By Ben Robinson
COLUMBUS — Two of the fourth MiamI East wrestlers who qualified for the state meet secured state medals on Friday with the placement number on those medals are yet to be determined.
First, Graham Shore began Friday with a hard-fought 6-4 win over Christian Wellman of Apple Creek Waynedale in the championship quarterfinals at 113 pounds.
Shore took command early in the match and held off a surging Wellman late for the win.
In his semifinal bout, Shore went head-to-head with unbeaten Greg Quinn of Shadyside (56-0), a wrestler who had placed sixth at state in the 106 pound weight class as a freshman and fourth a year ago at 113 pounds.
Quinn struck early for a 2-0 lead and then pushed his lead to 3-0 in the third period.
But Shore wasn’t to be deterred as he went after the unbeaten wrestler after recording an escape point. Pushing the action, Shore was awarded another point for and illegal hand-to-the-face, which forced a delay in the action for the Miami East wrestler to be looked over my the medical staff.
This delay gave Quinn time to collect his wind, but Shore once again pushed the action to pick up a stalling warning on Quinn. Unfortunately, time ran out on Graham as Quinn held on for a 3-2 win.
Shore returns tomorrow at 10:00am in the consolation semifinal.
“We felt like if ‘G’ could get that escape at the end and force overtime, we had a pretty good chance,” Miami East coach Mark Rose said. “We had a lot of confidence ‘G’ would get out of it. But the Quinn kid is really good on top. He’s a funky wrestler who is able to get you in positions you don’t want to be in. But we’re still proud of Graham. We’ve got to come back (Saturday) and wrestle well.”
Sophomore 126 pounder Alex Isbrandt (42-7) opened up Friday with a 5-3 defeat to Damian D’Emilio of Genoa Area in the championship quarterfinal, but rebounded shortly thereafter with a 6-5 win over Archbold’s Noah Mattin to ensure himself a state medal for the second straight year.
Last season as a freshman, Isbrandt placed seventh at 113 pounds and he will wrestle for seventh Saturday again after a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to Jonny Wheeler (40-6) of Northwood in the consolation quarterfinals Friday night.
“It’s tough — 126 is a tough weight class,” Rose said. “Alex has nothing to hang his head about. I’m proud of him. I’m proud of all our guys who came over here and competed.”
Ben Ferguson saw his quest to reach the podium for the second straight year at heavyweight end in the second round of consolations as he was pinned by Cance Veller of Delta in 2:53. Ferguson concludes his senior season with a 40-8 record and as the first heavyweight in school history to become a three-time state qualifier.
Versailles’ Corey Dieringer, in his state debut, recorded one win on Thursday before suffering a heartbreaking 6-4 loss in overtime to Antony Risley of Cadiz Harrison Central.