Hornets edge Huskies, 26-24

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Kirtland 26, Cardinal 24

MIDDLEFIELD—Kirtland and Cardinal met in an abbreviated dual meet on Wednesday with the Hornets winning four of the five matches wrestled to pull out a 26-24 win over their hosts.

“That’s all we look at in a match like that when you’re just looking for matchups,” said Kirtland coach Scott Francis of the 4-1 record on the mat. “Our kids went out there and they wrestled well. They wrestled aggressive and more importantly, they wrestled smart in hitting the moves we were going over. They’re being more patient and not trying to force stuff. They’re waiting for the opportunity and taking it when it’s there.”

Brandon Hepper, Brayden Adkins, Austin Mayo and Jeff Kusar all won matches for the Hornets and Carter Williamson collected a forfeit at 106 pounds in the win.

Hepper used a takedown, two near falls and two reversals to beat Trevor Bachna, 15-0, at 126.

“That’s the smartest match we’ve seen him wrestle all year,” Francis said. “He did a lot of nice stuff. He did moves we were showing, but at the same time he got into a couple of scramble situations and he made stuff up and came out on top, just like you’re supposed to.”

Adkins pulled out a 3-2 decision over Zane Drebus at 152.

He used a second period escape to take a 1-0 lead into the third. Drebus tied it with an escape but Adkins recorded a takedown and held on despite allowing another Drebus escape in the third period.

“Brayden wrestled a really smart match out there, especially in that last 20 seconds when he was up by one point,” Francis said. “He didn’t back down and try to stall it out, he kept attacking and that’s what you’ve got to do. That’s how you finish off matches. You don’t try to finish by getting away from a kid; that’s how you get taken down.”

Mayo fought off his own back to pin Devan Callison in 1 minute, 54 seconds at 195 pounds and Kusar recorded a 2:59 pin over Tim Baril at 285.

Kusar, who wrestled at 182 pounds last season, led 3-0 before finishing off Baril.

“He’s learning a whole new style of wrestling,” Francis said. “He’s catching on to it really fast.”

Cardinal’s Jerry Rose pinned Kelly Faber in 1:30 at 145 pounds and Ryan Shanower (120), Paul Byler (132) and Gene Henrie (138) collected forfeits for the Huskies.

Kirtland wrestles Harvey on Thursday while Cardinal travels to Newbury for the 87 Rumble with the host Black Knights and rival Berkshire.

Kirtland 26, Cardinal 24

106: Carter Williamson (K) by forfeit; 113: double forfeit; 120: Ryan Shanower (C) by forfeit; 126: Brandon Hepper (K) tech. fall Trevor Bachna, 15-0; 132: Paul Byler (C) by forfeit; 138: Gene Henrie (C) by forfeit; 145: Jerry Rose (C) pinned Kelly Faber, 1:30; 152: Brayden Adkins (K) dec. Zane Drebus, 3-2; 160: double forfeit; 170: double forfeit; 182: double forfeit; 195: Austin Mayo (K) pinned Devan Callison, 1:54; 220: double forfeit; 285: Jeff Kusar (K) pinned Tim Baril, 2:59.

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, 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 IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com 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.