By Rob Kiser
BELLEFONTAINE — Jake Hetzler finished things with a bang for the Piqua wrestling team at the Ben Logan Invitational Saturday.
And Lehman coach Cam Haller couldn’t have been happier with the way his team performed.
Piqua had seven of eight wrestlers place in the top six, while Lehman five of seven do the same.
And in the final match of the night, Hetzler pinned Colvin Turner of Franklin in 2: 43 in the 285-pound title match.
“To be honest with you, I just feel tired right now,” Hetzler said with a smile. “This really doesn’t mean anything. It is about the GWOC and getting to state. That is what I am working towards. But, if I can win a few matches along the way, that is great.”
Hetzler had nearly pinned Turner at the start of the match with a takedown and two-point nearfall in the first 20 seconds.
“Don’t get me wrong — he is a good wrestler,” Hetzler said. “Wel met at the West Jefferson tournament. We should have been wrestling each other in the finals in that tournament — so it is good that it worked out the way it did today. I almost got lucky with the hip turn at the start.”
Turner answered with five points to take the lead going to the second period before Hetzler pinned.
“It was a leg turn and Jake (Hetzler) just kept driving,” Kaye said. “That is the third time they have wrestled and they split the first two matches.”
Tristand Hostetter (126) also wrestled for a title, but lost a 3-2 decision to Hunter Donnan of Tecumseh.
After winning 10-8 in overtime in the semifinals, Hostetter nearly battled back from a 3-0 deficit in the finals.
“That kid (Hunter Donnan) had pinned him in the dual meet at Piqua last week, so that was a great match for Tristian (Hostetter) to lose 3-2,” Kaye said.
Nick Baker (120) won this third-place match 14-11, while Sam Herndon and Andrew Bolin both won third-place matches.
Brennan Hicks (152) pinned Ethan Knapke of Lehman in his fifth-place match, Jesse Ceyler (120) lost his fifth-place match.
“We have been working on doing the same things we have been doing in tournaments,” Kaye said. “And in some cases we did some different things — but there were still some cases where we keep making the same mistakes. which is something we have to fix.”
Lehman was led by junior Brandon Simmons (145).
He had an overtime win to advance to the finals, before losing to defending state champion Logan Lacure of Dayton Christian, who had spent just 59 seconds on the mat combined in his first three wins, before pinning Simmons in 1:06.
“Brandon (Simmons) had a great tournament,” Haller said. “He had a big win in overtime in the semis. He just ran into the Lacure kid in the finals.”
Jake Earhart (170) and Wyatt Long (182) both finished their tournaments in style in the third-place matches.
Earhart stuck Boris Pattison of Bellefontaine in 3:54 for this third pin of the tournament, while Long pinned Hunter Lester of Franklin in 4:53 in his third-place match.
“Those are my three juniors and they all had strong tournaments,” Haller said. “Both of them (Jake Earhart, Wyatt Long), lost in the semifinals and then finished third, winning their last match with pins.”
Freshman Alex Ham (126) and Ethan Knapke (152) both finished sixth.
“They are only freshman — I can tell you when Brandon (Simmons) and Wyatt (Long) were freshman, they didn’t place at this tournament,” Haller said. “That was an added bonus. We had seven wrestlers here and six of them scored points for us. So, this was a great tournament.”
Which both teams — including Hetzler — hope leads to bigger things down the road.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.