ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Only one area wrestler was among the 14 left standing when the 17th annual America's Best Value Inn Tournament concluded here late Saturday night on John Jenkins Court inside St. Clairsville High School.
The host Red Devils' Michael Furbee, the top seed at 220 pounds, captured his championship with a 16-1 technical fall over Tallmadge's Jacob Lahtonen.
"Michael is really coming on strong. We have been talking to him about imposing his will on opponents," St. Clairsville head coach Joel Sansone said of his sophomore. "That kids was a runnerup here last year, so we knew the competition was going to be good. For Michael to win by technical fall, he definitely brought his 'A' game tonight."
ST. CLAIRSVILLE’S Michael Furbee (top) controls Tallamadge’s Jacob Lahtonen during their 220-pound championship bout Saturday night at the America’s Best Value Inn Tournament in St. Clairsville. Additional images can be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
Furbee was pleased with his effort.
"The whole team is working hard and, despite none of my teammates making it to the championship round, I was representing our entire program on the mat tonight.
"Coach Sansone is working really hard with the team and I think we are responding to what he wants us to do," Furbee added. "I wanted to show that we are a rising force this season."
Oak Glen continued its dominance in the event as the Golden Bears piled up 350.5 points to easily out-distance second-place Tallamadge, which had 282. Each school only had one individual champion. Oak Glen won for the 11th time with 12 of its 14 grapplers placing. Third-place Buckhannon-Upshur had four titlists and 268 points. Dover, with one champion and 225 points was fourth, with Toronto checking in at fifth with 214.
Furbee was one of three Red Devils to make the podium, the other two earning third-place medals. St. Clairsville amassed 163 points for ninth place.
A total of 26 local individuals were in the top six of their respective weight classes, with Harrison Central, which fininshed sixth in the team standings with 208.5 points, leading the way with eight. Two Huskies placed second, those being David Forrester (126) and Cole Howes (182). Forrester was pinned by Meadowbrook's Tyler Jenkins, while Howes lost an 8-4 decision to Newark's Dan Pastorious. Two other Harrison Central grapplers finished fourth, a pair were fifth and two more were sixth.
Martins Ferry was seventh with 183 points and six wrestlers earning medals. Heavyweight Jonathan Bodkin lost a heartbreaking title match in triple overtime to Daniel Nolte of Buckhannon-Upshur. Two Purple Riders were third, two more fifth and one sixth.
Barnesville and Bridgeport each had four place-winners, with Bellaire placing one.
The Shamrocks had a pair of third- and fourth-place finishers, while the Bulldogs' Brad Tomolonis was second at 170, losing 12-4 to Philo's Steven Frazier.Two other Bulldogs were fourth and one sixth.
The Big Reds' Myliek Green saw his undefeated streak come to an end when he was pinned by Buckhannon-Upshur's Seth Cutright. Cutright is a defending W.Va. state champion.
Other champions included Terrel Grant (106-Tallmadge); Cory Marshall (113-Dover); Joey Shreves (120-Buckhannon-Upshur); Dalton George (132-Williamstown); Dakota Linger (138-Buckhannon-Upshur); Bailey Jenkins (145-Meadowbrook); Alex Shuman (152-Oak Glen); and David Hastings (195-Williamstown).
Meadowbrook's Bailey Jenkins was voted the winner of the Delande Brothers MVP Award.