Created on Saturday, 22 February 2014 Written by AARON LaBATT
BOWLING GREEN —It was a rough first day for Bellefontaine and Benjamin Logan’s wrestling teams here Friday at the Division II district tournament inside the Stroh Center.
FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Benjamin Logan’s Russ Hites works to reverse Bellevue’s Chris Harris during their 138-pound opening-round match Friday at the Division II district tournament in Bowling Green. ABOVE: Bellefontaine’s Chase Wilcoxon attempts to pin Fairview’s Tommy Palisin during their 132-pound opening-round match Friday. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | AARON LaBATT)
Only three out of 12 local wrestlers won first-round matches and none advanced to today’s semifinal round. Six wrestlers are still alive in the tournament, but they are all one loss away from elimination.
The Chieftains’ Chase Wilcoxon (132) and Joe Rindfleisch (182), along with the Raiders’ Beau Swank (220), won their opening-round bouts, but went on to fall in the quarterfinals. They will now compete in today’s second round of consolations.
Wrestling resumes today at 4 p.m.
The top four in each weight class advance to the state tournament next week in Columbus.
Bellefontaine grabbed two firstround wins. First, Wilcoxon pinned Tommy Palisin of Fairview in 2:30. The Chieftain then lost to projected state champion Wade Hodges of Wauseon by fall (:40) in the quarterfinals.
Rindfleisch added some momentum by handling Darrin Cox of Madison Comprehensive with a pin in 2:48. He then came up short 7-4 against Garit Witt of Clyde in the quarterfinals.
“Chase did what he could do,” said BHS head coach Rick Reed. “He had a nice first round. There is no shame in losing to a projected state champion in Hodges. He’ll have to put together a great day (today) and if he wrestles well he could be here late.
“Joe handled his first match well. We had a good opportunity in the second round, but we couldn’t put together enough to score. That loss puts us in a tough situation in the consolation rounds.”
Swank had the hardest route of all area wrestlers. He made quick work of Kyle Lhamon of Lima Bath with a pin in 1:03. He then had to face Tylor Pritchard of Upper Sandusky, who was a state qualifier in Division III last year.
The Raider led 1-0 with less than 30 seconds left in the third period. Swank got called for locking hands and gave up a penalty point to tie the match 1-1. Pritchard then reversed Swank in the final 10 seconds and got back points for a 5-1 victory.
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