Logan Hall

Friday, December 7, 2007
The Covington wrestling team got off to a fast start at the Northeastern Invitational Friday, going undefeated with a 3-0 dual meet record on the night. The Buccs first squared off with the Urbana Hillclimbers where they took the lead after three matches and never trailed from that point on, earning a 49-30 victory. Winning by pin for Covington were Sam Herron (119), Andrew DeHart (130), Justin McMillion (152) and Josh Shefbuch (171). Also victorious were Zach Shilt (103), Tyler Tebbe (125), Aaron Devenport (145) and Logan Hall (189).

In their next dual, the Buccs faced the West Liberty-Salem Tigers – a squad boasting two returning state placers and another returning state qualifier. At 112, Covington’s Matt Breisch lost a hard-fought 8-11 decision to Brit Wooten. Sam Herron (119) then dropped an 11-2 decision the Tigers‚ Travis Wooten, one of their returning state placers, to give WLS a 7-0 start. Tyler Tebbe (125) then got things going for the Buccs turning a half-nelson into a pin over Thomas Green. Things continued to go well for Covington as Andrew DeHart (135) used a cradle and Quentin Layman (140), a head-and-arm, to get pins while Cory Ely (130) and Josh McMillion (145) picked up forfeits to give the Buccs a 30-7 lead.

West Liberty-Salem would answer, however, as state placer Curt Levy (152) earned a fall over Justin McMillion and state qualifier Peter Lewis (171) got a pin over Covington’s Josh Shefbuch. In between those bouts, Jake Jennings (152) fell short 4-6 in his bout with the Tigers‚ Cory Thompson. This brought West Liberty closer to the Buccs as the team score read 30-22. Covington’s Logan Hall (189) would seal the deal, though, with a first period pin over Matt Godsil. The Buccs would go on to win the dual 48-27, picking up forfeits in two of the next three bouts with Steven Ray (215) and Zach Shilt (103), while Charlie Bruyere (285) dropped his bout to Mark Parker.

In their last dual of the evening, Covington dominated the Springfield South Panthers, winning 12 of the 14 matches en route to a 69-12 victory. Winning for the Buccs were Zach Shilt (103), Matt Breisch (112), Sam Herron (119), Tyler Tebbe (125), Andrew DeHart (130), Quentin Layman (140), Josh McMillion (145), Justin McMillion (152), Jake Jennings (160), Josh Shefbuch (171), Steven Ray (189) and Logan Hall (215).

Despite the lopsided team score, one match went down to the wire. At 152 lbs, Covington’s Justin McMillion faced South’s Dustin Hilderbrand. With short time left in the first period, Hilderbrand scored on a takedown, but McMillion escaped to earn a point before the time ran out. In the second period, trailing 2-1, McMillion tied the score with another escape and followed with a takedown, before giving his opponent an escape to enter the third period with a 4-3 lead. The third period was filled with a lot of scrambling and near-scores, but in the end each wrestler earned one point apiece as McMillion endured to win the match by one point, 5-4.

Covington is set to face Springfield Northwestern, Springfield Northeastern, Finneytown and Springfield North on Saturday. Wrestling will resume at noon.

Saturday, December 8, 2007
The Covington wrestling team continued their impressive run at the Northeastern Invitational. Entering Saturday’s competition with a 3-0 record, Covington battled through some close duals to finish 4-0 on the day and 7-0 overall to win the tournament title. The Buccs ended up with eleven placers as they earned their highest finish at the invitational since winning back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001.

Going 7-0 and finishing in first-place for the Buccs were Zach Shilt (103), Andrew DeHart (130) and Logan Hall (189). Shilt earned 2 pins while both DeHart and Hall finished with 5 pins each. Finishing in third place for Covington was Matt Breisch (112, 5-2), Tyler Tebbe (125, 5-2, 2 pins), Dylan Gustin (135, 4-2, 2 pins), Josh McMillion (145, 3-2, 1 pin) and Justin McMillion (152, 6-1, 4 pins). Earning 4th were Sam Herron (119, 5-2, 3 pins), Quentin Layman (140, 4-3, 2 pins) and Jake Jennings (160, 3-3, 1 pin).

Covington started off the day by putting together an impressive performance against the Northwestern Wildcats. The Buccs won ten of the fourteen bouts to post an opening round 52-21 victory. This would give the team a little momentum heading into their next two rounds against the two tournament favorites.

In their second dual of the day, Covington put together a solid team performance to best the Northeastern Jets, 42-30. In the first match at 130 lbs., in what looked to be an even match-up, Cory Ely took to the mat like a buzz saw and wasted no time scoring the first takedown. He then used a cradle, rat-tail and butcher to build a 9-0 lead before finishing his opponent off with the pin. The other key victory in the dual belonged to Zach Shilt at 103 lbs. Trailing 10-2 in the first period, Shilt used his speed to counter for a reversal and in the second period fought for a takedown before pinning his opponent with a nice wrist and half.

This set up a big match-up in the third round between the two undefeated teams in the tournament – Covington and Finneytown. Starting at 135, Finneytown’s Cole Pitman earned the first takedown over Dylan Gustin, followed by a quick escape. Pitman came right back at Gustin and looked to have him in trouble, but Gustin rolled through the hold and stacked Pitman for the pin to give the Buccs a key victory. Finneytown would win the next two bouts to take a 9-6 lead, before Covington’s Justin McMillion (152) got the team lead right back, 12-9, with a second period pin. Marquis Brookings tied the dual at 12 each with an exciting 14-10 victory over Covington’s Jake Jennings. Finneytown would then get their second lead of the dual, 18-12, with a pin at 171 lbs.

This lead into a highly anticipated battle at 189 lbs between Covington’s Logan Hall and Finneytown’s Demond Sanford – both undefeated thus far. Sanford was the first wrestler of the tournament to score a takedown on Hall, but it didn’t last long as Hall quickly escaped. Sanford scored a second takedown, but suddenly Hall was on top with a reversal and near fall to end the first period with a narrow 5-4 lead. Logan started on bottom in the second period and earned a penalty point to go ahead 6-4. With a slick reversal and nearfall points, Logan led 10-5 going into the third. Sanford chose bottom and started to stand up, but Hall seized the opportunity to cradle him up for the pin, knotting the team score, 18-18.

After four more bouts, the team score was again tied, 30-30. Covington’s Sam Herron found himself in a battle with Finneytown’s Ikaika Cummings, but earned an injury default, as Cummings ran out of injury time, to give Covington a 36-30 lead. This would only last for one match however as Finneytown tied it once again, 36-36, with a pin at 125 lbs.

In the final match – with the dual and tournament title on the line – Covington’s Andrew DeHart took to the mat on fire, taking undefeated Rouwan Hug down and quickly scoring nearfall points. After repositioning, with less than a minute gone in the first period, DeHart cradled Hug up for the pin to give the Buccs the victory and sole possession of first place heading into the final round. Covington then took care of business in their last dual with a solid 53-30 victory over Springfield North.

The Buccs next competition will be up north at the Lincolnview Invitational on Saturday, December 15.

Andrew DeHart