Kaye said. “Hopefully, next week we can get the win.”
Bolin, the second seed, pinned third seed Andrew Tevis of Edgewood in 2:40 in the semifinals.
That left him facing top seed and GWOC champion in Fairmont freshman Nevan Snodgrass.
Bolin was the only one to make it to the second period against Snodgrass, trailing 6-3 after one before Snodgrass got the pin at the 3:19 mark.
“I thought Andrew was able to compete against him, which was much different from the GWOC (championship match),” Kaye said. “Now, we just have to find a way to score points on him, which is a whole different thing.”
Hostetter, the fourth seed, had lost to fifth seed Gavin Fogel of Fairmont Friday in the quarterfinals.
Hostetter bounced back with pins of Mike Jenkins of Middletown and third seed Justin Boyle of Edgewood to earn the district berth.
In the third-place match, he faced Fogel again.
Hostetter let Fogel up to start the second period and it would be the only point in a 1-0 loss.
“Tristan did a nice job coming back in the consolations,” Kaye said. “It (the match with Fogel) was a like the first one. Tristan just needs to find a way to commit to his shots and develop a consistent offense.”
Hicks had advanced to the semifinals Friday night.
Hicks, the third seed, was pinned by unseeded Jaden Hardrick of Wayne in the semifinals and faced fifth seed Phil Francis of Bellefontaine in the go-to district match.
He lost a 1-0 heartbreaker, before pinning fourth seed Jacob Truxall of Middletown in the fifth-place match to gain alternate status.
“Brennan’s match (against Phil Francis) was a lot like Tristan’s,” Kaye said. “He just needed to commit to a shot. He didn’t escape in the second period and that kid did in the third.”
Baker won two matches by pin in the consolations to put him in a go-to district match.
The fifth seed lost a 12-1 major decision to Scott Osborne of Springboro and lost 4-0 to undseeded Evan Overholser of Fairmont in the fifth-place match.
Jesse Ceyler (152), Matt Blankenship (170) and Brett Craft (220) all finished 0-2 in the tournament.
Now Piqua heads to Trent Arena for the district tournament Friday and Saturday — looking for some of those upsets at the most important time.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.