BW’s Eisnnicher places sixth in DII State Wrestling tourney

By Ben Stroup

February 27, 2014

No state champs this time around, but Delaware County was well represented during the final day of the Individual State Wrestling Tournament as five earned spots on the podium following Saturday’s action at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

In Division II action, Big Walnut senior Alec Eisnnicher finished sixth in the state. He reached the championship semifinals with a pair of impressive wins Thursday night and Friday afternoon, but was knocked into the consolation bracket after a slim 3-1 loss to Tiffin Columbian’s Seth Williams, the eventual state champ.

Eisnnicher then lost his consolation semifinal before falling to Wauseon’s Aaron Schuette in the fifth-place match.

In Division I, Liberty junior Jon Furnas finished fourth in the 120-pound weight class, knocking off Brunswick’s Josh Heil 9-4 in his consolation semifinal before falling to Brecksville-Broadview Heights’ Austin Assad 9-3 in the third-place match. The showing improved upon last year’s effort, when he finished seventh in the state as a 106-pounder.

Patriot senior Giuseppe Penzone closed sixth in the 126-pound weight class, placing at the state showcase for the second straight season. He won Thursday’s championship prelim, then picked up a championship quarterfinal win in what was the first of his two matches Friday, but dropped his final three matches of the tournament. The final setback came in Saturday’s fifth-place match, when he lost to Brecksville-Broadview Heights’ Justin DeMicco via pin in 4:17.

Olentangy junior Nate Hall, the son of Sunbury’s Consulting Engineer Wes Hall, also picked up sixth-place points, earning a spot on the podium in the 182-pound weight class thanks to an impressive run through the consolation bracket. After getting knocked out of the championship bracket in the very first round, Hall picked up three straight wins in consolation action. His run came to an end when he fell to Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller’s Dakota Sizemore, but it was still good enough to get him into Saturday’s fifth-place match, a showdown he lost to Mount Vernon’s Matthew Lybarger by a 6-2 margin.

Hayes senior Andrew Sierawski also earned a spot on the podium, finishing seventh in the 220-pound weight class. While he secured a lower finish than the other three local D-I state placers, the Pacer standout was the only one to win his final match of the tournament thanks to his 5-4 decision over North Royalton’s Garrett Snyder, the same guy who knocked him out of title contention in their championship preliminary, in the seventh-place match.

After finishing with an 0-2 mark at last year’s state showcase, Eisnnicher more than made up for it this time around, reversing that mark through two rounds at the Division II Individual State Wrestling Tournament at OSU’s Jerome Schottenstein Center.

After powering halfway to a state title, though, he would have to settle for something other than first place. He fell to Tiffin Columbian’s Seth Williams by a slim 3-1 margin in Friday’s championship semifinal, advancing to Saturday’s consolation semifinals for the right to wrestle in the third-place match.

The loss came on the heels of a statement win in the afternoon’s championship quarterfinals, when Eisnnicher handled St. Paris Graham Local’s Lane Thomas 7-4. Graham Local won the recent dual team tournament, where Thomas was a perfect 3-0.

After losing their respective championship preliminaries Thursday night, Buckeye Valley’s Chance and Dashawn Haynes came back with solid wins in consolation action. Their runs came to an end Friday afternoon, though, as both fell. Chance (120), who beat Toledo Central Catholic’s Rosendo Beltran 8-0 the night before, lost to Lorain Clearview’s Markus Cruz via a pin in 4:07. Dashawn (132), meanwhile, reached the second round after pinning Kenton Ridge’s Seth Cochran in 4:18, but lost to Jonathan Alder’s Bret Yutzy 11-8 to smooth out what was a solid all-around high school career. He finished this season with a 41-7 record.

In other action, Big Walnut’s R.J. Martin (138) was outlasted by Oak Harbor’s Jeremy Balboa, who notched an 11-9 sudden victory, in Thursday’s consolation opener; and Buckeye Valley’s Jim Brittsan (170) was pinned by Washington Court House’s Tye Smith in 1:48 to see his state showing come to an end.