• Brandon Dodson

Buckeyes Extinguish the Sun Devils

After nearly a month off the Buckeyes returned to the Covelli Center on Monday January 7th to face off against the Fourth ranked Arizona State Sun Devils. The Sun Devils have had an impressive season thus far beating a tough Purdue squad and a perennial power in Penn State. The Buckeyes won 5/10 matches on their way to a 17-16 victory to improve their record to 4-1. Please read below for details on each match.


The dual started at 125 pounds with Ohio State’s Malik Heinselman, a Sophomore came into the match with a 9-7 record. Heinselman’s opponent was Brandon Courtney, a redshirt Sophomore and the #15 125-pounder in the country. Courtney came into the match with a 12-4 record. Heinselman had the first takedown of the match but Courtney escaped quickly and tacked on two takedowns of his own before the first period ended, making his lead 5-4. Heinselman chose to go down to start the second period. Courtney accrued over 1 min of riding time before Heinselman escaped tying the score at 5-5 to end the second period. Courtney chose to go down in the third period and was able to quickly escape making the score 6-5. Courtney tacked on one more takedown before the match ended making the final score a 9-5 decision for Courtney. This victory made the team score 3-0 ASU.


At 133 pounds, Coach Tom Ryan made his biggest move of the season and pulled Jordan Decatur’s redshirt. Jordan Decatur is a true freshman that came into the match with an 8-1 record. Decatur has struggled with weight management this season but is now ready to help the Buckeyes in the starting lineup. Decatur’s opponent was Josh Kramer, a redshirt Senior and the #15 133-pounder in the country. Kramer came into the match with a 7-4 record. As soon as the whistle blew Decatur went on the attack with a great blast double near the edge of the mat. The move put Kramer on his back but Decatur was unable to maintain control and the wrestlers were reset to the middle of the mat. Decatur was able to recover and get a takedown before the period ended making the score 2-1. Kramer chose to go down to start the second period and escaped quickly tying the match 2-2 to end the second period. Decatur chose to go down to start the third period and was able to escape making the score 3-2. Decatur broke through Kramer’s defense one more time before the match ended making the final score a 5-3 decision for Decatur. Decatur showed exceptional defense and body control throughout the match fending off multiple attacks from Kramer. Decatur appeared fatigued towards the end of the match which is reasonable considering his cut to 133. Decatur’s win over a top 15 opponent is an impressive feat for any wrestler let alone a true freshman. As Decatur becomes more comfortable at this weight look for him to become very dangerous. Decatur’s victory tied the team score at 3-3.


At 141 pounds, Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher, a Senior and the #1 141-pounder in the country came into the match with a 14-0 record. Pletcher’s opponent, Navonte Demison, a redshirt Sophomore came into the match with a 2-6 record. Pletcher started the match on fire with 4 takedowns including 8 near fall points in the first period making the score 16-3 after 1. Demison chose to go down to start the second period and was able to quickly escape making the score 16-4. Demison then got his second stalling call making the score 17-4. Pletcher tacked on one more takedown making the final score a 19-4 tech fall in the second period. Pletcher’s tech fall made the team score 8-3 OSU.


At 149 pounds, Ohio State’s Sammy Sasso, a redshirt Freshman and the #6 149-pounder in the country came into the match with a 12-2 record. Sasso’s opponent, Josh Maruca, a redshirt Senior and the #25 149-pounder in the country came into the match with a 7-6 record. Sasso started the match with two takedowns making the score 4-1 at the end of the first period. Maruca chose to go down to start the second period. Sasso accrued over 1 min of riding time before Maruca escaped making the score 4-2. Sasso tacked on one more takedown to end the period with a 6-2 lead. Sasso chose to go down to start the third period. Sasso escaped increasing his lead to 7-2. Sasso got one more takedown but was unable to ride Maruca out making the final score a 10-3 decision. Sasso’s decision victory made the team score 11-3 OSU.


At 157 pounds, Ohio State’s Elijah Cleary, a redshirt Junior came into the match with an 11-5 record. Cleary’s opponent, Jacori Teemer, a redshirt freshman came into the match with a 4-4 record. There was very little action in the first period ending 0-0. Teemer chose to go down to start the second period and was able to escape quickly making the score 1-0. Teemer tacked on a takedown before the period ended making the score 3-1 Teemer. Cleary chose to go down to start the third period. Cleary was able to get an escape making the score 3-2. Teemer took Cleary down towards the edge of the mat but the call was reviewed and it was determined there was no control so the wrestlers were reset. Teemer was able to get back to his offense and get a takedown before the match ended making the final score a 6-2 decision due to riding time for Teemer. Teemer’s decision made the team score 11-6 OSU.


At 165 pounds, Ohio State’s Ethan Smith, a redshirt Sophomore and the #13 165-pounder in the country came into the match with an 11-5 record. Smith’s opponent, Josh Shields, a redshirt Senior and the #5 165-pounder in the country came into the match with a 10-3 record. There was little action in the first period outside of Shields converting on a shot making the score 2-1 to end the first period. Shields chose to go down to start the second period and quickly escaped increasing his lead to 3-1. Shields tacked on another takedown to end the second period with a 5-1 lead. Smith chose to go down to start the third period and was able to escape cutting Shields lead to 5-2. Smith was unable to break through Shields defense and the match ended in a 6-2 decision for Shields. Shield’s victory made the team score 11-9 OSU.


At 174 pounds, Ohio State’s Kaleb Romero, a redshirt Sophomore and the #9 174-pounder in the country came into the match with a 9-2 record. Romero’s opponent, Anthony Valencia, a redshirt Junior and the #8 174-pounder in the country came into the match with a 10-4 record. Both wrestlers started the first period with stalling warnings. Romero’s warning was met with many boos from the crowd due to him making an effort at circling towards the center of the mat at the time of the call. The first period ended 0-0. Romero chose to go down to start the second period and quickly escaped making the score 1-0 Romero. Romero got to his offense and got a takedown increasing his lead to 3-0. Romero was able to accrue over 1 min of riding time to end the second period. Valencia chose to go on top to start the third period. Romero was able to escape increasing his lead to 4-0. The two wrestlers ended up butting heads causing a large laceration on the top of Valencia’s head. Medical staff wrapped Valencia’s head and the match continued. Romero tacked on another takedown increasing his lead to 6-0. Valencia escaped cutting Romero’s lead to 6-1. Valencia was able to convert on an attack and get a takedown cutting Romero’s lead to 6-3. The match ended in a 7-3 decision for Romero. Romero’s victory made the team score 14-9 OSU. This is the best Romero has looked for Ohio State and he will look to build upon this victory as we move closer and closer to March.


At 184 pounds, Ohio State’s Gavin Hoffman, a redshirt Freshman, came into the match with a 10-6 record. Hoffman’s opponent, Zahid Valencia, a redshirt Junior and the #1 184-pounder in the country came into the match with a 13-0 record. Valencia started the first period with a quick takedown. He allowed Hoffman to escape before taking Hoffman down again. Valencia got a cradle locked in and got 4 near fall points that could have been called a pin. Valencia chose an optional start allowing Hoffman to get up. This made the score 8-2 Valencia. Valencia tacked on one more takedown before the first period ended making the score 10-3. Hoffman chose to go down to start the second period. Valencia went to work on top wrenching Hoffman’s neck multiple times before getting 4 more near fall points increasing the lead to 14-3 to end the second period. Valencia chose to go on top to start the third period. Hoffman was able to escape making the score 14-4. Valencia tacked on two more takedowns making the final score a 19-5 major decision. Hoffman continuing to fight in this match ended up being a deciding factor in this dual. Valencia’s major decision made the team score 14-13 OSU.


At 197 pounds, Ohio State’s Kollin Moore, a redshirt Senior and the #1 197-pounder in the country came into the match with a 14-0 record. Moore’s opponent, Kordell Norfleet, a Junior and the #12 197-pounder in the country came into the match with a 2-2 record. Norfleet started the match with a quick takedown but Moore was able to escape making the score 2-1 Norfleet. Moore was able to get a takedown of his own tying the match 3-3. Norfleet was able to convert on another attack getting a takedown making the score 5-3. Norfleet failed to move up from Moore’s ankle resulting in a stalling call making the score 5-4 Norfleet. Moore was then able to escape tying the match 5-5 to end the first period. Moore chose to go down to start the second period and was able to escape making the score 6-5 Moore. Moore was able to get a takedown before the period ended making the score 8-5. Norfleet chose to go down to start the third period and quickly escaped cutting Moore’s lead to 8-6. Moore tacked on another takedown but Norfleet was able to escape making the score 10-7. Norfleet continued to attack and converted but Moore was able to quickly escape making the final score an 11-9 decision for Moore. Moore’s decision made the team score 17-13 OSU with one more match to go.


At HWT, Ohio State’s Gary Traub, a redshirt Junior came into the match with a 15-1 record. Traub’s opponent, Tanner Hall, a redshirt Senior and the #6 HWT in the country came into the match with a 10-3 record. There was very little action in the first period ending 0-0. Traub chose to go down to start the second period and was unable to escape. Hall chose to go down to start the third period and quickly escaped making the score 1-0. Hall was able to get a takedown increasing his lead to 3-0. Traub was able to escape cutting Hall’s lead to 3-1. Hall was then called for his second stalling making the score 3-2. In typical Gas Tank Gary fashion, he finished the match strong but was unable to convert any attacks and the match ended in a 4-2 decision for Hall. This decision victory for Hall made the final team score 17-16 OSU.


Ohio State’s victory over a top 5 Arizona State was impressive but there continue to be glaring holes in this lineup that need to be addressed if Tom Ryan wants to compete at the Big Ten Championship and National Championship.


Written by: Brandon Dodson

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