Shuster & Witt Claim Upsets, But Flashes Fall Hard in Loss to Missouri
Kent, Ohio- No. 12 Missouri tallied four pins, including two that came after Kent State wrestlers had leads as the Tigers took 7-of-10 matches in a 34-12 road victory Friday night at the M.A.C. Center. The Tigers jumped out to 10-0 lead after two matches and never trailed, becoming the first team to beat the Flashes in their own building since the 2009-10 season.
With his team trailing by 10, sophomore Tyler Small (Littlestown, Pa.) brought the crowd to life with a second period pin of Brandon Wiest. Leading 3-0, Small scored a second period takedown that immediately led to a match-ending cradle.
"I like the hype of getting ready for big matches like this," Small said. "Going out and pushing the pace felt good. It was probably the best I felt all year and I just kept pushing to the cradle and got the pin."
Momentum appeared to continue swinging in Kent State's favor as freshman Ian Miller (Graytown, Ohio) jumped out to a 6-2 lead over Kyle Bradley after a period. However, Miller appeared to gradually run out of gas and his third period shot attempt backfired and led to a late fall for Bradley.
"Ian just couldn't wrestle anymore," Head Coach Jim Andrassy said. "He was too tired," "He was out last week and couldn't practice."
The loss didn't both junior Mallie Shuster (Newville, Pa.), who came away with a 10-5 upset over No. 14 Drake Houdashelt. Shuster gave up an opening takedown, before piling up seven first-period points, including a cradle that nearly flattened Houdashelt.
"Mallie wrestled one of his better matches of the year," Andrassy said.
The Flashes third victory of the night came four matches later when junior Keith Witt (Oak Harbor, Ohio) pulled off a 2-0 upset over No. 11 Brent Haynes. Witt came around back on a Haynes shot for a first period takedown and rode Haynes for the entire second period.
"Keith looked very good today against a pretty tough kid," Andrassy said. "We had three guys that wrestled very well, but most of the team didn't wrestle their best."
In a battle of top five wrestlers, senior Nic Bedelyon (Lewistown, Pa.) could never get an offense going in a 12-1 loss against Alan Waters. A pair of three-point tilts in the first period gave Waters a commanding 8-0 in the night's first match.
"Nic just looked flat," Andrassy said. "We just didn't look sharp today as a whole. We need a little more fight out there."
Junior Stevie Mitcheff (Lorain,Ohio) and sophomore Brandonn Johnson (Middletown, Md.) were each pinned in the first period. Johnson scored an opening takedown, before getting cradled by No. 3 Dorian Henderson.
"We never expected to get pinned in four weight classes, Andrassy said. " "Individually we had some bright spots. But it's been a hard few weeks for us. The season has peaks and valleys and we're in a valley right now."
The Golden Flashes also had two starters (Ross Tice, Casey Newburg) out with injuries, forcing junior Tommy Sasfy (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) and sophomore Kwan Bailey (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) to move up weight classes to 165 and 184 respectively. Sasfy trailed 2-1 after two periods, before dropping a 5-2 decision. Wrestling in his first dual at Kent State, Bailey kept his match scoreless after a period, but was pinned in the third.
Senior Brendan Barlow (Westerville, Ohio) was caught off-guard by Devin Mellon in the second period as Mellon instantly took a shot after a Barlow escape to claim the only takedown of the match in a 5-3 decision.
The Golden Flashes (2-3) continue their home weekend against top notch completion Sunday, hosting No. 6 Ohio State at 1 p.m.