BELOIT – Carrollton remained unbeaten in its quest for a fourth Northeastern Buckeye Conference (NBC) at West Branch last Thursday, but it wasn’t easy.
The Warriors headed into the final weight class of the evening -285 lbs. (heavyweight) – with a one-point lead. Win and they won the match, lose and their quest for a fourth championship title was in jeopardy and their unblemished league record was gone.
Senior Tavis Rutledge pinned Jacob Hurst and the Warriors headed home with a 35-28 win.
Carrollton freshman Troy Lane stepped in the lineup at 106 pounds and freshman Jayden Zbuka stepped up one weight class to 113 lbs.
Lane was pinned by Tyler Hicks to give West Branch the early lead, but Zbuka pinned River Zurbrugg.
The match went back–and-forth as Christian Wayt of West Branch posted a 20-6 major decision over Nathan Blake at 120 lbs. Robbie Hoopes (126) gave Carrollton the lead when he pinned Kenny Morris.
The next two matches were decided by decisions. Jonah Thomas (132 lbs., West Branch) posted a 4-1 decision over Evan Lewis and Tanner Newbold (138 lbs., Carrollton) won a 3-1 decision over Gage Bickley.
Ben Pasiuk (145 lbs., Carrollton) pinned Thomas Caserta and Justin Shaw (152 lbs., Carrollton) earned a 19-5 major decision over Brock Wilke. It was Shaw’s first match of the season, returning to the lineup after an injury kept him on the sideline the first half of the season.
West Branch won the next three weight classes by decision to give the Warriors the lead. Peter Biery (160) won 10-8 over Brandon Daniels, Neil Ginnetti (170) defeated Noah Carrothers 5-1 and Kenny Marra (182) beat Alex Carrothers 3-1.
Lucas Wolf (195 lbs., West Branch) pinned Chase Baxter to set up the final two matches for the evening.
Noah Rutledge (220) earned a 9-1 major decision over Colin Lawniczak to give the Warriors the one-point lead heading into the heavyweight match.
“Tavis stepped it up and got the pin that won the match,” said Coach Ken Pasiuk.
“We had a lot of wrestlers who did a great job wrestling for the team and saving point during the match. What we are most proud of is that under the pressure all of our wrestlers handled themselves respectfully and showed a lot of class.”
Pasiuk said he was happy to have Shaw back in the line-up and had words of praise for Brice Weiland, a senior, to stepped in to fill Shaw’s weight class while he was out.
“Having Justin back in the line-up is great for our team. However, Brice Weiland has done a great job for us in Justin’s spot while he’s been out,” said Pasiuk.
With the win, the Warriors improved their overall record to 15-1.
Carrollton won the junior varsity match 51-9.
Licking Valley Invitational
The Warriors placed first in the 13-team Licking Valley Invitational held Jan. 6 in Newark.
Carrollton earned 263 points, ahead of New Lexington (199), Riverview (177), Troy Christian (172) and Hartley (128) in the top five.
Three Warriors won championship titles: Pasiuk (145), Shaw (152) and Daniels (160).
Three Warriors finished as runners-up: Brayden Carter (132), Newbold (138), and Alex Carrothers (182); one placed third: Jaret Lane (170); two placed fourth: Weiland (145) and Colby Moore (160); five placed fifth: Zbuka (106), Blake (120), Hoopes (126), Lewis (132) and Tavis Rutledge (285); and one sixth: Noah Rutledge (220).
“This was a great opportunity for our wrestlers to work on things and get better for some tough duals and tournaments coming up,” said Pasiuk. “Some of our wrestlers who have been out of the line-up got the chance to get back on the mat. We are very happy with how the guys are wrestling and handling themselves. They are wrestling aggressive, smart and confident.”
Carrollton is scheduled to participate in the Top Gun tournament Jan. 12 and 13 before returning to league action Jan. 18 at Louisville.