By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
VANDALIA — Piqua 285-pound junior Lance Reaves-Hicks and Troy 160-pound senior Carlos Quintero couldn’t have been any more dominant at the MVL Wrestling Championships at the Student Activity Center.
And Tippecanoe’s wrestlers finished like champions.
Reaves-Hicks pinned his way through the tournament to improve to 38-2 and lead Piqua to a fourth-place finish in the Miami Division and seventh overall.
“In a way, I guess this (winning the MVL title) was a goal,” Reaves-Hicks said. “But, really I only have one goal. That is to get to state. There is plenty of work still to do.”
Reaves-Hicks recorded first period pins in the semifinal and finals, pinning Colton McCartney of Greenvillein 1:58 in the championship match.
“Lance (Reaves-Hicks) was dominant tonight,” Piqua coach Scott Kaye said. “He wrestled his match in all three matches. He wasn’t scored upon in the tournament (the only points he gave up were escapes). I guess he set the bar for future wrestlers (He is the first 285-pound champion in the return of the MVL).”
Andru Hollopeter had a big night for the Indians as well.
The 145-pounder evened a scored with Greenville’s Matthew Edwards.
After losing to him last week, he pinned him in 3:04 in the semifinals, before losing to Phillip Nared of Xenia in the championship match by pin.
“I am really proud of Andru (Hollopeter) and what he accomplished tonight,” Kaye said. “It was (Nared a tough opponent in the finals).
Brady Mikolajewski (113) added a fourth-place finish for the Indians.
“He (Brady Mikolajewski) had a great tournament,” Kaye said.
Quintero, 32-5, saw a door open — and didn’t just knock it down, but smashed it to the ground.
“We were expecting Carlos (Quintero) to be the second seed behind Jestin Love (Butler),” Troy coach Doug Curnes said. “But, he (Jestin Love) dropped down a weight class. Once he did, that left the door wide open. Once he was the top seed, we knew Carlos was going to win.”
Quintero recorded three second-period pins in dominating the competition. He pinned Hayden Caskey of West Carrollton in 3:16 in the championship match.
“It means a lot,” Quintero said about winning the MVL title. “I am a senior. I have worked hard for this. I wouldn’t say I was trying to get pins in every match. I was trying to get a lot of takedowns.”
Curnes said it would be hard to find a more deserving champion.
“Carlos (Quintero) is such a great kid,” Curnes said. “He is a yes sir, no sir kind of guy. He does everything you ask him to do. He is a very deserving champion.”
Nolan Fox (103) and Joe Cusick (170) both finished fourth.
While Troy finished fifth in the Miami Division and ninth overall, Curnes said that really doesn’t tell the story.
“I am fine with where we are as a team, the numbers are a little down,” Curnes said. “Tyler Plunkett is a perfect example. He has followed his weight production program perfectly this season. These kids are all like that. They do what you tell them to do. We may not have a lot of team trophies or individual championships.
“But, there are a lot of wins going on in the wrestling room during the week that nobody knows about. And that is something they need to know. And I think tonight was a great start to the postseason.”
If how you finish is what matters, then Tippecanoe was truly the champions of the night.
After going 0-7 in the semifinal round, the Red Devils went 6-3 in the consolations and 7-0 in the third-place matches to finish third in the Miami Division and sixth overall.
“I think it is a positive the way we dominated in the consolations,” Tippecanoe coach Nick Petro said. “I think it is a positive going into sectionals next week.”
Tipp was in position to win several of those semifinal matches.
“We are a young team,” Petro said. “It is a big arena and a hometown crowd. Crazy things can happen out there during matches. I think the way we came back, we showed we can compete against good wrestlers. Every week is about the next week. Every kid who was in position to place did.”
Finishing third for the Red Devils were Oliver Murray (106), Even Gretch (113), Carson Robbins (120), Sean Kelly (138), Zack Shellhammer (145), Blake Ballard (152) and Xavier Poffenberger (182).
Contact Rob Kiser at [email protected].
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