By Rob Hamilton
Two Morrow County wrestlers will be on the podium tomorrow night when the state meet concludes — it’s just a matter of where they’ll stand.
Both Conan Becker of Northmor and Zach Baker of Highland have earned spots on the podium. Becker could finish anywhere from third to sixth in the Division III 138-pound weight class, while Baker also will land in one of those four places in Division II’s 220-pound class.
The two took different routes to their current situations, which will be resolved in tomorrow’s early session at the Schottenstein Center, beginning at 10 a.m.
Becker opened his day by winning his quarterfinal match against Austin Eick of Rossford by an 8-0 margin. He then was involved in a closely-fought affair in the semifinals, but fell by a 6-4 margin to Noah Mattin of Archbold in overtime, as Mattin got the match-winning takedown with only three seconds remaining in the extra period.
Baker fell in his quarterfinal match to Brandon Phillips of Maumee by a 5-2 margin, but was able to bounce back in a hard-fought overtime battle against Wyatt Hillard of Franklin. The match was tied at one through six minutes, but Baker was able to work for a takedown in the extra minute of action to pick up the win. Then, in the consolation quarterfinals, he collected his second win of the day over Johnny Shafer of St. Paris Graham Local by a 3-1 margin, this time in regulation.
Northmor had three other competitors take the mats on Friday, but they struggled against the tough state competition. At 145 pounds, Conor Becker lost to Cody Rhoads of Orwell Grand Valley in the quarterfinals by a 10-4 margin. Then, in the consolation bracket, he fell by a 5-3 margin to Chase Moore of Swanton to be eliminated one match shy of placement.
Matthew Ross met the same fate at 152 pounds. In the quarterfinals, he lost by a 20-5 technical fall to Jake Huston of Oak Harbor. He had the lead over Wyatt Lefker of Williamsburg after the first period of his consolation match, but was caught in a throw in the second period and wound up pinned at the 1:32 mark.
Also competing for the Knights was Jakob Neer, who was in the consolation bracket. He lost by a 21-6 technical fall to Graham Shore of Casstown Miami East to see his tournament run end.