Wrestlers Drop Tight Match to Ohio State

Ohio State rode victories in the upper weight classes and a pair of late upsets to a 21-15 wrestling win over WVU at the Coliseum on Thursday.

Ohio State senior Keaton Anderson rolled out to an early 5-0 lead and then wrestled conservatively on the way to a 6-1 win over West Virginia's Matt Lebe in the 157 pound class to start the evening. Anderson, ranked as high as number two in the country, dominated the early going as he recorded his eighteenth win of the season.

At 165, WVU's Tom McMath and Ohio State's John Clark waged an active, back and forth battle with Clark pulling out an 10-7 win. Clark managed to hold McMath in check through much of the third period, and as a result WVU was in an early 6-0 hole.

Number one ranked Greg Jones extended his personal winning streak to 32, and got WVU on the board at 174, with a 19-7 win over Anthony Magistrelli. The decision closed the Buckeye lead to two points at 6-4.

Casey Caputska and Ryan Wilman then faced off at 184 in a slow paced match that saw no scoring in the first period. Caputska scored early in the second on a escape to take a 1-0 lead, but Wilman answered with one of his own at the start of the third to knot the score at 1-1. Both wrestlers stayed conservative the rest of the way, and also through the overtime, which put the match into sudden death.

Wilman won the critical toss and chose the down position, the made a last second escape with just a few ticks on the clock to win 2-1. The crucial win put WVU up 7-6 in the match.

Ohio State's Anton Talamantes, ranked as high as sixth in the country at 197, was wrestled to a standstill in the first period by West Virginia's Adrian Thompson, but eventually prevailed to give the lead back to the Buckeyes at 9-7. WVU heavyweight Brent Miller faced a big challenge from second ranked and defending national champion Tommy Rowlands, and despite wrestling well was unable to get any offense going in a 3-1 loss. Although the loss put WVU in the hole at 12-7, both Thompson and Miller avoided lopsided defeats that would have given the Buckeyes more points in the match score.

The Mountaineers looked to mount a comeback at 125, but Ohio State's Nathan Costello surprised WVU's Seth Lisa on the way to an early 4-0 lead. Lisa heeded the walkup call, however, and put up a dominating performance the rest of the way for a 23-10 win and four big match points.

Brandon Lauer took to the mat at 133 for WVU, and immediately got a takedown on Buckeye Jesse Leng, but Leng responded with three straight points to take the lead. Lauer, after an injury timeout for an ankle problem, recorded a late escape to tie the score at three.

The pair then traded escape points, and only a controversial decision when Lauer appeared to record a last minute takedown kept WVU from getting the win.

Leng then recorded a near fall in the ensuing overtime for a big win for the Buckeyes, which put them up in the match by 15-11. The somewhat surprising defeat left WVU in the position of having to win the final two bouts to take the match.

Shane Cunanan and Jeff Ratliff took their exciting and evenly matched bout into overtime at 141 pounds, but Cunanan snared a 3-1 win with a quick move at the start of the extra period. The win drew WVU to within a single point at 15-14.

It all came down to the final match at 149, but sixth ranked Billy Smith was upset by Ohio State's Josh Daugherty, who pinned Smith to give Ohio State the 21-14 win.

WVU has just a couple of days to bounce back from the tough loss, as they open their Eastern Wrestling League slate with a trip to BLoomsburg on Saturday.

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