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    Dramatic wins by Tromba, Deely highlight first day of D3 district wrestling tournament


    GARFIELD HEIGHTS—Villa Angela-St. Joseph’s Joey Tromba and Independence’s Paul Deely both won quarterfinals matches in dramatic fashion to highlight the first day of the 2015 Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III District Wrestling Tournament.

    Tromba opened the tournament with a four minute pin of Jackson-Milton’s Karl Sarver then scored a two-point near fall with just 22 seconds left in the match to beat Chippewa’s Garrett Hall, 4-2, in the quarterfinals.

    “It felt great,” Tromba said. “I needed a signature win on the season. I tried to pull it out the best I could.”

    Hall, a No. 1 seed out of the Northwestern Sectional, scored the first takedown of the match. Tromba then scored a reversal to tie the match at 2-2 after one period. Hall then rode out Tromba for the full two minutes in the second period, which put pressure on the VASJ wrestler to keep Hall from escaping in the third.

    He did that and more.

    With time running out Tromba used a tilt to put Hall on his back for a two-count.

    “I knew I had him,” Tromba said. “I rode him tough in the first period so I knew I could do it. I got the cross-wrist and pulled it in. I knew I had to hit it. I couldn’t wait around because there was short time left so I just rolled through and hit it.”

    Tromba, who improved to 37-8 on the year, will wrestle Mapleton junior John Smith in the semifinals. Tromba is ranked eighth in the state while Smith is No. 9.

    Deely, a returning state qualifier, set himself up for a return trip to Columbus with back-to-back wins on Friday. He pinned Pymatuning Valley’s Jaret Wright in the first round then scored a takedown in overtime to beat Fairless’ Adam Widder, 3-1, in the quarterfinals.

    “It always feels good to come out of a tight, hard-fought match like that,” Deely said. “It’s a big moral boost going into the semis tomorrow. I just have to get it done tomorrow.”

    As he always does, Deely wrestled a smart, controlled match.

    When he felt he had the advantage of Widder, which occurred early in overtime, he went for it.

    “I was working my underhooks pretty much like the entire match,” he said. I could tell he was definitely getting pretty tired out. I have pretty good conditioning; I do a lot of running and stuff. I knew if it went into overtime it was my match. I took him into OT and kept my underhooks and kept the pressure on and got that two.”

    Deely, who improved to 35-7 on the year and is ranked fifth in the state, will wrestle Tuslaw freshman Brayden Phillips in the semifinals.

    Cardinal’s Trent Mast (113), Hawken’s Louis DeMarco (120), Kirtland’s Evan Francis (138) and Clayton Davidson (160) and Independence’s Jacob Spino (145) all went 2-0 on Friday and will wrestle in Saturday’s semifinal round.

    Berkshire’s John Kumher (106), Hawken’s J.P. Hlifka (106) and Corey Cox (138), Beachwood’s Ben Kitay (126) and Josh Bialosky (182), Cardinal’s Ian Mast (126) and Brandon Neikirk (132), Cuyahoga Heights’ Trey Combs (126), Nick Frye (145), Ben Huff (152) and Will Hopkins (182), Independence’s Drew Benos (132), Nick Mroczynski (138), Tanner Hadick (152), Kevin Clymer (160) and A.J. Senick (182), Kirtland’s Mike Calvert (132), Chris Brown (145), Wickliffe’s Russell Horacek (152) and Alan Haavisto (195), Newbury’s Tom McKale (170), Mike Fenstermaker (182) and Kade Marker (195) and VASJ’s Dan Cervenik (170) all will wrestle in the consolation second round when wrestling resumes at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.

    Top 10 Team Scores:

    1. Tuslaw 51.5
    2. Rootstown 47.5
    3. Waynedale 43.0
    4. Jackson-Milton 37.5
    5. Manchester 32.5
    6. Mapleton 31.0
    7. Smithville 27.5
    8. Lutheran West 27.0
    8. Kirtland 27.0
    9. Northwestern 26.0
    9. Loudonville 26.0





    Steve Hare
    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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