By JOE CANNON
Despite having a week off and partaking of holiday goodies, Bradley Central returned to the wrestling mat Tuesday evening and notched an easy victory over Ooltewah in a District 8-AAA dual meet.“It …
Despite having a week off and partaking of holiday goodies, Bradley Central returned to the wrestling mat Tuesday evening and notched an easy victory over Ooltewah in a District 8-AAA dual meet.
“It was about what I expected,” declared head coach Ben Smith after his two-time defending double state champion Bears won seven of the nine contested matches for a 58-15 victory.
“We had a six-seven day Christmas break, so our conditioning isn’t really where we want it to be, but I’m not displeased with what we saw.”
With the Owls bringing just 10 varsity wrestlers, they had to forfeit four weight classes, while the hosts also gave away a "walk over," with senior Kevin Gentry, ranked fifth in the state at 220 pounds, being held out as a precaution.
“We were without one of our captains and we had a new wrestler in the starting lineup, but our score was comparable to what they had done against Soddy-Daisy (in mid-December),” Coach Smith remarked.
“We are starting to get into our district and region matches, so you want to know how you compare,” he added.
Ranked third in the latest Pin-TN.com poll, Bradley will return to the mat Thursday evening with a short trip to the north end of the county to face Walker Valley in “The Stable.”
That same night, top-ranked Cleveland will host No. 7 Soddy-Daisy. Both varsity meets begin at 7 p.m.
The Bears will head to Nashville Saturday for the Johnny Drennan Invitational at Father Ryan High School.
With Tuesday’s action against the Owls beginning at 145, Bradley won the first half dozen matches.
Fifth-ranked Andy Robinson started the roll with a 10-1 major decision, followed by a 7-4 Skylar Bradley win at 152.
Seth Gerena (160) and Henley Headrick (170) got back-to-back “sticks.”
Gerena needed just 38 seconds for the quickest pin of the night, while Headrick put his opponent’s shoulders to the mat at the 5:38 mark.
After the Bears got their first freebie from Ooltewah at 182, fourth-ranked DJ Gibson needed only 46 seconds to put his 195-pound opponent on his back and get the referee to slap the mat.
The Owls got on the scoreboard with the 220 walk over, then Kevin Chang got a 5-0 shutout in the heavyweight match.
Three straight freebies in the lowest weights guaranteed the Bear victory, but Bradley claimed wins in two of the final three matches to cap the win.
Gaven Hughes earned a first period (1:50) pin at 126, while Ian Machese wrapped up the victory with a 7-0 decision at 138.
Alexander Wright got the only Ooltewah pin at the 4:32 mark of the 132-pound match.
“I saw us doing some of the things we’ve been focusing on in practice, so I’m happy about that,” commented Coach Smith.
“We have a lot of big stuff coming up, so it’s good to get back at it and get ready for the second half of the season.”
The Bears will host the annual Crosstown Clash with Cleveland on Jan. 11, before going to Johnson City for the Moffatt Duals the following day and the Fandetti/Richardson Brawl that Saturday.
Bradley will travel to Soddy-Daisy Jan. 18, before hosting the Region Duals on the 25th.
Bears (BC) 58, Owls (O) 15
Match started at 145
106: Glen O’Daniel (BC) won by forfeit. 113: Wesley DeVaney (BC) won by forfeit. 120: Daniel Mroz (BC) won by forfeit. 126: Gaven Hughes (BC) pinned Gavin Howington, 1:50. 132: Alexander Wright (O) pinned Alex Dees, 3:50. 138: Ian Marchese (BC) dec. Easton Norris, 7-0. 145: Andy Robinson (BC) major Dec. Mykkel Banks, 10-1. 152: Skyler Bradley (BC) dec. Marek Banks, 7-4. 160: Seth Gerena (BC) Jordan Davis, :38. 170: Henley Headrick (BC) Francisco Gallardo, 5:38. 182: Trey Johnson (BC) won by forfeit. 195: DJ Gibson (BC) pinned Justice Cruz, :46. 220: Blake Wright (O) won by forfeit. 285: Kevin Chang (O) dec. Gavin Sewell, 5-0.
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