Lancaster’s Aaron Everett tries to get away from St. Edward’s Mike O’Malley Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, at St. John Arena on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus. Everett pinned O’Malley to win the match.
COLUMBUS – Lancaster knew it was facing a tough task Saturday against top-seeded Lakewood St. Edward.
Even the Golden Gales were overwhelmed by the Eagles, falling 58-15, in the state wrestling dual team tournament at Ohio State’s St. John Arena, they finished on a high note.
Junior Aaron Everett (285 pounds) finished the last match with a stunning pin. He trailed most of the match and the match had to be stopped twice because he had a bloody nose.
He was down 14-8 late in the second round and stunned everyone when he pinned his opponent with 18 seconds left in the second period.
“Aaron has the intangibles that you look for in a wrestler,” Lancaster coach Dugan Bentley said. “He has all the heart in the world. He is very strong, but he never gives up and he is always on the go, no matter what the score is or even if his opponent is better than him.
“He is dangerous because he just keeps coming and he stays in the match. He does a good job of capitalizing when a guy gets out of position. This isn’t the first time he has beaten a guy when he is behind. He is patient and he just keeps coming.”
That was just one of three matches the Gales won on the day. Senior Tanner Miller (152) picked up a 7-4 win and junior Eric Deluse (182) had a pin in the second period.
Bentley said the Gales knew they were facing a tough opponent in the Eagles, who has the most state championships of any school in Ohio. St. Edward lost in the state duals final against Brecksville-Broadview Heights.
“It is a mental challenge to step up and wrestle one of the top programs in the country and one of the top teams in the state,” Bentley said. “We knew it was going to be tough, but I would rather wrestle one of the top teams in the state.
“I’m not completely disappointed, although I don’t think some of my kids performed to my expectations. Maybe they didn’t go out there with that all-or-nothing mentality. But we ended on a high note, which was good to see.”
Miller had a tough match. He led 2-1 at the end of the first period, but fell behind 4-2 in the second. He was down 4-3 in the third before getting a reversal.
“It was good to get a win,” said Miller, who will wrestle at 145 in the postseason. “We all need these high-level matches heading into the postseason.
“I feel like getting a win is only going to help me because that was a state level match. The guy was ranked eighth in state. It gets me comfortable to wrestle state level guys.”
Deluse was dominating his match, leading 4-1 at the end of the first period and was leading 10-2 in the second before recording a pin.
“I always go into every match with confidence, and when you don’t really know your opponent, you just have to react,” Deluse said. “It feels really good to get a win, especially a pin, because only three of us won. It is huge for our team because people probably didn’t think we couldn’t win a match.”
Lancaster had two other wrestlers go the distance. Coleton Chase (106) was in his match the whole way. He trailed 3-2 at the end of the first period and 4-2 heading into the third.
Joey Hustler (120) had a back and forth match before falling 21-15. He led 5-4 heading to the second period, but trailed 16-11 heading into the final period. He cut the deficit to three twice in the third period.
“This wasn’t a completely demoralizing experience,” Bentley said. “We worked hard to get here and we clearly learned a lot about ourselves. We are leaving here better wrestlers.”