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Ohio wrestler Austin Starr before wrestling in the 197 pound weight class dual match against Buffalo at The Convo, Feb. 24, 2024 in Athens.

Wrestling: Ohio loses to Buffalo in final dual of the season, 27-9

On a night when it seemed that everything had to go right for Ohio, nothing seemed to go its way. Ohio (7-6, 3-4 Mid-American Conference) won a mere three matches and simply was overmatched by Buffalo (10-12, 5-3 MAC) in the final dual of the season for both teams. The 27-9 final score illustrates just how lopsided the matches felt at times with Ohio unable to establish much. 

In the opening bout of the night, Ryan Meek was looking to pick up a win. Meek, ranked No. 10 in the MAC, faced Max Elton, the No. 8 wrestler. Elton was able to take control early with a takedown that gave him a 3-1 lead going into the 2nd period. An escape in the second and then another takedown for Elton gave him the 7-3 decision over Meek. 

Mason Brugh had a tall task against Tommy Maddox, the No. 4 wrestler in the MAC. The first period was a sluggish three minutes as three injury timeouts were called due to both wrestlers having bloody noses. Nonetheless, Brugh was hanging in there, only down 3-2. After the second period, Maddox was able to wear down Brugh and lead 10-3 going into the final frame. The final score of 14-3 illustrated that Maddox was able to finish off Brugh and get the win. 

Aidan Waszak was facing Caleb Brooks and kept it scoreless going into the second. Waszak then led 1-0 after two periods. Like last weekend, Waszak wrestled hard for the first two periods, but trailed off in the third, dropping the decision. The 5-1 loss demonstrated further the fact that Waszak is close to having those decisions go his way but still has work to do. 

No. 33 Derek Raike had the opportunity to give Ohio its first points of the night. Through the first two periods, Raike was in a real position to get that done, leading 9-3 over Kaleb Burgess. In the third period, Raike started strong, extending his lead to 14-4 before Burgess pulled a reversal and then pinned Raike.

Following the shocking result, Peyten Kellar did his best to get his team on the board. Kellar, the No. 15 wrestler in the country of his class, faced Nick Stampoulos, the No. 7 wrestler in the MAC. With no score heading into the second and Kellar only holding a 1-0 lead entering the final period, the calls for a stalling penalty on Stampoulos rang out through The Convo. Those pleas were not answered by the referee, but Kellar answered the bell when he secured the first win for Ohio with a takedown to give him a 4-0 win. 

Jack Lledo got a huge win against SIUE last weekend when he picked up his first career win in a dual. This weekend, Ohio needed him to replicate some of the magic that gave him a win that sparked his team. Against Hunter Shaut, No. 10 in the MAC, Lledo was simply overmatched by the redshirt senior, losing a decision by the score of 8-2. 

With the hopes of the Bobcats coming back and winning the dual, the next wrestler to take the mat was No. 26 Sal Perrine. Facing Jay Nivision, Perrine was unable to land any attacks as Nivision was able to dodge everything, leading to him picking up a pair of stalling calls due to him refusing to allow Perrine to engage. Perrine was able to get the win, 2-1, keeping the Bobcats’ chances of winning alive.

Ohio turned to Robert Gaylord once again at the 184-pound class. Gaylord was wrestling up two weight classes and the disparity in strength became apparent against Chase Kranitz. Gaylord was pinned midway through the second period to clinch the dual for Buffalo. 

Austin Starr faced No. 28 Sam Mitchell in one of the best matches of the night. Starr had the chance to pull an upset and improve his chances of advancing far in the MAC Championships. For the first period, it looked like Starr had a real chance to pick up an upset win. However, Mitchell was able to flex his muscles and pick up the 5-1 win. 

In the final bout of the night, Jordan Greer took on Lonnell Owens-Pabon. Greer took control early, leading 4-0 going into the third before he held on for the 5-1 decision.


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