But one of the keys in Saturday’s Division II Region 9 championship state dual between the No. 2-seeded Truckers and No. 1 West Holmes was going to be Norwalk’s ability to not suffer devastating losses by pin or technical fall.
Ultimately, that wasn’t the case by any stretch. West Holmes pinned Norwalk in all seven of its head-to-head victories and got a forfeit at heavyweight to top the Truckers by a 48-31 final. The Knights advanced to next Sunday’s eight-team state championship duals at St. John Arena in Columbus.
West Holmes opened with five consecutive pins from 106-to-132 pounds, already clinching the match before Norwalk’s top wrestlers saw the mat.
Deyer Graffice finally stopped the bleeding for Norwalk, scoring a 6-5 decision at 138 to put the Truckers on the board. After allowing another pin at 145, Norwalk then got the match over to its top wrestlers, even though the match had been decided.
Ethan Phillips (152) won by pin in 5:52, and state placer Ethan Hernandez needed just 12 seconds to do the same at 160.
At 170, Darion Smith capped a 4-0 day with a 9-1 major decision victory. Norwalk’s last contested win came at 220, where Alec Maloney needed just 48 seconds to win his match.
Norwalk advanced to the final despite being without heavyweight Tche Leroux (23-5). The Truckers beat Galion (45-28) in the first round, then topped Ontario (49-23) in the quarterfinals before pulling away late from No. 3 Caledonia River Valley (44-30).
In the opening round against Galion, Corbin Ott (120) pinned in 55 seconds, and Graffice (138) scored a 14-8 decision victory. Ethan Phillips (152) pinned his opponent in 1:28, while it took Hernandez just 10 seconds to do the same at 160.
Smith (170) followed with a pin in 3:22, and Gabe Phillips (182) needed just 26 seconds to pin his opponent — while Maloney needed just 1:19 at 220.
In the win over Ontario, Kaleb Ruhl got the Truckers on the board with a pin in 3:08 at 106. At 152, Ethan Phillips pinned his opponent in 2:45, while Hernandez scored a 15-5 major decision at 160. Smith pinned in 3:22 at 170, and Gabe Phillips pulled through for a 6-3 decision at 182. Maloney then capped the contested matches with a pin in 1:06 at 220.
In the semifinal win over No. 3 River Valley, Hayden Graffice needed just 30 seconds to get a key win for Norwalk at 113. Ott (120) won by major decision, 18-4, while Trenton Goostree pinned his opponent in 3:50 at 126.
At 138, Deyer Graffice won a 9-1 major, while Ethan Phillips (152) pinned in 1:46. Hernandez won a 7-3 decision at 160, and Smith followed with a 9-5 win at 170 for three more points.
That set the stage for Gabe Phillips (182) and Maloney (220) to finish off the win, and per usual, neither wasted any time. Phillips pinned in 2:49 to clinch the match, and Maloney followed with a pin in 1:17.
Bellevue opened with a 71-6 win over Clear Fork, then edged longtime foe Tiffin Columbian (36-30) before falling to West Holmes (39-33).
First round: Norwalk 45, Galion 28
106: John Evans (GAL) tech. fall Kaleb Ruhl (NOR), 15-0
113: Hayden Graffice (NOR) forfeit (GAL)
120: Corbin Ott (NOR) pin Kolton Tyrrell (GAL), :55
126: Devin McCarthy (GAL) pin Trenton Goostree (NOR), 1:46
132: Ian Lehman (GAL) tech. fall Andrew Olaynian (NOR), 19-2
138: Deyer Graffice (NOR) dec. Sam Wegesin (GAL), 14-8
145: Brenden Ganshorn (GAL) pin Kyle Mckay (NOR), 3:17
152: Ethan Phillips (NOR) pin Corbin Justice (GAL), 1:28
160: Ethan Hernandez (NOR) pin Larissa Frank (GAL), :10
170: Darion Smith (NOR) pin Max Fisher (GAL), 3:22
182: Gabe Phillips (NOR) pin Mike Marks (GAL), :26
195: Noah Grochowalski (GAL) pin Seth Farmer (NOR), 1:46
220: Alec Maloney (NOR) pin Caden Roberts (GAL), 1:19
285: Double forfeit
Quarterfinals: Norwalk 49, Ontario 23
106: Kaleb Ruhl (NOR) pin Owen Hull (ONT), 3:08
113: Hayden Graffice (NOR) forfeit (ONT)
120: Corbin Ott (NOR) forfeit (ONT)
126: Ethan Snyder (ONT) tech. fall Giraldo Diaz (NOR), 18-3
132: Sullivan McKinley (ONT) pin Andrew Olaynian (NOR), :29
138: Carter Kroll (ONT) pin Deyer Graffice (NOR), 1:16
145: Ethan Turnbaugh (ONT) pin Kyle Mckay (NOR), :57
152: Ethan Phillips (NOR) pin Brennan Strickler (ONT), 2:45
160: Ethan Hernandez (NOR) maj. dec. Colton Turnbaugh (ONT), 15-5
170: Darion Smith (NOR) pin Andrew Underwood (ONT), 3:22
182: Gabe Phillips (NOR) dec. Cody Mies (ONT), 6-3
195: Seth Farmer (NOR) forfeit (ONT)
220: Alec Maloney (NOR) pin Nate Hayes-Poole (ONT), 1:06
285: Double forfeit
Semifinals: Norwalk 44, River Valley 30
106: Drake Cerny (RV) pin Kaleb Ruhl (NOR), 1:11
113: Hayden Graffice (NOR) pin Ivy O'Conner (RV), :30
120: Corbin Ott (NOR) maj. dec. Ky Emmerson (RV), 18-4
126: Trenton Goostree (NOR) pin RJ Stirm (RV), 3:50
132: Jacob Fohl (RV) pin Andrew Olaynian (NOR), 1:14
138: Deyer Graffice (NOR) maj. dec. Ryan Blanton (RV), 9-1
145: Logan Miracle (RV) pin Kyle Mckay (NOR), 2:46
152: Ethan Phillips (NOR) pin Levi Westler (RV), 1:46
160: Ethan Hernandez (NOR) dec. Hadyn Danals (RV), 7-3
170: Darion Smith (NOR) dec. Devin Cummins (RV), 9-5
182: Gabe Phillips (NOR) pin Luke Mencer (RV), 2:49
195: Cooper Graham (RV) pin Seth Farmer (NOR), 3:16
220: Alec Maloney (NOR) pin Dalton Slavens (RV), 1:17
285: Ian Diven (RV) forfeit (NOR)
Finals: West Holmes 48, Norwalk 31
106: Jack Welsh (WH) pin Kaleb Ruhl (NOR), :24
113: Cael Woods (WH) pin Corbin Ott (NOR), 2:22
120: Tyler Masters (WH) pin Giraldo Diaz (NOR), 2:16
126: Kendel Weber (WH) pin Trenton Goostree (NOR), 3:19
132: Tucker Kaufman (WH) pin Andrew Olaynian (NOR), 2:28
138: Deyer Graffice 12 (NOR) dec. Hunter Bowling (WH), 6-5
145: Walker Uhl 11 (WH) pin Kyle Mckay (NOR), 2:23
152: Ethan Phillips (NOR) pin Gavin Greer (WH), 5:52
160: Ethan Hernandez (NOR) pin Dillon Miller (WH), :12
170: Darion Smith (NOR) maj. dec. Dillon Miller (WH), 9-1
182: Gabe Phillips (NOR) forfeit (WH)
195: Stephen Baldridge (WH) pin Seth Farmer (NOR), :52
220: Alec Maloney (NOR) pin Colt Cox (WH), :48
285: Skylar Anderson (WH) forfeit (NOR)
St. Paul falls late
GENOA — The No. 11-seeded Flyers lost the final three matches of their first-round matchup with No. 6 Gibsonburg on Saturday morning at Genoa High School.
St. Paul led 32-24 with three weights left, but had a forfeit at heavyweight, then gave up two pins at 195 and 220 that swung things in Gibsonburg’s favor in the 42-32 loss.
For St. Paul, Aiden Naseman (106) won by pin (1:40), as did Eric Crabbs (145) in just 24 seconds. Will Stieber (138) scored a 16-1 tech. fall win, while the Flyers’ other contested victory came at 182, where Cam Caizzo won by a 9-3 decision.
First round: Gibsonburg 42, St. Paul 32
106: Aiden Naseman (STP) pin D.J. Ornlef (GIB), 1:40
113: Harely Stoll (STP) forfeit (GIB)
120: Alex Lopez (GIB) forfeit (STP)
126: Antonio Villarreal (GIB) pin Ryan Gross (STP)1:22
132: David Garcia (GIB) dec. Ryan Gross (STP) md11-3
138: Will Stieber (STP) tech. fall Lance Novotny (GIB), 16-1
145: Eric Crabbs (STP) pin Radek Fox (GIB), :24
152: Myron Stoll (STP) forfeit (GIB)
160: Brady Jaso (GIB) maj. dec. Ben Meyer (STP), 15-5
170: Brad Mendoza (GIB) maj. dec. Sam Meyer (STP), 12-4
182: Cam Caizzo (STP) dec. Jesse Arriaga (GIB), 9-3
195: Jarett Spoores (GIB) pin Jacob Baca (STP), :44
220: Hunter Smith (GIB) pin Brody Service (STP), :57
285: Tayven Halbisen (GIB) forfeit (STP)
Big Red fell on criteria
CENTERBURG — All seven matches contested in a first-round pairing between No. 6 seed Plymouth and No. 11 Newcomerstown were decided by pins on Saturday at the Centerburg site.
Unfortunately for the Big Red, it was a 42-42 deadlock and the criteria point was awarded to Newscomerstown in a 43-42 loss.
For Plymouth, Noah Trimmer (145) scored his pin in 4:51, while Camden Welch (170) got the fall at 2:37. Also for the Big Red, Dylan Van Fleet pinned his opponent at 220 in 2:58.
First round: Newcomerstown 43, Plymouth 42
106: Nick Roberts (Plymouth) forfeit (Newcomerstown)
113: Trew Davis (Newcomerstown) forfeit (Plymouth)
120: Keith Tuttle (Plymouth) forfeit (Newcomerstown)
126: Sam Brode (Newcomerstown) forfeit (Plymouth)
132: Jacob Echelbarger (Plymouth) forfeit (Newcomerstown)
138: Logan Hursey (Newcomerstown) forfeit (Plymouth)
145: Noah Trimmer (Plymouth) pin Dylan Donathan (Newcomerstown), 4:51
152: Noah Gano (Newcomerstown) pin Gabe Cox 9 (Plymouth), 3:59
160: Coltin Meek (Newcomerstown) pin Zach Oney 10 (Plymouth), 5:39
170: Camden Welch (Plymouth) pin Hunter Jones 10 (Newcomerstown), 2:37
182: Peyton Young (Plymouth) forfeit (Newcomerstown)
195: Jordan Sanders (Newcomerstown) pin Adler Horne 10 (Plymouth), 3:29
220: Dylan Van Fleet (Plymouth) pin Anthony Hudnall (Newcomerstown), 2:58
285: Matt Goff (Newcomerstown) pin Breydan Allen (Plymouth), 2:52