Updated Mon, Feb 10, 2014 9:49 am
For a win against Old Dominion, Ohio needed wins from all its top wrestlers. The match was likely to be close and unfortunately for the Bobcats, two of their best grapplers put together uncharacteristic performances in losses, and the ‘Cats fell to the Monarchs in their final Mid-American Conference dual, 22-15.
No. 10 Cody Walters, 174, and No. 15 Tywan Claxton, 149, did not look like themselves in losses and their team suffered.
"I thought we wrestled pretty hard, we just didn’t have enough to win the tight matches that we needed to win," Ohio head coach Joel Greenlee said.
Down 9-6, Claxton, typically quick and aggressive, looked sluggish in a 4-3 defeat. The 149-pounder picked up a crucial escape in the waning seconds of the third period to tie the match, but No. 19 Alexander Richardson earned a point for riding time to seal the win.
Walters faced off against Billy Curling with the Bobcats still wrestling from behind at 15-12. Curling was aggressive from the very beginning and controlled the match. Walters was unable to establish himself and lost, 7-2.
After the Bobcats dropped the 174 match, Old Dominion’s Jack Dechow won the 184 bout to take the dual, 22-12.
Ohio’s heavyweight Jeremy Johnson got the dual started off on the right foot for the Green and White with 4-1 victory. No. 11 Johnson has gone undefeated in 14 dual meets and finished with perfect 8-0 conference record.
KeVon Powell, 125, grabbed a win to give Ohio a 6-0 lead, but it went on to lose its next four matches, suffering a pin at 133 and decision losses at 141, 149 and 157.
True freshman Sebastian Arroyo took Kagan Squire’s normal spot at 133. Squire was out with a concussion he suffered Saturday against Clarion.
Down 15-6, the Bobcats were in need of a spark and Harrison Hightower, 165, was the man to provide it. Hightower pinned Devin Geoghegan in the first period to bring the ‘Cats back to just three points down at 15-12. Hightower's 13th pin of the season ingnited his teammates and the Convo's crowd but Ohio's rally stopped short with Walters' loss.
“I thought 174 was a match we needed to win,” Greenlee said. “157, 149 and 133 were matches we needed to win [too]. We were in it. It was close. We just didn’t have enough to get it done.”
Phil Wellington, 197, finished the dual off for Ohio with a 3-1 sudden victory. Like Johnson, he was perfect in the MAC this year.
The loss drops the Bobcats to 10-4 and 4-4 in MAC competition.
They will look for a bounce-back win in a home dual with the West Virginia Mountaineers on Feb. 16.