By Wade Linville –
The Western Brown Broncos are headed to the Division II, Region 15 Semifinals of the OHSAA Dual Team Wrestling Tournament after dominating the mats for victories over Bellbrook and Wilmington in the regional quarterfinals held at Western Brown High School, Jan. 25.
The Broncos entered the regional quarterfinals as the No. 1 seed, receiving a bye for round one.
The No. 8 seed team of Bellbrook claimed a 40-30 victory over No. 9 seed Waynesville to advance to round two where they would face off against the skilled team of Western Brown. The Broncos had no trouble at all staking claim to a 70-9 win over Bellbrook.
After topping Bellbrook, the Western Brown team went on to command the mat for a 72-12 victory over the No. 4 seed Wilmington Hurricanes who defeated No. 5 seed Fenwick 54-24 to earn a berth in the final team dual of the evening against the Broncos.
Western Brown’s head wrestling coach Wendel Donathan was pleased to see his team come out with two big victories to win the regional quarterfinals, but pointed out that there is still much room for improvement.
“We didn’t win every weight class, and that’s our goal. We want to win every match,” said Donathan.
The Broncos entered the regional quarterfinals coming off a recent loss to the skilled Division I team of Harrison, a loss that Donathan felt helped to prepare his Broncos for the regional tourney.
“We should have won that one, but we didn’t because our bad habits caught up to us against a good team,” Donathan said of the dual against Harrison. “It was a butt whipping that we needed, and I think it kind of fueled us tonight (in the regional tournament). You have to wrestle those types of teams to prepare for this type of thing.”
Starting off regional quarterfinal action for the Broncos was junior Jedidiah Marlow, who had no trouble at all claiming a win by pin with 52.4 seconds remaining in the first round over Bellbrook freshman Johnny Malas in the 106-pound battle.
Then it was Western Brown junior Brandon Lucas pinning Bellbrook freshman Torin Foster with 1:15 to go in the first period for the win in the 113-pound match.
Western junior Seth Taylor dominated the mat for a win by pin over Bellbrook freshman Zach Taylor with 1:17 remaining in the first round in the 120-pound match, giving the Bronco team an 18-0 lead.
In the 126-pound match-up, it was Western sophomore Tanner Donathan cruising to a victory by pin with 31.5 seconds to go in round one, expanding the Broncos’ lead to 24-0.
Western Brown sophomore Blake Hurt suffered a 6-2 loss by decision in the 138-pound match, but the Broncos still held a 24-3 lead.
Int he 132-pound battle, it was Western Brown junior Jordan Hamblin pinning Bellbrook sophomore Owen Ebel with 32.3
remaining in the first round to lift the Broncos to a 30-3 advantage.
Bronco junior Kennedy Sizemore won by a pin in the first round to up the Western Brown lead to 36-3, then it was Bronco senior Jake “Hondo” Henderson commanding the mat for a win by pin over Bellbrook freshman Matthew Billock with 57.6 seconds to go in round one of the 152-pound match to give the Broncos a 42-3 lead.
Western Brown sophomore Dylan Mosher won the 160-pound battle, defeating Bellbrook senior Sean Caris by a 13-0 decision.
The Broncos upped their lead to 52-3 with junior Eric Altman topping Bellbrook sophomore Anthony Barhorst in the 170-pound showdown.
Bronco junior Justin Noble claimed a first-round victory by pin over Bellbrook sophomore Patrick Broderick in the 220-pound weight class.
After topping the Bellbrook team, the Broncos went on to defeat Wilmington 72-12.
Marlow started off the team dual with a win by pin over Wilmington freshman Sam Eastes in round one.
Then it was Lucas pinning Wilmington junior Cameron Smart in round two to give the Broncos a 12-0 lead.
Taylor defeated Wilmington senior Jordan Pierce by pin in the first round to up the Broncos’ lead to 24-0.
Donathan won the 126-pound battle with a first round pin to expand the Western Brown lead to 30-0.
Hamblin pinned Wilmington sophomore Trent Holliday in the first round to widen the margin to 36 points.
Bronco sophomore Evan Luttrell got the victory in the 138-pound battle to expand the Western lead to 42-0.
Also wrestling for victories were Henderson, Altman, junior Davey Stamper (pin, 182-pound), and sophomore Austin Terrell (pin, 220-pound) to help seal the 60-point team win for Western Brown.
With the regional quarterfinal win, the Bronco team earned a berth in the regional semifinals where they will face off against No. 2 seed Clinton-Massie at a site that had not yet been determined as of Jan. 25.
“We have only seen them (Clinton-Massie) once and that was at the Hammer and Anvil where we had a good tournament and finished way ahead of them, but I know they had some kids out, so that hurt their line-up quite a bit. That’s the only time we’ve seen them, so we will see how that (Feb. 1) match-up goes,” said Wendel Donathan.