Cleveland claims state title
by By RICHARD ROBERTS Sports Editor
Feb 02, 2013 | 2324 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CLEVELAND'S TRISTON BLANSIT wrestles Wilson Central's Lane Dickerson in the 106-pound bout in the Tennessee state duals wrestling tournament Saturday, in Franklin. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
CLEVELAND'S TRISTON BLANSIT wrestles Wilson Central's Lane Dickerson in the 106-pound bout in the Tennessee state duals wrestling tournament Saturday, in Franklin. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
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FRANKLIN — The Cleveland Blue Raiders waited a year to get a second shot in as many years at the state duals wrestling title after finishing second to Soddy-Daisy in 2012.

Cleveland may also have been looking to get back at the Trojans after a one-sided loss in the regular season meeting. The much anticipated championship match between the No. 1-ranked Trojans and No. 2-ranked Blue Raiders never materialized after Soddy-Daisy was stunned in the semifinals by Wilson Central.

No matter for the Raiders (28-2) who scored their first duals crown since 1994, finished third in 2008 and second in 2010. Cleveland made up for lost time with a 78-4 victory over the Wildcats (42-3) with an astounding 13 pins in 14 matches.

The record setting margin of victory is 24 points better than Bradley Central's win over Ooltewah in 2008.

"It was just a good team effort," said a proud but low-key Cleveland coach Jake Yost. "We expect to do well. Going into a match we expect to win every match. We want our guys to expect to win. When you expect to win and have high expectations, good things happen."

"We expected to go out there and fight our tails off in all 14 weight classes. When you do that good things happen to you. You can say there were some surprises, but when we get on a roll, we get on a roll. We are that kind of team."

Cleveland cruised through the opening Round of 16 with a 73-0 win over Cordova. A 57-12 quarterfinals win over Clarksville set up a semifinals match against Heritage where the Blue Raiders relegated the Mountaineers to the consolation bracket with a 46-36 loss. Cleveland gave up 30 points to the Wildcats with five forfeits after locking up the win.

Wilson Central became the first non-Region 4 team to reach the championship match since Clarksville in 2006, with a stunning 39-31 win over highly favored Soddy-Daisy.

The Trojans entered the tournament minus the help of three starters. The trio — including the state's No. 1-ranked wrestler at 152 pounds — was dismissed from the team and sent home Friday for violation of team rules.

The Raiders started in a hurry with pins by Austin Oliver at 126 pounds and Haden Hamilton at 132. Ezra taylor fought back from a 7-4 first-period deficit to get a pin to put Cleveland on top 18-0.

Aaron Oliver and Josh Hamilton kept the pin wheel turning at 145 and 152 giving Cleveland a 30-0 lead. Sean VonPotts added more coal to the red hot Raider fire with yet another pin at 160 pounds.

Aaron Lopez stepped up one weight class to 170 pounds and kept the perfect night alive with the seventh fall in a row. Ethan West and Oleg Stukanov made it nine consecutive pins with wins at 182 and 195 to give the Blue Raiders an insurmountable lead.

Wilson Central finally broke the string and put points on the board with a major decision win at 220 pounds.

Koran Kennedy made it 10 pins in 11 matches with a win at 285 and Chris DeBien continued the throttling with a pin at 113. Austin Stevison closed out the record-setting win with a final pin at 120 pounds.

"We've got a good thing going on in Cleveland up and down the lineup. I've seen it all year, from our administration to our supporters to our fans to our cheerleaders," said the winning coach.

Yost praised the Cleveland High School camera crew and supporters that made the trip to stream the tournament live.

"Kids and a teachers came all the way up here to put this live stream on the Internet. Our supporters are here, our parents are here, our director of schools is here and our middle school principal is here. All that creates so many opportunities for our kids," he said. "Beyond that, I always like to give credit to all those people because they help, but bottom line, the ones who deserve all the credit are the wrestlers. They are the ones who have to walk out on the mat and step out there by themselves and put it on the line."

In the four meets Cleveland wrestled at the state duals, the Blue Raiders lost only four matches not conceded by forfeit.

"We are always looking for ways to improve. We've got things we can improve on. We've got a traditional tournament coming up; this isn't the end," said Yost already looking ahead. "We will enjoy ourselves tonight and enjoy ourselves tomorrow. Then Monday we've got to go back to work."

Final

CLEVELAND 78, WILSON CENTRAL 4

(Meet started at 126 pounds)

106 — Triston Blansit (C) pinned Lane Dickeson (WC), 1:27); 113 — Christopher DeBien pinned Christian Cerrito (WC), 1:29; 120 — Austin Stevison (C) pinned Nick Insalaco (WC), 3:12; 126 — Austin Oliver (C) pinned Jonathan Hayes (WC), 1:34; 132 — Haden Hamilton (C) pinned Eddie Small (WC), 0:55; 138 — Ezra Taylor (C) pinned Austin Richard (WC), 3:51; 145 — Aaron Oliver (C) pinned Bryson Hutchison (WC), 3:35; 152 — Josh Hamilton (C) pinned John Davidson (WC), 0:50; 160 — Sean VonPotts (C) pinned Jonathan Ward (WC), 1:41; 170 — Aaron Lopez (C) pinned Jacob Myers (WC), (2:19); 182 — Ethan West (C) pinned Perry Baltz (WC), 1:11; 195 — Oleg Stukanov (C) pinned Dillon Smith (WC), 1:38; 220 — John Kramer (WC) major dec. John Gaither (C), 14-2; 285 — Koran Kennedy (C) pinned Michael Vaughn (WC), 1:41.

Semifinal

CLEVELAND 46, HERITAGE 36

(Meet started at 120 pounds)

106 — Dalton Lopez (H) win by forfeit; 113 — Nick Crawford (H) win by forfeit; 120 — Austin Stevison (C) pinned Robert Johnson (H) 4:17; 126 — Austin Oliver (C) pinned Michael Diemer (H) 1:38; 132 — Haden Hamilton (C) major dec. Jose Hernandez (H) 14-2; 138 — Ezra Taylor (C) pinned Austin Majors (H) 2:13; 145 — Skyler Boring (H) pinned Joel Simpkins (C) 1:08; 152 — Josh Hamilton (C) pinned Jacob Traxler (H) 0:48; 160 — Aron Lopez (C) pinned Joel Payne (H) 1:13; 170 — Sean VonPotts (C) win by forfeit; 182 — Ethan West (C) win by injury default over Keagan Matlock (H); 195 — Tyler Coppenger (H) win by forfeit; 220 — Tyler Sheehan (H) win by forfeit; 285 — Joseph Evans (H) win by forfeit.

Quarterfinals

CLEVELAND 57, CLARKSVILLE 12

(Meet started at 152 pounds)

106 — Triston Blansit (CLE) pinned Dalton Halliday (CLA) 1:10; 113 — Christopher DeBien (CLE) win by forfeit; 120 — Austin Stevison (CLE) dec. DeQuan Wiggins (CLA) 4-2; 126 — Austin Oliver (CLE) pinned Nathaniel Alsobrook (CLA) 3:54; 132 — Taylor Bishop (CLE) dec. Will Baker (CLA) 5-0; 138 — Ezra Taylor (CLE) dec. Clay Cook (CLA) 2-1; 145 — Aaron Oliver (CLE) m.dec. Hunter Mabry (CLA) 9-0; 152 — Josh Hamilton (CLE) pinned Thomas Huddleston (CLA) 1:53; 160 — Aron Lopez (CLE) pinned Alan D'Alessandro (CLA) 2:23; 170 — Tyler Crane (CLA) pinned Sean Vonpotts (CLE) 4:42; 182 — Ethan West (CLE) pinned Keil Russell (CLA) 3:12; 195 — Oleg Stukanov (CLE) pinned David Reid (CLA) 1:43; 220 — John Gaither (CLE) win by forfeit; 285 — Bruno Reagan (CLA) pinned Koran kennedy (CLE) 1:46.

Round of 16

CLEVELAND 73, CORDOVA 0

(Meet started at 145 pounds)

106 — Triston Blansit (CL) dec. Allen Carter (CO) 8-5; 113 — Christopher Debien (CL) pinned Aaron Carter (CO) 2:12; 120 — Austin Stevinson (CL) pinned Byron Smith (CO) 6:41; 126 — Austin Oliver (CL) pinned Paul Santospieve (CO) 1:19; 132 — Haden Hamilton (CL) pinned Connor Chipman (CO) 0:35; 138 — Ezra Taylor (CL) dec. Dedrick Mays (CO) 96; 145 — Joel Simpkins (CL) pinned Taylor Ozment (CO) 0:27; 152 — Josh Hamilton (CL) pinned James Costner (CO) 0:39; 160 — Aron Lopez (CL) pinned Matthew Mullins (CO) 1:03; 170 — Sean VonPotts (CL) pinned Ismaeel Bakakly (CO) 0:29; 182 — Ethan West (CL) dec. Jordan Davis (CO) 4-3; 195 — Oleg Stukanov (CL) major dec. Tyree Daniels (CO) 14—5; 220 — John Gaither (CL) win by forfeit; 285 — Koran Kennedy (CL) pinned Ben White (CO) 2:38.