Kirtland’s Will Davidson and Jeff Kusar both finished 2-0 on the first day of the 55th Annual Kenston Invitational Tournament and will wrestle in Saturday’s semifinals.
Davidson, a 106-pounder, opened the tournament with a 3-minute pin of Brooklyn’s Joe Dennis then used a late escape and takedown to beat West Branch’s Alex Courtney in the quarterfinals, 8-5.
“Will had a nice match in the quarters,” Kirtland coach Scott Francis said. “It was tied late in the match and he ended up getting an escape and takedown right as the match was ending to get the win. You have to learn how to win the close ones and that’s what he did right there.”
Davidson will wrestle Norwalk St. Paul’s Harley Stoll in the semifinals.
Kusar spent less than a minute on the mat in each of his first two matches at 285 pounds. He opened with a 48-second pin of Lakewood’s Tajorn Short then flattened Pymatuning Valley’s Victor Verba in 52 seconds in his next match.
The win over Verba didn’t come easily as Kusar was thrown to his back early in the match but recovered to advance.
“The Pymatuning kid came out and caught him and took him down to his back,” Francis said. “Jeff is a big, strong kid. He’s hard to keep down there. He was able to work off his back and they went to a scramble and Jeff reversed him to his back and got the pin.”
Kusar will wrestle Chardon’s Jaret Hall in Saturday’s semifinal round.
Brennon Braud and Anthony Gencarelli both will wrestle in the consolation bracket on Saturday.
Braud, a 195-pounder, dropped his first bout but rebounded with a pin in the consolation bracket. He’ll face Pymatuning Valley’s Kenny Crouch in his first match on Saturday. Gencarelli had a tough draw at 220 as he opened the tournament against Geneva’s Charles Taylor. After dropping into the consolation bracket, Gencarelli recorded a pair of pins to keep his placement hopes alive. He’ll wrestle Crestwood’s Nick Lowry on Saturday.
“They’re coming through wrestling real nice,” Francis said of Braud and Gencarelli. “They were doing the stuff we were working on practice, one move to the next. That chain wrestling is paying off for them.”