EATON TWP. — North Ridgeville and Midview came into Saturday night’s West Shore Conference showdown tied for first place at 6-0 with half of the championship on the line. The other half goes to the winner of the conference championships next Saturday at Midview.
Give the Middies the upper hand because they handed North Ridgeville its first league loss and claimed the regular-season championship with a 37-14 win.
The Middies’ Jared Wise (135), Adam Davis (145), Brandon Dean (215) and Kevin Patrick (heavyweight) all scored pins with Davis getting his in a mere 46 seconds.
The Rangers jumped out to a 7-0 lead as Mike Mees (160) won a major decision (15-0) over Nick Cicone and Derek Lozano followed with a 6-3 decision over Jeff Miller at 171. But Midview came right back with a Charles Boyce decision at 189 followed by the pins by Dean and Patrick that opened up a 15-7 lead for the Middies.
Rex Rozar (103) closed the gap to 15-10 with a hard-fought 9-5 decision over Kyle Sykes.
What followed was a 10-9 win at 112 by the Middies’ Chris Gerhart over David Evans. Both wrestlers received four penalty points for illegal moves that tied the match at 9 before Gerhart escaped just before the period ended. That increased Midview’s lead to 18-10.
The next two matches went the Rangers’ way as they tied the match at 18 on a decision by Tom May (119) and a technical fall by Matt Zepp (125). That was as close as North Ridgeville would get, however, as the Middies won three of the last four matches.
The lone win for the Rangers was an overtime decision by Brandon Mundell over Paige Gusky, 5-3. Gusky held a 3-2 lead after two periods before Mundell used an escape to force overtime. Mundell used a takedown to end the match.
“It was a very emotional night,” Midview coach Don Caramel said. “We’ve worked very, very hard. I’ve got to take my hat off to Jared Wise.”
In the shuffling of wrestlers, Wise moved up from 130 to 135 to take on the Rangers’ John Whipkey. With the match tied at 4 entering the third period, Wise caught Whipkey and took him to his back for four backpoints before getting the pin at 4:32.
“North Ridgevlle came out here and gave us everything they had,” Caramel said. “This is a really good feeling, but it’s not over yet. We still have next week to figure out who gets the championship, but being undefeated at 12-0 is a great feeling. That might be the first time in Midview history for that to ever happen.”
North Ridgeville coach Buzzy Haller was not in the mood for talking, especially since two of his top wrestlers, Shane Friend and James Meese, missed the meet over eligibility issues.
“A lot of young kids stepped up tonight, but we just couldn’t get it done,” Haller said. “We’ll see what happens next week.”
Midview 37, North Ridgeville 21
103—Rozar (NR) dec. Sykes 7-3, 112—Gerhart (M) dec. Evans 10-9, 119—May (NR) dec. Caddel 7-4, 125—Zepp (NR) tech fall Tyler Gusky 17-1, 130—Ayers (M) maj dec Russell 10-1, 135—Wise (M) pinned Whipkey 4:32, 140—Mundell (NR) dec Paige Gusky 5-3 (ot), 145 – Davis (M) pinned Smith :46, 152—Lemons (M) dec Mendez 1-0, 160—Mees (NR) maj dec Cicone 15-0, 171—Lozano (NR) dec Miller 6-3, 189—Boyce (M) dec Reece 4-1, 215—Dean (M) pinned Rodriguiez 2:18, HVY—Patrick (M) pinned Botson 2:29.