The Odyssey made its return Wednesday night at Sandusky after a year off, and with the match tied, 27-27, Southview got two pins to nab a 39-33 win.
“It always sucks to lose,” Sandusky coach Conor Whelan said. “But I told them I’m not at all upset. We wrestled hard and we were fighting to get off our backs, which is something we preach.
“A lot of guys wrestled well ... But a lot of guys are making the same mistakes.”
During a night showcased with wrestling under spotlights and the stands draped in darkness, the highlight was Davion Caston’s 119-pound win against Uland Ralston, 7-1.
“We knew that match was going to be good,” Whelan said. Both wrestlers were state qualifiers a year ago. Caston held a tight 2-1 lead late in the third period of his 119-pound match, then finished it with a late takedown for a 4-1 decision.
Caston saw Ralston on his heels and took him down with an inside trip and picked up three points for a near-fall as time ran out in the third period. Ralston previously won two matches against Caston, who said he wanted mistake-free and smart wrestling.
“I think I wanted it more,” Caston said. “I didn’t want to get beat three times in a row.”
Sandusky forfeited 125, tying the score at 27-all. After the Saints won by pin in 58 seconds at 130 for a 33-27 lead, Justin Ritchie needed to win by pin for Sandusky to win the match after the Southview forfeit at 125. Antoine Edwards fought off Ritchie’s attempts and pinned him in 5:23.
“I tried to go tell him he has nothing to be ashamed of,” Whelan said. “(His loss) certainly was not for a lack of effort.”
Two seniors, Jerrel Valliant and Justin Palma, both won by forfeit and didn’t get to wrestle on the mat, something Whelan said was unfortunate for both on Wednesday. Southview won both matches at 152 and 160. From there, the Blue Streaks rattled off four straight. Phil Henderson and Mike Brown both had pins in the first minute, and Dominic Aaron and Tony Cook added decisions.
“We needed that from them, and that helped keep us in it,” Whelan said.
Henderson was on-and-off in 29 seconds to give Sandusky a 12-9 lead, then Aaron followed with a 9-7 decision at 189 pounds. Tony Cook built a 3-0 lead after the second period, then added to it for a 7-3 decision at 215 pounds to give Sandusky an 18-9 lead.
Mike Brown needed 101 seconds of work to earn his pin, giving Sandusky its largest lead of the dual, 24-9. Southview’s lineup was jumbled and bumped around to try and get favorable matchups. In the end, Whelan didn’t think it had an outcome in the final decision.
“That’s how it’s going to work sometimes,” he said.