CADIZ - Harrison Central head coach Bill Bryant knew bonus points were going to be key heading into Wednesday night's OHSAA Dual Team Tournament Division III Region 20-A Quarterfinals.
The Huskies recorded three pins and a major decision in posting a thrilling 40-33 decision against Sandy Valley in the final match of the night of the night inside the John W. Stephenson Center.
The victory sends Harrison Central to next Wednesday's regional semifinal against Massillon Tuslaw at a site to be determined. Tuslaw, the top seed in the region, advanced with a 50-25 victory against Ridgewood in Massillon.
Harrison Central’s Brandon White Brandon White battles Sandy Valley’s Brandon Carbenia during their 120-pound match Wednesday night. White posted a 14-5 major decision as the Huskies defeated the Cardinals, 40-33.
''I feel like a kid in a candy store right now,'' Bryant said after the night's action concluded. ''We made some moves in our lineup to get some better matchups and I thought it favored us. It paid off for us.''
Sandy Valley finished ahead of the Huskies at the Shadyside Tournament earlier this season so Bryant was eager to see how his squad would perform.
''They all wrestled so well,'' he said. ''I really can't single one guy out. It just took a team effort. I'm very proud of them.''
Starting with the 132-pound bout, Harrison Central reeled off five straight victories to gain control and three of those wins cam via fall.
Senior David Forrester got the ball rolling by pinning Colin Hughes in 1:34. Next, at 138, Hunter Pizzino went into the third period with Billy Kesling before earning a pin in 5:14.
The Huskies' Antony Risley decisioned Alex Sterling, 10-5, at 145 before teammate Kyle Dodds, at 152, quickly pinned Patrick Fitzgerald in :46.
Cyle Riedel finished off the run by decisioning Jaret Oliver, 4-2, in the 160-pound bout.
''We bumped everyone up from 126 (pounds) up and it paid off for us,'' Bryant said. ''Anytime you can bump a kid up a weight class and get wins, it's huge.''
The Huskies' other contested victory came at 113 where Brandon White topped Brandon Carbenia by major decision, 14-5.
Both teams benefited from two forfeits.
Harrison Central reached Round 3 by defeating Steubenville Catholic, 47-27, in the first match of the night for both teams.
There, the Huskies posted seven victories in contested matches, five of which resulted in bonus points.
''I thought we'd struggle to get out of the first round against them,'' Bryant said.
But Harrison Central made it look easy, however, thanks to a string midway through the match in which the Huskies picked up six wins, including two forfeits.
Earning pins for the Huskies were Risley (145), Riedel (160), Westin Fogle (220) and Brenton Stull (285). White (120) won by technical fall.
The Crusaders' Luke Coniker (126) and Leo Herrmann (182) both recorded falls.
''If you would've told me three weeks ago that we'd be moving on, I probably would've told you not this season,'' Bryant said.
''But I'm glad that we are.'
In other Region 20 action:'
BELPRE - No. 8 seed St. Clairsville topped River to make its way to next Wednesday's regional semifinals in Region 20-B.
John Bartolo (132), Logan Thompson (145), Dylan Atwine (152) and Carson Ernest (285) all recorded pins for the Red Devils.
St. Clairsville upended top seed Belpre, 42-31, to advance to face the Pilots. River topped Barnesville, 40-27.
AT?CALDWELL, the third-seeded Redskins eliminated Shadyside for its spot in the regional, 43-36. The Redskins also toppled Union Local, while the Tigers defeated Martins Ferry
AT?MASSILLON, the top-seed, Tuslaw, advanced to next week with a pair of wins.
The site for next week's matches will be determined by the OHSAA.
Thorp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org