COLUMBIA STATION — It was a memorable Patriot Athletic Conference Tournament for Keystone seniors William and Brian Spangler.
The twin brothers became the third and fourth wrestlers to become four-time PAC Tourney champions Saturday at Columbia High School, joining Clearview’s Jon Bill and Wellington’s Justin Bockmore on the all-time list.
But the Wildcats, despite leading the team race going into the final round, couldn’t add to their hardware.
Buoyed by a 7-0 performance in the final round, including three first-place matches, Buckeye overcame a 1½-point deficit to leapfrog Keystone and claim the tournament championship, 140-127½.
The Wildcats, who won the Stars Division dual meet championship after going 10-0, had three individual champions — both Spanglers (William at 132 and Brian at 138) and Jeremy King at 152.
“It kind of just motivates us more to get ready for state,” said Brian, who won his final with a pinfall over Columbia’s Shane Lambert in 2:45. “It kind of gets you excited for the rest of the journey. We’ve got three more weeks and we’re done. It’s gone fast.”
William was technically the first of the brothers to become a four-time champion when he pinned Firelands’ Angel Alexander in 3:06 to win the 132-pound title.
“I kind of went out there with the motivation to win it because it was my fourth time,” he said. “Plus, I saw in the paper that (Alexander) thought he could beat me, which kind of motivated me more. So I went out there to prove that him taking me to overtime (earlier this season) was a fluke. I just wrestled my match.”
The Spanglers were named Co-Most Valuable Wrestlers of the PAC.
Jacob Worthington, a freshman, also made the finals for the Wildcats, but was pinned by Buckeye’s Jake Thayer in 1:05 in the 170-pound final.
“We had a fun day,” Keystone coach Jim Pycraft said. “A couple of things just didn’t go our way. Our heavyweight was a pound too light. Logan (Stiner) getting hurt. We had a couple other guys in the lineup who aren’t normally there. But all the kids who competed wrestled hard. They gave it their all, and you couldn’t really ask for more out of any of us.
“Jake getting to the finals as a freshman was huge. I thought they all wrestled well. Everyone gave it all they had. We just didn’t have enough horses to finish it off.”
The Wildcats were already missing 120-pounder and defending PAC champion Dylan Stiner, who was out with an injury, and his brother Logan (145) was injured during a semifinal loss to Brookside’s Matt Thomas and had to default the rest of the way.
Pycraft expects both Stiners to be ready for next week’s Brooklyn sectional.
The coach was also pleased with the way some of his younger wrestlers stepped up, especially King. King was the only PAC champion to have to wrestle four matches, and he had a major decision and three pins, including one in the finals in 1:20 over Clearview’s Derrick Garcia.
Clay Hartley, who filled in for Dylan Stiner, finished fourth at 120, losing a 4-2 overtime match to Buckeye’s Stefon Inman in the finals.
“I thought Clay wrestled awesome for a freshman stepping into a spot,” Pycraft said. “Jeremy’s been banged up, but he won it for us and picked up a pin when we needed bonus points. William and Brian looked real good and what they did is great for our program.
“We’re only losing those two, so we’ll have most everyone back next season. The future looks real bright for us.”
Brookside held off host Columbia for third place, 110-105. Both schools had one individual champion — Gio Taw (220) for the Cardinals and Brandon Heidinger (182) for the Raiders.
In the finals, Taw pinned Clearview’s Mike Lo in 3:50, while Heidinger defeated Wellington’s Nick Sutherland, a defending PAC champion, 8-3.
“This is unbelievable,” said Taw, a senior who had never won a conference title before. “You work every day and you grind and it’s a tough sport. It really starts grinding on you towards the end, and some people can’t wait for it to be over. That’s when you’ve got to buckle down and get to business.
“My knee was bothering me a little bit, but I lubed it up with some Biofreeze and some Ben Gay and just got back out on the mat. To have it all pay off like this is an incredible feeling.”
Black River, which finished sixth with 99 points, had two individual champions in Sebastian Vidika (106) and defending state placer Mike Hozan (113). The Pirates had a chance for three champions in a row to start the event, but Spencer White, despite leading at the time, was pinned by Brooklyn’s Lewis Roginsky in 4:50 in the 120-pound final.
Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Buckeye 140, 1. Keystone 127.5, 3. Brookside 110, 4. Columbia 105, 5. Black River 99, 6. Wellington 88, 7. Clearview 83, 8. Lutheran West 81.5, 9. Brooklyn 72, 10. Firelands 67, 11. Fairview 66.5, 12. Oberlin 3.
106 — FIRST: Sebastian Vidika (Black River) maj. dec. Matt Wallace (Fairview), 13-3; THIRD: Tim Mecklenburg (Lutheran West) pinned Dominic Meehan (Brooklyn), 1:40.
113 — FIRST: Mike Hozan (Black River) pinned Bryce Deblock (Lutheran West), 3:52; THIRD: David Stepp (Buckeye) maj. dec. Devin Wray (Firelands), 13-2.
120 — FIRST: Lewis Roginsky (Brooklyn) pinned Spencer White (Black River),4:50; THIRD: Stefon Inman (Buckeye) dec. Clay Hartley (Keystone), 4-2 OT.
126 — FIRST: Mike Hollingsworth (Clearview) dec. Ryan Rusnak (Lutheran West), 8-1; THIRD: Ben Provoznik (Wellington) pinned Dillon White (Black River), 4:11.
132 — FIRST: William Spangler (Keystone) pinned Angel Alexander (Firelands),3:06; THIRD: Connor Jenny (Columbia) dec. Anthony Cwalina (Wellington), 9-3.
138 — FIRST: Brian Spangler (Keystone) pinned Shane Lambert (Columbia), 2:45; THIRD: Anthony Kisiday (Buckeye) pinned Mahmoud Awad (Fairview), 2:56.
145 — FIRST: Casey Bishop (Brooklyn) dec. Matt Thomas (Brookside), 9-4; THIRD: Danny Inman (Buckeye) dec. Gage Widner (Firelands), 4-1.
152 — FIRST: Jeremy King (Keystone) pinned Derrick Garcia (Clearview), 1:20; THIRD: Brandon Medina (Columbia) pinned Joey Gray (Brooklyn), 3:41.
160 — FIRST: Alex Sherman (Buckeye) maj. dec. Roman Waked (Columbia), 10-1; THIRD: Andrew Liese (Lutheran West) maj. dec. Christian Quiles (Brookside), 9-1.
170 — FIRST: Jake Thayer (Buckeye) pinned Jacob Worthington (Keystone), 1:05; THIRD: Cody Alspach (Wellington) dec. Josh Clouse (Columbia), 7-0.
182 — FIRST: Brandon Heidinger (Columbia) dec. Nick Sutherland (Wellington), 8-3; THIRD: Tyler Keating (Fairview) pinned Corbin Chizmadia (Keystone), 4:52.
195 — FIRST: Gio Taw (Brookside) pinned Mike Lo (Clearview), 3:50; THIRD: Kevin Thomas (Fairview) dec. Caton Wilson (Firelands), 3-1 OT.
220 — FIRST: Tyler Carrow (Buckeye) pinned Terry Sas (Black River), 1:17; THIRD: Adam Cooper (Clearview) pinned Ivan Mendoza (Brookside), 3:52.
285 — FIRST: Sam Rodgers (Wellington) pinned Josh Amburgey (Brookside), 2:31; THIRD: Joe Dewitt (Firelands) pinned Zach Prah (Lutheran West), 1:38.