Prep wrestling: Madison senior breaks through to earn state berth

After three years of heartbreak one win from advancing, Madison High School senior Drew Price is going to the state wrestling tournament.

Price had been in the consolation semifinals at the district tournament the past three years, but something had always gone astray.

This time around, however, Price had to win three straight in the Division III tournament at Hobart Arena to punch his ticket after being upset in the quarterfinals last Friday.

Price opened Saturday with a 15-0 tech fall and a 12-3 major decision to advance to the consolation semis, the round that had doomed him on three previous trips. Price, however, battled to a 4-3 win over sectional champ Colton Robbins of Reading to advance to the state tournament.

Price finished third with a 10-8 win in the consolation finals.

Returning state placer Zach Banks of Madison also moved on, finishing second at 195.

Division I

Fairfield qualified four of the seven district qualifiers to the state tournament, winning two titles to go with a second-place finish and a fourth-place finish to finish fifth with 99.5 points.

Zach Shupp had to battle to claim the title at 106. The projected state champ needed overtime to beat La Salle’s Dustin Norris 4-2.

Jabari Thomas also enters state as a district champ after battling to a wild 8-6 win over La Salle’s Casey Wiles for the title at 126, while Moustapha Bal was second to projected state champ Lucas Byrd of La Salle at 113.

Amar Thomas bounced back from a 3-2 loss in the semis at 145 to Wayne freshman Austin Mullins to advance to state with a 3-2 win over Harrison’s Luke Shirley in the consolation finals. Thomas finished fourth.

Joey Bradberry moved on for Lakota West with a fourth-place finish at 160.

Division II

It was a rough weekend for Ross.

The Rams entered districts with 10 qualifiers and looked to be one of the teams in the race for the second-place finish, but Jake Gentry will be the lone Ram at the state tournament.

The returning state placer, wrestling at 113 in the postseason after spending the regular season at 120, rebounded from a loss in the semifinals to finish third.

Ross does have three alternates for state who could get in if anything happens to one of the top four qualifiers in their weight class.

In the second installment of what should be a trilogy, Graham’s Gage Braun handed Valley View’s Stone Day his first loss of the season, 3-1 in overtime.

Day had defeated Braun 5-4 in the finals at the Valley View Invite and the final installment could come Saturday night for a state title.

Franklin’s Gage Johnson also advanced to the state meet, finishing third at 170.

The state wrestling tournament runs March 8-10 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

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