ELYRIA — A pair of victories and advancement to the regional semifinals in the second annual dual team state tournament was the main order of the night. The Pioneers happened to grab some Lorain County bragging rights on the side.
Top-seeded Elyria blew through Madison Comprehensive (61-18) in the opening round, then downed No. 4 Lorain 65-14 in the regional quarterfinal Wednesday night. The Titans defeated No. 5 Avon Lake 48-26 in the first round.
The win puts Elyria in the Division I regional semifinals for the second straight year, and allowed it to name itself the top program in the county.
“We definitely settled that dispute,” Pioneers senior Armando Torres said. “We beat Amherst earlier in the year and we beat Lorain tonight. Overall, I think we’re the best team in the county right now.”
Elyria coach Erik Burnett didn’t think the dual meet victories proved anything.
“When we wrestled Amherst at (the Mentor Duals) they were missing three or four guys,” he said. “They have a really strong team. They took fourth last week at Maumee Bay, so I think they’re a little better now than when we faced them.
“Lorain’s going to be tough. They just need to get some guys healthy.”
The matchup between the Pioneers and Titans was the only bit of drama during the night. The programs rarely face each other in the regular season, yet have met the past two years in the newly formed state duals event.
“It’s definitely a fun process,” Torres said. “We don’t have Lorain on our regular-season schedule and it’s always fun to wrestle a cross-county rival.”
The fun for Torres came in the way of a pair of 15-0 technical falls against Madison Comprehensive’s LeConte Merrell and Lorain’s Brandon Bartlome. The dominant performance was a welcome sight after Torres suffered back-to-back losses Saturday at the Bill Dies Memorial Invitational at Akron Firestone.
“I just had to get my head right,” Torres said. “These (regular-season) matches don’t really matter.”
Several Pioneers joined Torres with dominating 2-0 nights. Michael Dolan, Ben Darmstadt, Taylor Workman, Connor Kamczyc and Kevin Vough won both their matches by pin.
The Titans were also depleted when they faced the Pioneers — coming in without district placer Devione Edwards and district qualifier Aaron Neal, not able to use just medically cleared Xaevier Edwards in an actual match and losing RaeQuan Tipton to injury during the match against the Shoremen.
“We knew coming in that we were overmatched with Elyria,” Lorain coach Mark Moos said. “We had a couple kids get hurt yesterday. Then in the match, (the Pioneers) didn’t wrestle terrible and we didn’t wrestle good — not that it would’ve mattered much.”
Sophomore Caleb Kopp gave the Titans a 6-0 lead in both duals — via forfeit against the Shoremen and with a pin of Elyria freshman DeVontae Bowens — and twin brothers Austin and Adam Kuchta also went 2-0. They were the only three Lorain wrestlers to pick up wins against Elyria.
“We wrestled kind of … not very well all day,” Moos said. “Some of the kids are not taking shots, they’re not putting themselves in a position to win matches. They’re wrestling not to lose. I keep telling them that this is all practice for sectionals.”
Burnett echoed the sentiment, but believes the state duals could evolve into something better.
“The changes that are good in wrestling tend to stick around,” he said. “A lot of states are doing this (event) successfully, and the teams that made it to Columbus (last year) believe that it’s a big deal.”
Lorain 48, Avon Lake 26
106 — Caleb Kopp (L) won by fofeit. 113 — Nick Mayer (AL) won by forfeit. 120 — Zack Klima (AL) dec. Brandon Bartlome, 4-2 (OT). 126 — Chris Chakirelis (AL) pinned Samuel Martin, :47. 132 — Xaevier Edwards (L) won by forfeit. 138 — Joey Bernosky (AL) tech. fall George Colvin, 16-0. 145 — RaeQuan Tipton (L) maj. dec. Josh Sinclair, 12-4. 152 — Aaron Huff (L) dec. Tyler Mayer, 5-1. 160 — Tommy Delgado (L) pinned Sandy Bishop, 1:04. 170 — Jason Barnicle (AL) won by forfeit. 182 — Austin Kuchta (L) tech. fall Jordan Akers, 19-4. 195 — Adam Kuchta (L) won by forfeit. 220 — Andre Torres (L) won by forfeit. 285 — Sadi Santana (L) won by forfeit.
Elyria 61, Madison Comprehensive 18
106 — Mike Baumberger (MC) pinned DeVontae Bowens, :46. 113 — Brandon Lang (E) won by forfeit. 120 — Armando Torres (E) tech. fall LeConte Merrell, 15-0. 126 — Brandon Price (E) dec. Trea Coopwood, 4-1. 132 — Zane Speelman (MC) pinned Juan Nieves, 3:25. 138 — Michael Dolan (E) pinned Kyle Matern, 2:24. 145 — Darrion Overall (E) tech. fall Tresten Vail, 16-0. 152 — Ben Darmstadt (E) pinned Kanyon Tackett, 1:48. 160 — Taylor Workman (E) pinned Rudy Reedy, 2:44. 170 — J.T. Brown (E) pinned Harlan Markley, 1:59. 182 — Darrin Cox (MC) pinned Dylan Woodings, 3:52. 195 — Tyler Giorgini (E) won by forfeit. 220 — Connor Kamczyc (E) pinned Braydon Adams, :19. 285 — Kevin Vough (E) pinned Michael Holzworth, :36.
Elyria 65, Lorain 14
106 — Kopp (L) pinned Bowens, 2:28. 113 — Lang (E) won by forfeit. 120 — Torres (E) tech. fall Bartlome, 15-0. 126 — Price (E) pinned Martin, 1:59. 132 — Kyreesce Little (E) won by forfeit. 138 — Dolan (E) Colvin, 5:01. 145 — Overall (E) won by fofeit. 152 — Darmstadt (E) pinned Huff, 1:05. 160 — Workman (E) pinned Delgado, :50. 170 — Brown (E) won by forfeit. 182 — Austin Kuchta (L) maj. dec. Cameron King, 12-3. 195 — Adam Kuchta (L) maj. dec. Giorgini, 19-8. 220 — Kamczyc (E) pinned Torres, 2:54. 285 — Vough (E) pinned Santana, 4:23.