PIQUA — It was a matchup of two Miami County teams when Covington visited Roosevelt Fieldhouse Wednesday to wrestle Piqua.
And a young Indians team put up a good fight against a traditionally strong Buccs team before Covington came away with a 45-34 victory.
“It was a great atmosphere and it was a good match between two good teams,” Covington coach Eric Vanderhorst said.
Piqua coach Hunter Bryant agreed, saying it was very different then their meeting a year ago.
We wrestled Covington at their 50th anniversary event last year and they beat us 57-15,” Bryant said. “That was probably one of my low points as a coach. I couldn’t be prouder of my kids tonight. It was a good match.”
Mason Epperson (157) got things started for the Buccs with a pin over Elijah Watkins.
That and a forfeit received by Aaron Jackson (165) gave Covington a 12-0 lead. Piqua came storming back to take a 21-12 lead with an 8-7 back-and-forth victory by Connor Glenn over Aiden Collins (175), and consecutive pins by Bracket Osborne over A.J. Garman (190), Landen Martin over Zeb Woodward-Roeth (215) and Hayden Barker over A.J. Reyes (285).
The teams then split the next two matches as Covington’s Carson Taylor (106) pinned Averi Wiley, and Piqua’s Logan Wells pinned Brian Morrison (113). Piqua led at this point, 27-18.
Covington took back the lead, 36-27, with a 12-4 major decision by Michael Hagan (120) over Nikolai Kaye, a pin by Jericho Quinter (126) over Brady Mikolajewski, and a pin by Chase Vanderhorst (132) over Gavin Nelson, before Piqua cut the Buccs’ lead, 36-34, with a Max Kaye pin over Tyler Basye (138).
Caleb Ryman (144) and Aveyen Meek (150) then sealed the victory for the Buccs with consecutive victories over Jackson Lambert by pin, and James Hess by 20-4 technical fall.
In JV action, Piqua’s Alex Holt won by pin over Lane Jay (138), before later losing by pin to Covington’s Elijah Carnes (144).
“Our lightweights are definitely our strength,” Vanderhorst said. “They had the momentum and I said, it is time for us to change the momentum. Our lightweights are definitely our strength. We had some young kids wrestling and they did a good job.”
Bryant was pleased with his team’s effort.
”They went out there and battled. Averi was wrestling one of the top guys at 106 (Carson Taylor) and she went out there and battled him. They all did. Covington has been one of the top teams around forever. This was a good match for both teams.”
In a great atmosphere for wrestling at Roosevelt Fieldhouse.
You can reach Sports Editor Rob Kiser at [email protected]