McGuinea wins, Tiger wrestlers battle at NOC Tournament

by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor Published:

The reputation of the Northeast Ohio Conference Tournament is enough to have young, rebuilding teams shaking in their wrestling shoes.

Twinsburg wrestling went into the tournament in the midst of a rebuilding season and some of its wrestlers got roughed up.

Still, it wasn't all bad for the Tigers.

Twinsburg finished in 12th place in the NOC Tournament with 75.5 points. Brunswick won the team title at the NOC with 160.5 points, just 1.5 points ahead of runner-up Parma. The tournament took place Feb. 1 and 2 at Garfield Heights.

Tigers coach Dave Mariola said his team's effort was solid, even if it wasn't reflected in the results.

"We lost so many close matches," Mariola said. "Our 138-pounder lost two one-point matches, so that kind of hurt.

"The freshman class we have is going to be very good," Mariola said. "Our sophomores are going to better over the next two years. The problem with those great classes we've had the last few years is you couldn't get someone to come out [and wrestle behind them] because they knew they'd never wrestle varsity."

Twinsburg's top dog continued his excellent finish to the season, as senior 145-pounder Tyrone McGuinea claimed his first NOC title.

McGuinea was given the top seed at 145 pounds and looked like the favorite early. He pinned Solon's Alex Goodman in 1:31, beat Shaker Heights' Amir Coob-Bradley 7-4 and downed Elyria's Alex Parker 14-6 to reach the final.

"Tyrone really looked good that [semifinal] match," Mariola said. "He looks relaxed out there."

McGuinea then faced Garfield Heights' Shamico Samidan in the final. Despite the home crowd advantage for Samidan, McGuinea handled his business and defeated him to claim the title.

Twinsburg had one other finalist in 160-pounder Alex Keller. Seeded second at 160, Keller tore through the bracket on his way to the final.

Keller pinned Garfield Heights' Will Hopkins in 37 seconds, scored a 20-5 technical fall over Valley Forge's Seth Howe and stuck Cuyahoga Falls' Austin Wilson in 4:38 to reach the final.

In the final, however, Keller ran out of steam as he was defeated by Hudson's Michael Coleman.

"Keller's biggest problem is the scale," Mariola said. "If he can keep his weight in check, he'll be just fine."

Twinsburg's third senior star was absent from the lineup, as 138-pounder Jimmy Hiller was still recovering from a rib injury suffered at the Cable 9 tri-meet. He expects to be back in time for the postseason.

Senior 220-pounder Onome Ombien also reached the podium by taking fifth place.

The best performance by one of Twinsburg's young guns came from sophomore 152-pounder Noah Edwards.

After losing his first match 8-7 to Hudson's Sam Semenczuk, Edwards won three straight matches to reach the podium.

He defeated Normandy's Thomas Keller 7-3, Shaker Heights' James Ferguson 10-5 and Medina's Zach Priebe 6-5 to reach the consolation semifinals.

Edwards ran out of gas in the consolation semifinal, losing 7-3 to Brunswick's Ray Floyd. He then lost in the fifth-place match to North Royalton's Cameron Mayell.

"Noah is a surprise," Mariola said. "The fact he made the podium means he's going to be seeded here next year,"

Twinsburg's regular season is now over. The Tigers will open the postseason at the Division I sectional tournament at Austintown Fitch Feb. 15 and 16. First match Feb. 15 is set for 3:45 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

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