After a couple weeks worth of practice, the young Twinsburg wrestling squad got back on the mat Dec. 28 and 29 at the Lorain Nationwide Holiday Classic.
The results from Lorain showed a pattern familiar for this season: Twinsburg's seniors wrestled well, but its younger wrestlers need to keep improving.
Twinsburg finished ninth in the 15-team field with 124 points. Lisbon Beaver Local won the team title with 243.5 points, while Norwalk St. Paul was second with 225.5.
The two-day pool-style tournament was for each wrestler to wrestle in a four-man pool on Friday. The top two finishers in each pool advanced to the championship bracket on Saturday, while the bottom two finishers wrestled in the "B" bracket, with ninth-place as the top finish in the bracket.
Tigers coach Dave Mariola said the tournament was just what the doctor ordered for his young team.
"We actually did pretty well, given who each guy was wrestling," said Mariola. "Everybody got a medal. I think that the competition was good for us. They got a lot of matches, which is what we need. I think the low was four matches and the high was seven the weekend.
"When they place like they did … they get to wrestle to the competition similar to their ability," Mariola added. "When we got into the second day, we were competing with the kids that are at our level."
Mariola's three senior leaders all handled their business.
At 152 pounds, Tyrone McGuinea looked very sharp on his way to the title. McGuinea defeated Beaver Local's Joe Kubinski 12-5 in the final.
"Tyrone didn't give up a point [via takedown] in the entire tournament," Mariola said. "He had one close match, but that was it. He got a lot of takedowns, which is what he needs to work on. He did a really good job."
Meanwhile, senior 160-pounder Alex Keller also came home with the title. He pinned Beaver Local's Morley Marsden in 5:44 to claim the championship after leading 6-4 late.
"Alex had five pins out of six matches," Mariola said. "That kid [Marsden] was undefeated coming into that match. Beaver Local was pretty high at that point. Alex took him down and pinned him."
Elsewhere, senior 145-pounder Jimmy Hiller took third place, after losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Kyle Wahl of Worthington Kilbourne.
"Jimmy wasn't feeling too good," Mariola said. "He should have beat that kid for Kilbourne. Jimmy was very capable of beating him, but he was coming down with the flu, so he ran out of gas."
Hiller rebounded to defeat Brad Powell of Copley 6-4 in overtime to take third place.
Mariola said he was happy to see 182-pounder Jared Hulme get up for fifth place, as well as sixth-place finishes from 120-pounder Anthony Delisio and 220-pounder Chris Rode.
Wrestling in the "B" bracket on Dec. 29, Twinsburg got ninth-place finishes from 106-pounder Luke Dimuzio, 138-pounder Eric Murdock, 170-pounder Trevor Bruce and 220-pounder Onome Omobien. Tenth-place finishes came from 113-pounder Anthony Askins, 145-pounder Robby Trevanthan and 170-pounder Noah Edwards.
Twinsburg faces a big test this weekend, as it will participate in the Mentor Duals Jan. 5. First match is set for 10 a.m.
The duals will include Twinsburg's Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division matches with Mentor, Elyria and Solon.
"We're aware of the capabilities of the other teams," Mariola said.