Title races still wide open after day one of PTC wrestling tournament

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By Michael Leonard | Record Publishing Co.

After one day of wrestling at the Portage Trail Conference Tournament, nothing has been settled.

While Crestwood, Coventry and Ravenna all are still alive in a tight Metro Division race, none of these squads hold the lead after Friday's quarterfinals at Rootstown.

Field has the lead with 78.5 points after day one. Crestwood sits second with 73.5 points, while Coventry is third with 70. Ravenna sits fifth overall with 59 points.

In the County Division race, Rootstown has the lead and sits fourth overall with 63 points.

Falcons head coach Joe Retherford was generally happy with his team's effort, as the Falcons advanced eight wrestlers on to this morning's semifinals.

"We had a decent first day," Retherford said. "We still have a lot of work to do. My goal for this tournament is my kids to show me they're ready for the postseason. This is a lot of pre-postseason work."

Crestwood also advanced eight wrestlers to the semifinals, as the Red Devils had their big guns breeze into the semifinals.

"We figure we would be right with (103-pounder) Ricky Duely and (160-pounder) Ricky Kollman as well," said Crestwood head coach Dave Wrobel. "We were hoping to win a few more matches and sneak some kids into semis. If you want to get into the semifinals at the PTC, you have to earn it."

Coventry head coach Keith Shinn said his team was "right where he thought we would be."

The Comets have seven semifinalists, highlighted by heavyweight Travis Gosnell, who won his quarterfinal match by pinning his man in 5 seconds.

"I brought the guys into the tournament kind of loose," Shinn said. "I didn't put any team pressure on them. If they compete well as individuals, the team will rise."

Ravenna head coach Mike Whitmore saw his team advance five on to the semifinals, as the Ravens ran into some tough quarterfinal draws.

"That happens to everybody because there are a lot of hammers in this tournament," Whitmore said. "Brogan Lovejoy did a great job for us and Logan Reaser just keeps sailing along."

In the County Division, Rootstown's big guns had few problems, as 170-pounder Travis Linton and 220-pounder Jake Moore pinned their way to the semifinals. Rootstown also had 113-pounder Tony Paolucci, 126-pounder Jason Sadler and 182-pounder Kyle Slaughter advance, giving them five semifinalists, which is tops in the County Division.

"Things went pretty much as expected," said Rovers head coach Craig Wise. "We ran into some hammers. The tournament really starts tomorrow morning."

Day one was a lukewarm one for Woodridge. The Bulldogs led the tournament after the first round, but was hit hard in the quarterfinal round. Woodridge advanced three wrestlers to the semifinals in 138-pounder Pat Dickinson, 182-pounder Doug McIe and 220-pounder Mason Hilling.

"I don't think we're wrestling poorly," said Woodridge head coach Mike Massey. "It's a lot better than last year."

Although Southeast's prospects to repeat as County Division champion appear all but done, the Pirates did score the biggest upset of Saturday's first round.

Freshman Brett Bailey turned top-seeded Allen Beddow of Norton and hung on for a 7-5 win. Bailey then reached the semifinals by pinning Streetsboro's Lucas Austin in 3:24.

Waterloo senior 145-pounder JJ Diven also picked up a major milestone Friday night.

During his opening round match with Garfield's Walker Killen, Diven scored a pin in 45 seconds, earning the 100th pin of his career.

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E-mail: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

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