Wrestling team grabbing hold of conference wins

Sean Ammerman

Redshirt junior Jason McGee, of Kent State, wrestles Mickey Moran, of Buffalo, to the ground during a match on Friday at the M.A.C. Center. Moran beat McGee 7-5 with Kent State winning the match 21-13. The Flashes will host Central Michigan on Sunday at 1

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

The Kent State wrestling team leaped to second place in the Mid-American Conference after a pair of conference wins this weekend.

The Flashes defeated Ohio, 25-6, yesterday and Buffalo, 21-13, at home Friday.

Kent State is now riding a seven-match winning streak with an overall record of 13-3-1 and a MAC record of 3-0-1.

The Flashes took eight of 10 matches in overtaking the Bobcats (11-10, 1-3 MAC) yesterday afternoon.

Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said his team was not used to Ohio’s wrestling style, which tended to slow down the matches.

No. 15 nationally ranked junior Chad Sportelli started things off with a 3-1 decision win over Ohio’s Caleb Metcalf at 125 pounds.

Kent State junior Drew Opfer and senior Drew Lashaway then dropped matches at 133 pounds and 141 pounds, giving Ohio an early 6-3 lead.

The Flashes were able to rebound, however, taking the remaining seven weight class matches.

“It’s always fun to come down to (Ohio) and win,” junior Jason McGee said. “They have fans that heckle us, so when we beat them, they shut up really quick.”

McGee took a 10-1 major decision over Ohio’s Kent Smith at 165 pounds.

Also taking matches for Kent State were junior Aaron Miller at 174 pounds, freshman Jermail Porter at heavyweight and seniors Jason Bake at 149 pounds, Kurt Gross at 157 pounds, No. 16 Alex Camargo at 184 and Ardian Ramadani at 197 pounds.

The Flashes’ momentum started in Friday evening’s match against Buffalo at the M.A.C. Center, which marked the return of the Flashes’ starters off of their week-long break.

All three of the Bulls’ ranked wrestlers won their matches, but they were unable to match the Flashes’ consistency in the other weight classes. Kent State took six of 10 matches, including one by forfeit.

Buffalo was down 15-6 with a chance to win when McGee faced Buffalo’s Mickey Moran at the 165 pounds.

Moran jumped to a 2-1 lead early in the first period from a take-down. Not long after, the match was suspended briefly when he suffered a knee injury.

When the match resumed, Moran appeared to be moving normal on the knee, as he got another take-down in the second period.

After gaining a reversal point off the move, McGee took Moran down and almost got a near-fall, but the referee blew his whistle and gave injury time to Moran. The home crowd roared in disapproval of the call that may have cost McGee a point.

McGee tumbled to another reversal, giving him a 5-4 lead in the third period.

A stalling call on McGee at the end of the third period tied the score, sending the match into overtime.

McGee could not hold-on in the sudden-death overtime and fell to a take-down, leaving the crowd to boo the referee as he raised Moran’s hand for the decision win.

“I feel bad for Jason (McGee),” Andrassy said, who said he did not agree with the call. “He works hard, he’s in great shape and it seems like there hasn’t been a call to go his way this year.”

Kent State Junior Aaron Miller did not let this close loss turn the meet in Buffalo’s favor. He beat Buffalo’s Mike Ragussa a 174 pounds 5-1 with just one take-down.

Senior Alex Camargo was then able to put it out of reach with a 7-5 decision over Garrett Hicks at 184 pounds.

Despite the win, Andrassy was not overly impressed with Friday’s meet.

“We looked a little bit flat,” Andrassy said. “Maybe we’re starting to wear down a little bit, so I got to keep that in mind as the season comes down.”

Kent State will try to extend its winning streak to eight on Saturday at 7 p.m. when they travel to Ashland.

Contact wrestling reporter Sean Ammerman at [email protected].