OSU Wrestling: NCAA a First Round Recap by IPhone

“Not the round we wanted,” was how Buckeye Coach Tom Ryan summed up his wrestlers’ performance after around 1 of the NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City. The Buckeyes picked up maximum points from Logan Stieber with a pin at 141. Also, despite starting tentatively, No. 1 seed Nick Heflin eventually picked up maximum points for a medical default after leading his Naval Academy opponent 5-0.

All Buckeyes will be in action tonight including the four losing wrestlers who head into their first consolation bracket action. “I just didn’t feel there was much energy today and the guys who lost didn’t assert themselves or express any urgency.”

Nick Roberts was probably the biggest disappointment. “He’s a very, very good wrestler for sure but I think he just doesn’t take care of his stuff. He dominates the early parts of a match dictating the terms then stops doing that. He finds himself reacting and getting caught rather than taking care of his stuff. Men take care of their stuff. He is young and learning.” After controlling his No. 5 opponent from Northern Iowa, Nick surrendered a late takedown and gave up back points to lose a match he had been controlling.

It didn’t help Coach Ryan’s disposition that Roberts’ post-match comments to the referee cost the Buckeyes a one point team deduction. The Ryan coached Buckeyes typically are free of such behavior.

Coach Ryan was also disappointed by Mark Martin’s loss at 167. “You get put on your back, ok, you come back. He was in on a single leg takedown attempt on his opponent down 5-3 but Mark has lost more takedowns than I can count this year. But he can come back. It’s been a tough year–he’s been hurt. We need him to come back.”

The Buckeyes did pick up another nice win from Johnni DiJulius who fought for points late in the match, winning 14-5 and earning an extra team point. “Johnni has our toughest match tonight against [David] Thorn [Minn]. He’s lost 2 close battles. We need him to close the gap.”

Kenny Courts wrestled well for the Buckeyes’ other win. “Kenny has grown a lot. He is tough now. The challenge is big but he can do it.”

The Buckeyes, after the deduction are hanging at about 10 place with 8 points. They will also have Nick Tavanello and Ian Paddock going tonight after tough losses at 285 and 149 respectively. They need their two superstars Heflin and Stieber to stay on track for the finals, and get a few Cinderella marches. “All our matches are winnable tonight. We’ll meet at 4:30 and the message is ‘let’s go Buckeyes. Let’s go!'”

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