The Covington wrestling team traveled to the Troy Invitational tonight, but with some unfavorable draws and three wrestlers out of the line-up – including two seeded wrestlers – the Buccs find themselves in ninth place out of sixteen teams after two rounds with 41.5 points. Troy is leading with 100 points followed by Troy Christian with 55.5.
The Buccs advanced eight of their eleven wrestlers into the quarterfinals with three making it into the semifinal round. At 112 lbs, Jordan Tebbe advanced to the semifinals with a bye and a 17-0 technical fall over Hong of Urbana. At 171 lbs, Brian Ely also advanced in the championship bracket with pins over Livada of Oakwood and Weston of Tipp City. Joining them was Logan Brown (189 lbs) who earned pins over Zach Frantz of Lehman and Martycz of Kenton Ridge.
Winning their first round matches, but dropping their second bouts were Jake Jennings (119 lbs), Richie Watkins (135 lbs), Justin McMillion (140 lbs), Bobby Wiltshire (152 lbs) and Jake Wise (215 lbs). In the first round, Watkins earned a 15-1 major decision over Ray of Indian Lake, before falling to the no. 4 seed, Blackmore of Troy by pin. McMillion won an 18-8 major decision over Turner of Oakwood before dropping his next bout to the no. 2 seed, Harris of Greenville.
Wiltshire started off with a pin over Chicket of Alter, but couldn’t overcome an early 5 point throw to Tanner Waid of Troy, losing 5-3. Wise won his first match with a 3-0 decision over Belver of Troy Christian before dropping his next bout to the no. 3 seed, McCormick of Troy. Jennings advanced with a bye before losing a 5-1 decision to no. 4 seed, Sturwold of Troy.
With all wrestlers still competing on Saturday, the Buccs look to rebound from tonight with strong performances in the consolation brackets. Wrestling resumes at 9:30 am on Saturday.
Despite having three wrestlers out their lineup, the Covington Buccaneer wrestling team stormed to a fourth place finish with 135 points at the sixteen-team Troy Invitational. The host, Troy, was crowned champion, followed by Troy Christian and Greenville. The Buccs found themselves in ninth place after Friday’s rounds, but battled back as a team to earn their best finish at the tournament since the mid-1980’s. In all, eight of Covington’s eleven competing wrestlers placed in the top-six, which is the most since the 1998-99 season.
Logan Brown led the way with a dominating performance at 189 lbs. He advanced to the finals after defeating the no. 4 seed, J. Mathews of Springfield Shawnee in the semifinals, gaining seven takedowns along the way. In the finals, he faced Troy’s Brandon Massie in a hyped and highly anticipated match. Massie placed third at the 45-team GMVWA holiday tournament – where Logan took first – but did not face Brown in the tournament. Despite the buzz, the bout was one-sided and over quickly as Brown used a front headlock into a near-side cradle to take down and pin Massie in 1 minute, 17 seconds.
Brian Ely almost gave the Buccaneers two champions on the night, but dropped an extremely close match to E. Patrick of Fairborn in the 171 lb. championship bout to take runner-up. Their match went into overtime with a 0-0 score and Ely narrowly missed getting the winning takedown, but lost it on the scramble in the waning seconds. Earlier, Brian dominated his semi-final opponent, Channels of Xenia, on his way to a third period fall, as he pinned all of his opponents entering his final match.
Two Covington wrestlers overcame adversity to battle through the consolation rounds and take third place. At 112 lbs, in a rare occurrence, Jordan Tebbe split open his chin in a semifinal loss to Zach Marinelli of Tipp City. With fantastic bandaging by Troy’s trainer, Tebbe was able to continue the tournament before heading to the hospital to get stitches. Jordan won his consolation semi-final bout by fall over Deel of Kenton Ridge to advance into the third place bout with Ben Ballentine of Springfield North. Tebbe got off to a slow start and found himself trailing 10-0 late in the second period, but earned a reversal and near fall to close the gap to 10-4. He continued to battle and gained a takedown in the third period and two more near fall to score 12 unanswered points and finish with a 12-10 victory.
At 135 lbs, Richie Watkins also earned a third-place victory despite entering the tournament as an unseeded wrestler. Finding himself in the consolation bracket after a second round loss, Watkins reeled off three straight pins for his highest placement of the season. On his way, he defeated both the second-seed, Salyers of Xenia, and the third-seed, Prager of Greenville, by first period pins.
Bobby Wiltshire narrowly missed joining Tebbe and Watkins, but fell in overtime, 6-4, to Tanner Waid of Troy to take fourth place. On the way, Wiltshire earned three pins and a decision, with both his losses coming to Waid. Also placing for the Buccs as sixth-place finishers were freshman Jake Jennings (119 lbs), sophomore Justin McMillion (140 lbs) and junior Ryan White (160 lbs) – who managed the feat despite giving up nearly 15 pounds.
The Buccs travel next to Miami East on Saturday, January 14, to compete in the Miami East dual meet invitational.
Final Troy Invitational Team Scores
Troy – 218
Troy Christian – 161
Greenville – 140
Covington – 135
Urbana – 127
Fairborn – 127
Indian Lake – 123
Tipp City – 97.5
Kenton Ridge – 79.5
Northwestern – 70
Xenia – 63.5
Springfield North – 70
Oakwood – 46
Alter – 38.5
Springfield Shawnee – 32
Lehman – 11