Van Wert sophomore Andy Hammond, shown here lifting his opponent off the ground during the recent Spartan Invitational, picked up a pair of wins on Wednesday at the team dual regional tournament held at St. John’s High School in Delphos. (TB file photo/submitted)
By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
DELPHOS — The Van Wert Cougars knocked off Ottawa-Glandorf in their first match at the OHSAA regional wrestling duals held on Wednesday evening at St. John’s High School, but their run in the team tournament came to a close with a loss to the Blue Jays in their second match of the night.
Van Wert was the nine seed and scored a 37-33 victory over the eighth-seeded Titans in Division III Region 24A. Scoring wins for the Cougars versus their Western Buckeye League rival were Andy Hammond, Jacob Durden, Jacob Crisenberry, Chandler Adams, Marcel Salcido, Brody Couts and Kaleb Cantrell.
Hammond claimed his match by pin, as did Durden and Crisenberry. Adams and Cantrell won their matches via decision and Salcido and Couts won by way of forfeit.
The only weight classes that the Cougars entered a wrestler and did not come away with a win were in the 120-pound class, where Ritchie Espinoza suffered a 6-5 loss to Jon Basinger, and in the 195-pound class, where Gabe Hill fell by pin to Derek Ebbeskotte.
Though the Cougars were not able to advance to next week’s regional semi-finals, Hill got back into the win column by defeating Andrew Shawhan of St. John’s in night’s second team match.
The Blue Jays, who had a bye in the opening round, claimed a 54-18 win over Van Wert. St. John’s lost only two weight classes that they entered versus the Cougars, with those wins claimed by Hill and by Hammond, who scored a win over Patrick Stevenson in the 132-pound weight class. Hammond had wrestled in the 126-pound class versus Ottawa-Glandorf, but he and Durden switched classes to take on the Blue Jays.
In the final match of the evening, the top-seeded Blue Jays knocked off Columbus Grove by a 40-30 score to advance to next week’s action. The Bulldogs had defeated Spencerville earlier in the evening.