Riders Clean Celina Off Mat; Force 3-Way Tie

St. Marys Jace Schaefer (left) and Tommy Mabry celebrate after their teammate Trevor Hisey's pin of Celina's Zack King sealed a win in Tuesday's Western Buckeye League wrestling meet.
Sports Editor

My how the tables have turned.

After beating then-undefeated Wapakoneta last week, Celina entered Memorial High School in Tuesday's Western Buckeye League finale looking to beat its rival on their home mat and enter Saturday's league tournament with an inside edge on winning the WBL.

St. Marys made sure that didn't happen.

Leading by just one, 23-22, the Roughriders finished off the Bulldogs to give themselves a chance to hoist the WBL title for the first time since 1976-77 by scoring 15 of the match's final 21 points for a 38-28 St. Marys' win.

"If we wanted to do anything in the league, we had to have this match so now it means that us, Celina and Wapak are tied and it will come down to the league tournament on Saturday," Roughriders coach Larry Gruber. "If we didn't win this match, we'd figure we wouldn't have a shot."

The win puts a three-way tie in the regular season standings with Celina, St. Marys and Wapakoneta each sitting at 8-1 entering Saturday's WBL Championship at Bath High School. 

Leading by one, the meet went back to the beginning of the lineup with the lightweights — an area of strength for St. Marys — with Michael Crites (106) beating Landin Wallace 8-1 to extend the Roughriders' lead to 26-22 with three classes to go. Tyler Hisey (113) pinned Derrick Slater in 2:31 seconds to push the lead to 32-22 and by then, all the Riders needed was one more win to seal it.

Gruber said once Crites won his match at 106, it still wasn't a done deal that the Hisey brothers were going to win theirs since they were wrestling at a higher weight class. 

"We had to make that move if wanted a chance to score enough points," Gruber said. "In that case it worked out for us but sometimes it backfires."

But Hisey made sure that move didn't backfire.

Unable to wrestle because of injury in that Dec. 13 matchup with Wapakoneta, the sophomore stepped up on Tuesday and wasted no time to send Celina packing with a pin of Zack King in just 41 seconds. 

Hisey was calm and collected on the mat, but his win galvanized the Roughriders' bench and the blue and gold faithful as their team beat that team across the lake for a third straight season.

The turning point of the match, however, was when Carter Sharpe (195) wrestled Cory Fortkamp.

After a slow start to the match, the Roughriders scored the meet's next 11 points to lead 20-10 as Sharpe readied for his match. 

Sharpe and Fortkamp were in a two-period statement, 1-1, before Fortkamp escaped Sharpe's grasp to take a 2-1 lead early in the third period. With time winding down, Sharpe regained the lead on a takedown with 48 seconds remaining, but Fortkamp recorded an escape with 10 seconds left to force a fourth period. 

During that match, however, Sharpe had to stop play twice to race over to the trash can hunched over. Gruber said he was not sure what was wrong with Sharpe but it didn't seem to matter in the fourth set when Sharpe recorded a takedown for the win and extended the Riders' lead to 23-10. 

St. Marys lost the next two matches when Brice Saeler (220) and Braden Saeler (285) were each pinned to pull the game to one point before the Riders finished the match off.

"As of right now, I think we have just as good of a shot as anybody else," Gruber added. "It will be real interesting."

The Roughriders trailed 10-3 with the lone points coming from a 4-2 Keegan Shape (145) win against Jakob Poor, but St. Marys scored the next 14 points, beginning with Tommy Mabry (160) pinning Steve Warner in 55 seconds to trail 10-9. Mason Saeler (170) followed with a pin in 2:59 of Celina's Tyler Carlin to take a 15-10 lead and Stashu Patterson pushed the lead to 10 with a tech fall against Alex Stachler. Carter Sharpe's fourth-period win made it 14 consecutive points. 

It was the first dual match since the season opener against Defiance that the Roughriders have been able to fill each weight class.

"That's what hurt us against Wapak," Gruber added as the Roughriders lost that match by two points after losing Trevor Hisey and Clayton Drummond earlier that day. "It makes a big difference if you can fill the weight classes."

Thursday's meet was also Mabry's last home meet of his career. Mabry is 33-6 on the season and Gruber added that he plans on keeping the senior in the 160-pound weight class in Saturday's tournament. 

"Basically, as he came along, he became someone you can count on and he has pretty much produced in all four years that he has wrestled," the coach said of the senior. "He leads the team in takedowns and he's been durable.

"He has been a team leader. He and Mason [Saeler] run things for us like warm-ups and drills so it is nice to have that for the kids to look up to."

St. Marys 38, Celina 28

132 — Landen Engle (Cel) dec. Garret Donovan (SM), 7-3 (3-0, Celina)

138 — Jaden King (Cel) dec. Jace Schaefer (SM), 15-1 (7-0)

145 — Keegan Sharpe (SM) dec. Jakob Poor (Cel), 4-2 (7-3)

152 — Ethan Ly (Cel) dec. Kayden Sharpe (SM) 6-2 (10-3)

160 — Tommy Mabry (SM) pin Steve Warner (Cel), :55 (10-9)

170 — Mason Saeler (SM) pin Tyler Carlin (Cel), 2:59 (15-10, St. Marys)

182 — Stashu Patterson (SM) dec. Alex Stachler, 21-6 (20-10)

195 — Carter Sharpe (SM) dec. Cory Fortkamp (Cel), 5-3 (23-10)

220 — Joey Posada (Cel) pin Brice Saeler (SM), 2:59 (23-16)

285 — Cayden Thomson (Cel) pin Braden Saeler (SM), 1:20 (23-22)

106 — Michael Crites (SM) dec. Landin Wallace (Cel), 8-1 (26-22)

113 — Tyler Hisey (SM) pin Derrick Slater (Cel), 2:31 (32-22)

120 — Trevor Hisey (SM) pin Zack King (Cel), :41 (38-22)

126 — Joe Warner (Cel) pin Isaac Torsell (SM), 1:09, (38-28)