By Rob Hamilton
Four local wrestlers advanced to the quarterfinals in Thursday’s session of the OHSAA individual state wrestling tournament, while a fifth is still alive in the consolation bracket.
For Northmor, Conan Becker, Conor Becker and Matthew Ross all won their first match in the Division III tournament, while Jakob Neer overcame a first-round loss to win in the first consolation round. Highland’s Zach Baker opened his run in the Division II tournament with a first-round win.
In his first match, Conan Becker (138 pounds) earned a 5-4 victory over Zane Strubler of Casstown Miami East. His younger brother, Conor (145), had an easier time with Jordan Cress of Milton Union, taking a 6-0 victory. Ross then topped Nathan Rasmussen of Orwell Grand Valley by a 7-5 margin. Neer (120) was topped by Evan Guilford of Defiance Ayersville by a 13-3 margin in his first match, but rebounded to defeat Nicholas Cianciola of Canton Central Catholic by a 5-0 count.
Also still active is Highland’s Baker. The senior 220-pounder earned a pin over Sam Brothers of Clarksville Clinton-Massie in 3:46 to move on in the championship bracket.
Northmor had three other wrestlers compete in Thursday’s two rounds of action. Aaron Kitts (132) was pinned by Isaac Elliott of Massillon Tuslaw in 1:47 in his first match and then got edged 15-10 by Reilly Heater of Sherwood Fairview in the consolations. Mason Burger (182) suffered a pin in 1:16 to Madison Jaso of Gibsonburg in the first round and then was defeated 6-2 by Ottawa-Glandorf’s Tyler Ebbeskotte. At 195 pounds, Nathan Price fell by pin in 1:00 to Dylan Hinton of Bloomdale Elmwood and then lost via 17-2 technical fall to Wyatt Long of Sidney Lehman Catholic.
Action resumes tomorrow at 10 a.m. at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center.