PLEASANT VALLEY —
It only figured.
Twenty teams competed in 10 matches each over two days at the East Fairmont Duals, yet the podium wasn’t decided until the final dual when — of course — county rivals North Marion and East Fairmont squared off.
The Huskies narrowly edged the Bees, 45-30, to finish 9-1 on the tournament and take second place behind Independence. East Fairmont took third with an 8-2 overall record.
Fairmont Senior, meanwhile, closed out the tournament at 5-5.
“It’s a rivalry, and it’s a heated rivalry,” East Fairmont coach John Geary said of the matchup with North Marion. “We want to beat them every year.”
While the Huskies lost just one dual — that to the eventual winner in Independence — it was this one loss that North Marion coach Dave Tennant was most focused on.
“Independence kicked our butt pretty good,” he said of the 55-16 result. “I don’t mind taking a close second, but I don’t like how badly we got dominated by Independence. We really got our butts handed to us.”
Tennant’s frustrations with second place say something about his level of expectations for his team.
“We’ve got to do a lot better if we want to compete at the end of February,” he said. “As a whole, we need to be more aggressive and more offensive to get where we need to go.”
For the Huskies, Ryan Elliott and Gavin Barker continued their unbeaten streaks. They went 5-0 Friday and followed it up with five more victories each on Saturday.
Caleb Kuhn, who was also 5-0 on day one, dropped one match to finish just behind at 9-1, and Roger Cummings went 3-1 for a combined record of 7-2 on the weekend.
Joe Efaw, Kyle Elliott and Justin O’Dell added two wins to their totals Saturday. And David Harris, Justin Efaw, Andrew Lewis, Chance Haught and Noah Redmond picked up a win each on the second day of the event.
For East Fairmont, Hayden Stewart was a perfect 10-0 on the tournament while Brody Nesslerotte and Cam Stewart dropped one match each to put
them at 9-1 on the weekend. Matt Hopwood and Dalton Michael finished 8-2, and Dayon Foster and Daniel Hopkins went 7-3.
And for Fairmont Senior, Vincent Delligatti and Brent Barber closed out the tournament with perfect 10-0 records. Anthony Alvaro took a surprise loss to finish 9-1 along with Brent Wyne.
“All three teams are traditional wrestling powerhouses,” Geary said. “We went from AAA to AA, and we were contenders at AAA.”
The Polar Bears return to action Jan. 4 in the Cameron Invitation Tournament.
East Fairmont, on the other hand, has a shot at redemption Jan. 8 when it travels to North Marion.
“We came up a little short here, but we wrestle them again in a couple weeks,” said Geary. “We saw some matches here that we should have won, and I’m sure they’ll say the same thing.
“It’s sure to be another barn-burner.”
Email Mike DeFabo at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.