Created on Monday, 28 January 2013 Written by AARON LaBATT
In what has become typical dramatic fashion, the Raider Wrestling Invitational team title came down to the final match of the night Saturday.
FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Benjamin Logan’s Russ Hites works to turn Northwestern’s Connor Rogers during their 138-pound championship match Saturday at the Raider Invitational. ABOVE: Bellefontaine’s Seth Newman fends off London’s Garret Blackburn during their 126-pound championship match. BELOW: Triad’s Rickey Bruce attempts to turn Northwestern’s Brandon Rogers during their 182-pound championship match. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | AARON LaBATT)
Northwestern held off host Benjamin Logan until the very last match and won the tournament 244-243.5.
“The teams are always competitive here and that is what we want,” said Ben Logan head coach Tony Grant. “It usually comes down to the last match and it did again tonight.”
The last three years have proven to be thrilling finishes at the Raider Invite.
Last season, Bellefontaine won the tournament by less than 10 points over Ben Logan, two years ago the Raiders won on the last match of the night and three years ago Ben Logan beat Tecumseh by a single point.
Losing by such a narrow margin to the Warriors made for an exciting finish, but was a heartbreaking loss for the host.
“Finding another half of a point could have came from a lot of places,” said Grant. “That is a tough pill to swallow, but we could have picked that half point up anywhere.
“If we win one more match, if Northwestern lost a match or even if one of our kids gets another takedown that could change it from a decision to a major decision, and we then win the tournament.”
Bellefontaine finished third with 221 points, Tecumseh was fourth with 178 points and London was fifth with 142.5 points. Triad took ninth with 91 points and Riverside was 11th with 19 points.
After winning the Raider Invitational last season, the Chieftains were hoping to be back in the title hunt Saturday.
“I’m not totally pleased with our performance,” said BHS head coach Rick Reed. “We had hoped to be in the mix for the team title. I did see some good things, though. Now it’s important we have a good week of practice and get ready for the league meet on Saturday.”
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