WILMINGTON — The Washington Blue Lions sent seven competitors to the Division II District wrestling tournament held Friday and Saturday at Wilmington High School.
From those seven student-athletes, junior Trevor Hicks qualified to the State tournament that begins Thursday afternoon at 4:10 p.m. for Division II at The Ohio State University in Columbus.
Hicks placed fourth at the District, falling in the match for third place to Jeremy Rosenblum of Ross, 3-1 in overtime.
Returning State qualifier, senior Mason McCane, had his sights set on a return to the State tournament in 2016.
McCane was leading 2-0 in his consolation semifinal match against Gage Braun of Graham Local.
The winner of this match would qualify to State by advancing to the match to decide third and fourth place.
McCane was winning this tightly-contested match, 2-0 with only scant seconds remaining.
Braun was able to get a reversal on McCane, tying the match, 2-2 as the buzzer sounded.
In overtime, McCane was called for an illegal move. That technical penalty gave one point, and the match and the trip to State, to Braun.
McCane won a 4-3 decision over Nate Walden of Kenton Ridge to place fifth. Any wrestler placing fifth at the District is considered a State alternate. If one of the top four wrestlers at 182 pounds from the Wilmington District can’t go Thursday, McCane would take the No. 4 spot at the State.
McCane began the District meet with a pin of Spencer Reynolds of Eaton in 1:52.
In the quarterfinals, McCane lost to Baden Pinson of Reading, 5-2.
McCane rolled to a 15-0 tech fall victory of Jamonte Crossty of Mt. Healthy in the second consolation round.
In the third consolation round, McCane beat senior Matthew Hottinger of Miami Trace by major decision, 11-3.
That match moved McCane into the consolation semifinals, where he had the heartbreaking result to Braun.
McCane finished his senior season with a record of 48-6.
Hicks began his run toward what would be a State qualification with a pin of Max Evans of Middletown Madison in 1:06.
In the quarterfinals, Hicks pinned Jason Schmieg of Reading in 1:21.
In the semifinals, Hicks fell by pin to Colvin Turner of Franklin in 3:25.
In the consolation semifinals, Hicks notched a 5-2 decision over Trent Wilson of Valley View.
In the match for fifth and sixth place, Wilson suffered an injury and had to default to Rodrick Benson of Thurgood Marshall.
In the match for third and fourth place, Hicks lost a 3-1 overtime decision to Jeremy Rosenblum of Ross.
Hicks enters the State tournament with a record of 40-9. He will wrestle senior Michael Furbee of St. Clairsville (47-1) in the opening round of the State tournament.
Division II wrestling begins Thursday at 4:10 p.m.
Any competitor who wins his first match on Thursday is done for the day and will come back to wrestle in the quarterfinals at 10:35 a.m. Friday.
Any competitor falling in their first match Thursday has to wrestle in the first round of consolation matches beginning at 7:50 p.m. Thursday.
“Trevor Hicks wrestled a good tournament, placing fourth,” Washington head coach Louis Reid said. “Last year, Trevor was a District qualifier at 220, going 2-2.
“Trevor had a goal of getting to State this year and he did just that,” Reid said. “He made it all the way to the semifinals and lost to a kid that we beat earlier in the year. I think his nerves kind of got to him a little bit.
“In the consolation semifinals, we faced another kid we had beaten earlier in the year,” Reid said. “Once again, I think nerves played a factor. When you get to this level, sometimes your nerves take over a little bit and you start second guessing yourself.
“He wrestled a great tournament,” Reid said. “I was really proud of him. To qualify to the State tournament is difficult to do.
“I was sad to see Mason McCane’s career possibly end,” Reid said. “He’s a State alternate.
“Mason wrestled in probably the toughest weight class here at this tournament,” Reid said. “It came down to the very end. He wrestled tough, but he lost two really close matches. He bounced back for fifth and that shows what kind of kid he is. That gives him a chance.”
Sophomore Chris Martin competed for the Blue Lions at 113 pounds at the Wilmington District.
Martin was pinned in his first match by Drew Price of Middletown Madison at 3:34.
In the first consolation round, Martin bounced back with a pin of Brian Conard of Oakwood in 4:37.
In the second consolation round, Martin lost a 5-2 decision to Ayyoub Muhammed of Thurgood Marshall.
Martin ended the season with a record of 14-34.
Junior Tre Thomas qualified to Districts at 120 pounds.
Thomas suffered a pin by Justin Stickley of Graham Local in his first match at 3:26.
Thomas pinned his next opponent, Demiri Randle of Trotwood-Madison in 4:58.
In the second consolation round, Thomas was pinned by Jordan Hamblin of Western Brown in 2:26.
Thomas completed the 2015-16 season with a record of 36-18.
Sophomore Zane Nelson competed for the Blue Lions at 132 pounds.
In the first round, Nelson lost an 11-7 decision to Ryan Arnold of Monroe.
Nelson then pinned Ian Shoemaker of Talawanda in 4:11 in the first round of consolation matches.
Nelson continued his comeback bid with a pin of Jacob Kordik of Oakwood in 3:19.
Nelson made it three wins in a row with a pin of Miami Trace sophomore Gavin Moore in 4:39.
Nelson had reached the consolation semifinals where a win would mean qualifying to the State tournament.
Nelson lost a major decision to Brandon Planck of New Richmond, 11-2.
In the match for fifth and sixth place, Nelson defeated Micah Marshall of Chaminade-Julienne by pin in 4:25. That made Nelson a State alternate in Division II at 132 pounds.
If any of the top four placers at Wilmington at 132 pounds can’t compete Thursday, Nelson would get the No. 4 spot at the State.
Nelson, barring a chance to compete at State, finishes the season with a record of 30-18.
“Sophomore Zane Nelson was third at the Sectional and he finished fifth here today to become a State alternate,” Reid said. “Last year, he didn’t make the District tournament. To come in here as a sophomore and almost qualify to State is huge.”
Sophomore Chris Conger made it to Districts in the 138-pound weight class.
Conger lost a 4-2 decision to Damian Walton of Taylor in the first round.
In the first consolation round, Conger beat Justin Welcome of Eaton, 2-0.
In the second consolation round, Conger lost to Greg Brewer of Circleville, 6-5.
Conger ends the 2015-16 season with a record of 37-13.
Senior Steven Willis placed fifth at the Washington Sectional meet.
However, when another competitor ahead of him lost his composure and was disqualified, that moved Willis up to fourth, putting him in the District tournament.
Willis lost his first round match to Jack Harris of Urbana by a 20-4 technical fall.
Willis turned around and pinned Terrell Sparks of Hughes in 4:58 in the first consolation round.
In the second round of consolation matches, Willis lost a 4-2 decision to R.J. Tolliver of Wilmington.
Willis finished his senior season with a record of 35-14.
“We wrestled tough,” Reid said. “I’m pretty sure we had the highest finish of any league team.”
The Blue Lions were 10th at the District with 55.5 points.
Miami Trace was 11th with 52 points, Clinton-Massie placed 13th with 48 points; Wilmington was 20th with 30 points; Hillsboro was tied for 26th with 21 points and McClain tied for 28th with 16 points.
Graham Local ran away with the title with 329 points.
Western Brown was a distant second with 119.5 points, followed closely by Ross with 115 points.
Circleville was sixth with 67.5 points. Logan Elm was 15th with 41 points.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1