KIRTLAND– Cardinal outscored Liberty, 27-18, and won six of the nine matches wrestled but the Huskies couldn’t overcome the 30 points they gave up in forfeits in a 48-33 loss to the Leopards in the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Division III, Region 19B quarterfinal at Kirtland on Wednesday.
The Husky wrestlers’ showing was leaps and bounds better than their last one a week ago.
“We had a long talk after our last performance. It definitely was not the team that I know I have,” said Cardinal coach Jeff Zeigler. “They wrestled extremely better.”
With just over a week left until the Chagrin Valley Conference tournament the Huskies will add another wrestler to their lineup when 120-pounder Brandon Nevison returns from injury.
“A day late, a dollar short, but that will help getting him back in the lineup and we’ll keep moving on,” Zeigler said. “We have the conference tournament coming up and I still believe we have enough guys and enough armor to hopefully win the conference in the Valley Division.”
After Liberty’s Christian Kojowski opened the dual with a forfeit at 106 pounds Trent Mast tied the score with a 3 minutes, 42 second pin at 113 pounds. After giving up another forfeit at 120 the Huskies won the next three matches wrestled.
Ian Mast and Brandon Neikirk pinned their Liberty opponents at 126 and 132, respectively, and Craig Shanower scored a 7-3 decision at 138.
“Trent has been wrestling really well all along,” Zeigler said. “Ian picked it up tonight and wrestled with more intensity. Shanower wrestled the whole match, which was great, and did well. Neikirk has really been on a mission for the last couple weeks. He’s really turned it up, working hard in practice and staying after. I’ve got some alums coming in and working with him. He’s definitely got his head in the right direction where he wants to go.”
Liberty collected forfeits at 145 and 152 to take a 24-21 lead into the 160 pound bout.
That’s where Cardinal’s Khaleel Samir put the Huskies on top for the last time with a 1 minute, 39 second pin.
“Khaleel is just a great addition to the team,” Zeigler said. “It’s not just his wrestling talents. He’s done a nice job recruiting kids and getting Andrew Bolton and Lester Troyer out. He’s just been a positive addition to the whole team.”
Liberty recorded back-to-back-to-back pins at 170, 182 and 195 then added a forfeit at 220. Cardinal’s Lester Troyer ended the dual with a forfeit at 285.
Liberty 48, Cardinal 33
106 Christian Kojowski 9 (Liberty) won by forfeit
113 Trent Mast 10 (Cardinal) pin Mustafa Farah 10 (Liberty) 3:42
120 James Zimbardi 10 (Liberty) won by forfeit
126 Ian Mast 12 (Cardinal) pin (Liberty) 1:16
132 Brandon Neikirk 11 (Cardinal) pin Ben Sattler 10 (Liberty) 1:49
138 Craig Shanower 11 (Cardinal) dec. Ernie Turner 12 (Liberty) 7-3
145 Morgan Weinreber 10 (Liberty) won by forfeit
152 Alec Coman 10 (Liberty) won by forfeit
160 Khaleel Samir 12 (Cardinal) pin Mouad Elouaddi 9 (Liberty) 1:39
170 Logan Weinreber 12 (Liberty) pin Andrew Bolton 9 (Cardinal) 0:46
182 Pat Sturgeon 12 (Liberty) pin Bryn Havel 11 (Cardinal) 3:01
195 Gavin Nicol 12 (Liberty) pin Donavon Drebus 11 (Cardinal) 1:43
220 Brandon Rios 11 (Liberty) won by forfeit
285 Lester Troyer 11 (Cardinal) won by forfeit