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Friday, January 7th, 2011

Bulldogs slip past rival on tiebreaker

By Gary R. Rasberry

Celina's Zach Senger, right, breaks free from the grip of St. Marys' Ryan Slife. . .

ST. MARYS - It came down to the last bout to decide the winner of the Western Buckeye wrestling match between Celina and St. Marys.
Actually, it took a bit longer and a look at the rule book.
After Celina's Sam Phares scored an overtime win over St. Marys' Dakota Knous to tie the match at 32-all, the decision of who won the match came down tie-breaker criteria. After the first three criteria proved inconclusive, Celina took the win on the fourth, which was based on match wins. The MatDogs won seven to the Roughriders' six - with one double void - giving Celina the tie-breaking point to win 33-32 wrapping up a WBL super-triangular also featuring Bath and Shawnee at Murotech Court.
The MatDogs had to rally from down 12 points with three matches to go to beat the Roughriders after Tanner Zizelman scored a technical fall on Andy Garwood at 130 pounds.
The rally started when Zach Cozadd scored a 3-2 decision on Jason Hunter. Cody Doner followed at 140 pounds and pinned Luke Lemmerman to cut the deficit to three, which meant St. Marys needed to win to stave off a Celina comeback.
Phares, who took over after Jordan Bretz was injured in his earlier match of the night against Shawnee, got down early 2-0 to Knous and was trailing 3-0 going into the final period. Phares took advantage of Knous' being hit twice for stalling calls in the period and scored an escape that tied the bout at 3-all. Knous tried to score a takedown before the end of regulation, but was rebuffed.
In the overtime, Knous continued to try to score the needed takedown, but Phares was able to wiggle out of bounds, while getting warned for a stall on one evasion move. The third time Phares was able to counter and got the takedown as time wound down, tying the match.
The official went to the rule book to check the criteria. The first three proved even, but the final win by Celina proved to be the match-winner.
"Phares did a great job (by) not quitting and going into overtime," said Celina coach Tim Doner. "He finally got a takedown to win the match. He did really good."
"It's easier getting beat by 20 points (than) coming down and losing at the end of the match like that," said St. Marys coach Larry Gruber.
Other pinfall wins for Celina against St. Marys on the night came from Kirtus Rush (160 pounds), Kevin Lockwood (189) and Alex Minch (215). St. Marys got pinfall wins from Ryan Slife (152) and Braeden Miller (125).
In the opening matches of the night, Celina fell to Shawnee 34-30 while Bath defeated St. Marys 55-18.
"Our youth just shows," said Doner. "We've got a little bit of inconsistency, but they're stepping it up, too. They're not quitting."
Bath completed the night with a perfect 2-0 mark in beating Shawnee 42-21.
Celina holds its first home match of the season on Tuesday as the MatDogs host Kenton, Ottawa-Glandorf and Bath for the Dues Nursery Super-Tri at the High School Gymnasium.
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