By Josh Brown
CASSTOWN — At this point, the Troy, Covington and Miami East wrestling teams are pretty familiar with each other — especially the Vikings and Buccaneers.
So at Wednesday night’s annual post-Troy Invitational quad, the teams used a super tri format to ensure that different teams faced each other, regardless of the winners of the first dual of the night. Covington opened the night with a 53-27 victory over Troy, while Miami East dominated Southeastern 72-12, then Troy lost to the Vikings 45-33 and the Buccaneers routed Southeastern 65-9.
Had a traditional quad format been used, Miami East and Covington would have been matched up yet again — two weeks ago to the day, they faced off in a tri with Mechanicsburg, and they saw each other at the Troy Invitational on Saturday, too.
“We’ll see them again at another two tournaments soon, as well as another dual — and possibly even during the state duals,” Miami East coach Mark Rose said with a laugh. “We’ll get plenty of chances to see them before sectional. It was good to see some different teams.”
It also gave Troy a chance to go head-to-head against both Covington and Miami East, two talented local rivals that it doesn’t get to match up against often — and the Trojans liked what they saw compared to last season’s performance.
“A year ago, it was a different conversation,” Troy coach Doug Curnes said. “Then, we were just trying to survive. But tonight we knew we were going to field a guy in all 14 spots. We were in both duals today. We were competitive.”
Troy and Covington began the night by trading pins to 12-12, with Troy’s Kobe Scott (126) and Shane Shoop (152) and Covington’s Kerington Martin (138) and Ryan Ford (145) scoring wins. Covington got back-to-back pins by Ross Bowman (160) and Lance Miller (170) before Troy’s Davin Snyder ended the run with a narrow 13-11 victory, but pins by Brandon Magee (195) and Seth Thomas (220) gave the Buccs a commanding 36-15 lead.
But pins by Christian Nation (285) and Brandon Lewis (106) got the Trojans back to within nine points with three matches remaining — and that’s when Covington put it away. Connor Ryan (113) posted a 16-1 tech. fall and Coleman Ryan (120) and Jared Ford (126) tallied pins to close it out.
“It’s good to see Troy in a dual, even though we were just at their invitational,” Covington coach Tom Barbee said. “They’re improving a lot. They fought hard, but numbers always help. We were able to bump people up or down where we needed them in the lineup.”
Miami East, meanwhile, was busy rolling through the Southeastern lineup. Trey Rush (132), Michael Miller (145), Caden Hellyer (220), Ben Ferguson (285), Cole Taylor (106), Graham Shore (120) and Alex Isbrandt (126) all won via pin to go along with five forfeits.
Covington also had little trouble with Southeastern. Thomas, Coleman Ryan and Jared Ford won with pins, Ryan Ford won a 26-11 tech. fall, Connor Ryan a 21-5 tech. fall, Martin won 5-3 and Riley Richards (132) won a 5-3 overtime decision to go along with the five forfeits.
“We’re still trying to work on some moves, some things that we needed to improve on,” Barbee said. “We did a good job. I was pleased with the way we battled through some things.”
Troy and Miami East, meanwhile, provided a solid battle. Troy was as close as 18-15 before three straight wins put the Vikings up 33-15. The Trojans got back to within striking range at 33-27 with three matches to go, but the Vikings scored back-to-back pins to put it out of reach.
For the Vikings, Andy Harmon (138), Colton Kowaluk (160), Matt Welker (170), Hellyer, Shore and Isbrandt all won with pins and Dalton Loughman (195) added a 9-5 decision. Justin Mittlestadt (145), Shoop, Lewis, Ben Andrews (113) and Scott won with pins and Snyder won an 11-6 decision.
“We had somethings we definitely needed to work on,” Rose said. “We won a lot of matches with pins today, but on the flip side we got pinned a lot, too. In duals, bonus points are everything. The matches you should win, you need to win by pin, but you also can’t give up a pin if you’ve got to go up against a tough guy. We’ve got to fix that.”
“This is always a good stretch,” Curnes said of going from the GMVWA Holiday Tournament to the Troy Invitational to this quad each year. “It makes us keep weight down, Covington and East are always good, competitive teams and it gives us a look at some state-caliber kids from a different division.”
Covington is back in action Tuesday at Sunday, while Troy and East are both in action on Jan. 16, with the Trojans at Miamisburg and the Vikings at Western Brown.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.