PERRY — Matt Lee’s perfect season may have come to an end, but he was able to walk away from the heavyweight final with his head held high.
The Amherst senior lost to Cathedral Prep’s Kawaun Deboe by 5-2 decision at the Pin City Invitational at Perry High School on Saturday, bringing his record to 20-1.
More importantly, he didn’t get drawn into a war of words with his opponent after the bout was over. Upon winning, Deboe shouted “I just beat your (butt),” an action that the tournament director confirmed cost Cathedral Prep some team points. The school still took the team title by a wide margin.
“He started all of that,” Lee said. “It’s just unsportsmanlike and I don’t appreciate that. But it’s the sport and I respect him. He’s a good wrestler.”
The final aside, Lee had another dominant tournament, winning his five other matches by pin in a combined 3:29. He had to work for everything against Deboe, who also handed Lee his first loss of the season last year at Pin City and also was victorious in a match two years ago.
Lee struck first this time, scoring an escape that could have been a reversal that Deboe slithered out of in the second period. Deboe then scored a takedown as the period ended, chose bottom to start the third and made it 3-1 with an escape.
Lee tried to get a takedown, but Deboe evaded his attempts and added an insurance takedown toward the end of the match.
“He’s good at playing defense,” Lee said. “I hit that reversal, but didn’t have a good enough hole so he was able to get out of it. I do want to get in better shape, thought I was in OK shape there, but I’ve got to also work on my technique.”
No local wrestlers won championships. Avon’s Jack Roesch was the only other one to reach a final — falling 10-3 to Canfield’s Tyler Stein at 220. Avon, however, placed fourth as a team with 197.5 points.
“I kind of struggled a little at the end, but overall it was a good tournament for the team and everyone individually,” Roesch said. “I have to work on shot defense and get tougher on bottom. I’m proud of our team. We worked hard this week and I’m glad we finished the way we did.”
North Ridgeville had two wrestlers battle back to the third-place bout with Jacob Dunstan winning 3-2 at 126 over Amherst’s Noah Mendez and Patrick MacGregor getting pinned at 220 by Cathedral Prep’s Kareem Carson.
Dunstan got on the board in the second period with an escape after choosing bottom. He wasted no time building off of the momentum, shooting for a takedown and scoring two more points at the 1:26 mark.
Mendez went down in the third period and Dunstan did a good job of riding him out, though Mendez scored an escape with 13 seconds left and made a furious attempt to score the winning takedown. But Dunstan held him off for the victory, improving to 17-5.
He lost his semifinal match on a stalling call — a 2-1 decision against Kenston’s Nick Nastasi, who went on to win the weight class.
“Getting that shot in the second period was key, and then just made sure I let him know I’m tough, I’m strong on top,” Dunstan said. “I just have to keep my hands in when I shoot and make sure I keep moving on bottom.”
Lutheran West’s Parker Watson, an Avon resident, also took third with a 4-2 decision over Madison’s Jeff Birchford at 132. Both wrestlers were neutral for the first half of the match, until Watson scored a takedown with 30 seconds left in the second period.
Birchford chose bottom and quickly got an escape, but Watson countered with another takedown 30 seconds later. While Birchford escaped with 25 seconds left, Watson kept him at bay.
Watson improved to 17-5 but had to wrestle back after losing his opening match Saturday to Jefferson’s Joshua Baitt, who went on to lose his first match of the season in the final, falling to 20-1 on the season.
“I just wanted to keep my energy up and not stoop down to how (Birchford) wanted the match to go,” Watson said. “He wanted to tie up more and kind of slide by and stuff, but I stuck to my style. (Third) wasn’t what I wanted, but this will get me stronger for the future because this is our last tournament until conference. I’ve had some reality checks in the past few weeks and those will get me to step up my game.”
TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Cathedral Prep (Pa.) 421.5, 2. Mentor 258.0, 3. Canfield 205.5, 4. Avon 197.5, 5. Amherst 191.5, 6. Kenston 171.5, 7. Madison 154.5, 8. Jefferson 152.5, 9. North Olmsted 149.5, 10. North Ridgeville 146.5, 11. Perry 133.0, 12. Lutheran West 123.0, 13. Grand Valley 99.5, 14. St. John 98.0, 15. Edgewood 97.0, 16. West Geauga 88.5, 17. Kirtland 64.5.
106 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Kyle Rowan (PER) dec. Jason Mayes (JEF), 12-2; THIRD: Jacob Brumett (CP) dec. Ethan Fletcher (CAN), 7-2. FIFTH: Cael Saxton (AVO) maj. dec. Dominic Ricco (MEN), 14-3.
113 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Nick Sabin (MEN) maj. dec. Colin Koenig (PER), 16-4; THIRD: Alex Reagan (NO) dec. Alec Walker (AVO), 8-2; FIFTH: Trevor Meeker (GV) maj. dec. Ayden Rivers (AMH), 8-0.
120 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Alex Chelton (CP) pin Robert Pinkie (LW), 1:55; THIRD: Lincoln Splete (MEN) pin Alexander Charvat (KEN), 2:38; FIFTH: Adam Lough (AMH) def. Nathan Rumsey (EDG), by default.
126 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Nick Nastasi (KEN) dec. Tyler McKinney (CP), 6-4; THIRD: Jacob Dunstan (NR) dec. Noah Mendez (AMH), 3-2; FIFTH: Lachlan Thomas (LW) dec. Konnor Duncan (KIR), 6-5.
132 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Andrew Stark (CP) dec. Joshua Baitt (JEF), 6-3; THIRD: Parker Watson (LW) dec. Jeff Birchford (MAD), 4-2; FIFTH: Nate DeBoe (MEN) dec. Zach Berdysz, 1-0.
138 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Marques McClorin (CP) dec. Doug Bailey (MAD), 3-1; THIRD: Connor DeBoe (MEN) maj. dec. Donovan Palmer (LW), 13-2. FIFTH: Zach Bubonic (PER) pin Ethan Thomas (KIR), 1:45.
145 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Kishawn Higgins (CP) dec. Shayne Magda (MAD), 8-4; THIRD: Brian Ashago (KEN) dec. Luke Masisak (AVO), 7-3; FIFTH: Jared Viancourt (NR) maj. dec. Joey Ricco, 14-5.
152 — CHAMPIONSHIP: David Cumberledge (SJ) pin Albert Taylor (CP), 5:01; THIRD: David Reinhart (CAN) pin Matt Stevens (AMH), 1:37; FIFTH: David Thompson (MAD) dec. Brayden Adkins (KIR), 8-3.
160 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Carter Starocci (CP) pin Christian Marinozzi (MEN), 3:01; THIRD: Joe Koplow (KEN) pin Christian Blank (SJ), 2:43; FIFTH: Clayton Takacs (GV) dec. Aaron Endrizal (AVO), 6-1.
170 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Jacob Lagoa (SJ) pin Luke Sittinger (CP), 3:36; THIRD: Gino Fornaro (WG) dec. Logan Blough (MAD), 6-4; FIFTH: Nick Schuster (MEN) dec. Mohammed Khalil (NO), 12-6.
182 — CHAMPIONSHIP: David Crawford (CAN) maj. dec.. Luigi Yates (CP), 11-3; Dominic Shelley (MEN) maj. dec. Connor Toth (JEF), 12-2; FIFTH: Zach Hazlett (GV) pin Jay Butler (KEN), 3:59).
195 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Dorian Crosby (CP) dec. Nick Crawford (CAN), 5-4; THIRD: Jordan Greer (AVO) pin Jake Rush (MEN), 3:13; FIFTH: Grant Raider (AMH) pin Salah Al-Najjar (NO), 1:17.
220 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Tyler Stein (CAN) dec. Jack Roesch (AVO), 10-3; THIRD: Kareem Carson (CP) pin Patrick MacGregor (NR), 2:14; FIFTH: Chase Cottrell (GV) pin Tyler Moriarty (WG), 2:13.
285 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Kawaun Deboe (CP) dec. Matt Lee (AMH), 5-2; THIRD: Tyler Jones (NO) dec. Garrett Webster (EDG), 1-0; FIFTH: Alec Gonzalez (PER) pin Jacob Mozny (NR), 1:53.