SULLIVAN TWP. — Parker Watson and Lutheran West wanted to make a statement. Mission accomplished.
Watson, an Avon resident, was one of three champions and eight placers for the Longhorns, who won the team title with 154.5 points at the J.B. Firestone Invitational hosted by Black River High School on Saturday.
In the 132-pound final, Watson overwhelmed Northwestern’s Cael Rowland with a 17-5 major decision, routinely letting Rowland up so he could pile on the takedowns.
“I kind of wanted to prove a point,” Watson said. “I faced him twice at districts last year so I knew he was coming at me. I just wanted to prove a point that I’m not going to be reckoned with, not to be thought down on and you’re not going to get revenge on me because I’m coming for you.
“We haven’t won a team tournament since maybe 2011. Being a captain, that means a lot. In practice, I preach family, unity and togetherness. This means a lot.”
North Ridgeville, who finished second with 143.5 points, also had eight placers, two of them champions. Patrick MacGregor needed three minutes to pin Western Reserve’s Devin Good in the 220-pound final and Jared Viancourt defeated Brookside’s Jacob Stoehr 7-4 to win the 145-pound title.
Viancourt found himself down 3-0 in the second period before scoring a takedown late then escaping from bottom 15 seconds into the third. From there he piled on the points with two more takedowns in the last 1:30.
“I’ve been struggling with my takedowns lately,” Viancourt said. “As long as I can get my takedowns and ride him out like I did, everything is fine. It feels great (to win a title). I haven’t been really happy with myself lately about how I wrestled. It feels good here, but I’ve still got a lot of stuff to work on.”
Host Black River had a strong showing — the only other school with three individual champions. Jacob Campbell won his third J.B. Firestone title in four years — the only blemish a loss in the final to Lutheran West’s James Handwerk in 2015 — with a 6-1 decision over Northwestern’s Colt Slanczka at 195.
Riley Bartolic also brought home a title at 182, pinning Oberlin’s Riley Horning 1:48 into the bout.
But the match of the day was the 120-pound final between Black River’s Zach Lahood and Brookside’s David Ocasio, which Lahood won 4-3 in an ultimate tiebreaker. Lahood came dangerously close to losing, but escaped Ocasio within the last second of the third period to even the score at two.
The first overtime was a stalemate, much like most of the match — neither wrestler scored a takedown. Lahood came very close, taking Ocasio down late in overtime, but the clock had expired. Both wrestlers scored an escape in their 30-second tiebreaker, leading to the UTB.
Ocasio, who had already scored a reversal and an escape, went down and Lahood rode him for dear life, forcing him out of bounds with one second left just as Ocasio was about to escape. The Pirates junior held on for the win.
“I’ve never went overtime before,” Lahood said. “We got into a scramble position and I spend at least 30 minutes a day on that. It feels amazing to win, we knew we had the hardest weight class here so to come out with a win feels really good. We’ve been training for that match for two weeks now.”
Robert Bouchonville brought home the lone title for Oberlin, winning at 126 pounds with a 10-8 sudden victory decision against Lutheran West’s Lachlan Thomas. Bouchonville took a two-point lead late in the third, but Thomas scored a late takedown to force overtime.
Bouchonville didn’t need long to secure the win, taking Thomas down 13 seconds into the extra period.
“It was kind of hard to predict what he was doing,” Bouchonville said. “It feels great (to win). I listened to my coach, didn’t give up and kept moving.”
One other local wrestler brought home a title — Clearview’s J.D. McCardle with a pin 59 seconds into the 285-pound title bout against Hillsdale’s Caleb Ritter.
TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Lutheran West 154.5, 2. North Ridgeville 143.5, 3. Lakewood 121.5, 4. Brookside 112, 5. Northwestern 96.5, 6. Black River 91.5, 7. New London 84.5, 8. Western Reserve 77, 9. Clearview 76.5, 10. Oberlin 42, 11. Hillsdale 30, 12. South Central 12, 13. Cardington Lincoln 0.
106 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Dylan Martin (NW) pin Sean Kane (CLE), 1:34; THIRD: Christian Padro (LW) pin Max Davis (HIL), 0:23.
113 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Jon Duran (LW) pin Ronald Jackson (NR), 3:53; THIRD: Jack Alkhdour (LAK) dec. Mike Dalton (NL), 5-2.
120 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Zach Lahood (BR) dec. David Ocasio (BRK), 4-3 (UTB); THIRD: Robert Pinkie (LW) maj. dec. Abed Sulaiman (NR), 11-3.
126 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Robert Bouchonville (OBR) dec. Lachlan Thomas (LW), 10-8 (SV); THIRD: Matt Caraszi (NR) pin Cayden Gainer (BRK), 1:44.
132 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Parker Watson (LW) maj. dec. Cael Rowland (NW), 17-5; THIRD: Jacob Dunstan (NR) dec. Aidan Fry-Silva (WR), 4-1.
138 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Donavan Palmer (LW) pin Jacob Martz (WR), 5:11; THIRD: Brenden Jackson (BRK) pin Robbie Rietnour (NL), 3:28.
145 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Jared Viancourt (NR) dec. Jackb Stoehr (BRK), 7-4; THIRD: Bailey Glavich (WR) pin Kenyon Cathey (NL), 1:46.
152 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Jayden Jackson (LAK) tech. fall Austin Reed (NL), 16-1; THIRD: Cody Nusbaum (BRK) pin Anthony Naso (NR), 4:48.
160 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Hal Huber (NW) pin Nistor Krizan (LAK), 1:27; THIRD: Mason Roberts (NR) def. Aaron Reed (NL), by forfeit.
170 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Milan Jackson (LAK) maj. dec. Garrett Frye (LW), 17-5; THIRD: Jacob Kessler (CLE) pin Ethan Garza (BRK), 4:13.
182 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Riley Bartolic (BR) pin Riley Horning (OBR), 1:48; THIRD: Cole Nicholas (LW) dec. Gabriel Toledo (LAK), 1-0.
195 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Jacob Campbell (BR) dec. Colt Slanczka (NW), 6-1; THIRD: Mitchell Phillipps (NL) pin Spencer Reynolds (LAK), 2:40.
220 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Patrick MacGregor (NR) pin Devin Good (WR), 3:00; THIRD: Eric Kebeiks (BRK) pin Kyle Stevanus (BR), 1:54.
285 — CHAMPIONSHIP: J.D. McCardle (CLE) pin Caleb Ritter (HIL), 0:59; THIRD: Yousef Awad (LAK) dec. Zack Schlessman (WR), 7-2.