Submitted by BeachwoodBison.org
Beachwood juniors Sammy Gross and Ryan Harris, who also collected his 100th career victory, each won individual championships and three other Bison wrestlers placed among the top 6 to lead the team to a ninth place finish at the Olentangy Liberty High School Tournament on Saturday.
“Harris and Gross were way above everybody else,” said Beachwood sixth-year head coach Dugan Bentley. “With everybody else, we’ve got some weaknesses we’ve got to work on, mostly scoring more points on the mat. We were the strongest on our feet.”
Harris, third in the state in 2012 and seventh in 2011, finished 5-0 at 160 pounds. His 20-5 technical fall in his fourth match was the 100th victory of his Beachwood career. He needed just one minute in the championship finals to earn his 101st win.
That fall came against Athens’ Dallas Lazear, a 2012 Division II state qualifier.
“We thought he would at least get challenged but he had three takedowns, one to the back, and he finished it all in under a minute,” Bentley said.
He bumped up to 160 and I think he looks really good there,” Bentley said.
Harris looked comfortable bumping up a weight class.
“He wrestled 160 and he looked really good,” Bentley said. “With his speed and technique, I’m not sure there’s a benefit for him to cut to 152.”
Harris scored three technical falls, one major decision and a pin on Saturday.
Gross, a defending state champion and third place winner in 2011, pinned three of his four opponents and beat the other 17-2 to win the 120-pound championship.
His first two bouts lasted 1:00 and 1:08, respectively.
“He was almost flawless,” Bentley said. “He looked like a man amongst boys out there. He’s definitely putting these kids through the ringer.”
It took Gross a bit longer to finish off his finals opponent, but he was just as dominant in flattening Olentangy Liberty’s Giuseppe Penzone, a Division I district champion last season.
“That kid was ranked fifth at 126 in Division I, so we expected a good matchup,” Bentley said. “It was 5-0 after the first period and then (Gross) got the motor running. By the end of it, Penzone wasn’t even getting up. Had he not pinned him it would have been a tech fall.”
That victory was the 99th of Gross’ career.
Senior Alex Angersola and junior Paul Flowers both finished fifth.
Angersola finished 3-2 at 145.
“He looked good, especially in his scrambles, but he got himself out of position on top a little bit,” Bentley said. “In one match he got three takedowns but he gave up three reversals and he ended up losing.”
Flowers was 3-1 at 195. His only setback was a 4-1 decision to the third place wrestler in his first match.
“He’s the complete opposite of (Harris),” Bentley said. “He’s a little undersized for 195 but he has real good position for an upper weight. He’s almost deceiving when he wrestles a guy bigger than he is. He just seems to land right. He went out there and hung tough.”
Flowers pulled out a 6-5 victory in his second bout and closed out the tournament with 5-1 and 4-1 wins.
“He gets a lot of wins because he stays in the match,” Bentley said.
Junior Anthony Walden was sixth at 138.
He finished 3-2 in the first matches he wrestled for Beachwood after transferring from St. Peter Chanel.
“He looked pretty good for his first competition,” Bentley said. “He has to establish a more consistent takedown and ride, but overall, it was good for him. I think he’s going to come back with some things to work on and some things we can help him with. This was the first time we really saw him wrestle, so we learned a lot about him."
Walden lost a preliminary bout to Wadsworth’s Matthias Zollinger, a Division I state qualifier in 2012, then fell, 2-1, to Twinsburg’s Eric Murdock in the fifth place match.
Junior Trevor Sanshuck had a strong showing at 170 pounds. He recorded two falls and a 3-1 decision to finish 3-2 on the day.
Freshman Kyle Gross finished 0-3 at 106, but Bentley liked what he saw out of his 96-pound scrapper.
“He fought his butt off, but it’s tough when (your opponents) are almost 10-percent bigger than you are,” he said. “He’s about 96 pounds and 106 had some really full-sized kids, who after weigh-ins were all of 110 pounds.”
Junior Andrew Kitay was 1-3 at 152 and junior Sam Diamond was 1-3 at 182.
The Bison return to action on Dec. 21 when they travel to West Geauga for a tri-meet with the host Wolverines and St. Ignatius.
“We get a week off to get our heads right,” Bentley said. “We’ll find out where we’re at and work on some things and get ready for the rest of the season.”
Olentangy Liberty Tournament (team scores):
1. Wadsworth 451
2. Perkins 363
3. Mason 349
4. Lake Catholic 255
5. Olentangy Liberty 247
6. Franklin 242
7. Pickerington Central 230
8. Athens 226
9. Beachwood 210
10. Hilliard Bradley 192
11. Gahanna Lincoln 189
12. Caledonia River Valley 165
13. Hamilton Township 157
14. Nelsonville York 152
15. Twinsburg 133
16. Fenton, Illinois 74
17. Newark 16