NCAA Wrestling Tournament Semifinals Recap
The NCAA wrestling tournament is more than halfway done, and I have been covering the tournament round by round. The semifinals recap will go weight by weight, starting at 125 pounds and finishing with the big boys at 285 pounds. The winners of this round advance to the finals Saturday night on ESPN.
125 Pound Semifinals
The number one seed and the clear favorite of this weight class, Spencer Lee, keeps on rolling. He came into this bout on a 33 match winning streak and the Iowa Hawkeye continues to dominate. Lee wins 11-0.
The other semifinal match was between Taylor LaMont and Brandon Courtney. After a scoreless first period, Courtney got an escape in one second. LaMont started the third period down and got himself an escape to tie the bout at one early in the third period.
They went to overtime, with neither wrestler taking a shot to score. The first minute of overtime was more of the same, no action and the wrestlers went into the thirty second alternating periods. LaMont was not able to escape, which ended up being the difference. Courtney wins.
Finals: Spencer Lee (#1) vs Brandon Courtney (#3)
133 Pound Semifinals
The highly anticipated match between Daton Fix and Austin DeSanto finally went down this year. Fix got out ahead quickly with a takedown less than one minute into the bout. Fix took a one-point lead into the final minute of the third period. DeSanto couldn’t score in the final period and Fix wins 3-2
Roman Bravo-Young and Korbin Meyers got off to a similar start. Bravo-Young got a takedown in the first 30 seconds. The score was 2-2 heading into the third period when Bravo-Young chose neutral. The Penn State wrestler scored a takedown and kept Meyers down for the remainder of the match and Bravo-Young wins 5-3.
Finals: Daton Fix (#1) vs Roman Bravo-Young (#2)
141 Pound Semifinals
Nick Lee and Sebastian Rivera had a rematch of their Big Ten semifinal match in St Louis. Lee won that match 8-6 in one of the best matches of the season. Rivera got the first takedown and took a 2-0 lead into the second period.
Lee got out quickly to start the second period, and scored a takedown to take a 4-2 lead into the third period. Lee extended his lead, got another takedown and took Rivera too his back. Lee wins 9-3
Tariq Wilson and Jaydin Eierman met on the other side of the bracket. After a slow start, Eireman catches Wilson and took him to his back. The Iowa Hawkeye pinned Wilson with one second left on the clock in the first period.
Finals: Jaydin Eierman (#1) vs Nick Lee (#2)
149 Pound Semifinals
Sammy Sasso and Boo Lewallen got off to a slow start, Sasso got a takedown in the first period and took a 2-1 lead into the second period. Sasso locked up a cradle in the second period and pinned Lewallen exactly three minutes into the match.
Brock Mauller and Austin O’Connor also got off to a slow start with no scoring in the first period. They exchanged escapes and with less than two minutes left in regulation, the match was tied 1-1.
They went to overtime where Mauller took him down, just with no time left on the clock, so they went into the alternating 30 second periods. O’Connor wins in overtime.
Finals: Sammy Sasso (#1) vs Austin O’Connor (#2)
157 Pound Semifinals
Ryan Deakin and Jesse Dellavecchia got into a great scramble quickly in the first period. Despite the constant action, neither wrestler scored in the first period. Dellavecchia started on top in the second period and pinned Deakin with a half nelson.
In the other bout, David Carr and Hayden Hidlay, started off with Carr taking a 2-0 lead into the second period. Carr got an escape in the second, and took a 3-1 lead into the final period.
Hidlay started on the bottom and got an escape with over 90 seconds remaining. Carr got another takedown and won the match 6-4.
Finals Jesse Dellavecchia (#4) vs David Carr (#3)
We are halfway through the NCAA wrestling tournament semifinals recap.
165 Pound Semifinals
Shane Griffith, who took out the one seed, squared off against Zach Hartman. Hartman is the first Bucknell All-American in ten years and is looking to become the first national champion in program history.
Griffith from Stanford is looking to become the final Cardinal national champion, as they are cutting the wrestling program at the conclusion of this season.
The first period started off scoreless, and Griffith took a 2-0 lead early in the second period.
Griffith took Hartman to his back and the eighth seed from Stanford wins 8-2.
Ethan Smith upset the two seed in the previous round wrestled the three seed Jake Wentzel. Smith took a shot and scored a takedown in the first few seconds of the match. Smith entered the second period up 2-1. Smith could not escape from the bottom and essentially lost his advantage with riding time.
Wentzel chose the bottom position to start the third period and reversed Smith to take a 3-2 lead and secured the riding time point. Wentzel wins 4-2.
Finals: Shane Griffith (#8) vs Jake Wentzel (#3)
174 Pound Semifinals
Michael Kemerer, the Iowa Hawkeye who has been in college for what seems like ten years, faced off against Bernie Truax. Kemerer got off to a great start, he took down Truax quickly and kept going on the first period. The Hawkeye was up 4-1 to start the second. The next period had significantly less action, and they started the third period with the same score.
Truax kept the attack going, but he couldn’t find a scoring opportunity and Kemerer wins 8-1.
Carter Starocci and Demetrius Romero started their match off slowly and methodically and ended the first period scoreless. Starocci got an escape in the second period and had a one-point lead heading into the final period.
Starocci started the third period on top and stayed in that position for more than 90 seconds, putting his riding time advantage over one minute. The Penn State freshman wins 2-0.
Finals: Michael Kemerer (#1) vs Carter Starocci (#3)
184 Pound Semifinals
Aaron Brooks and Parker Keckeisen both took their undefeated records to the test in the semifinals. Brooks got off to a quick start scoring in the first 90 seconds. A takedown and escape had Brooks in the lead 2-1 after the first period.
Brooks continued to score in the second period and was up 5-1 after the period. A late takedown by Keckeisen was not enough and Brooks wins 6-4.
Trent Hidlay and John Poznanski squared off on the other side of the bracket. This match had way less action to start and was scoreless into the second period.
Poznanski gets an escape early in the period, but no other points were scored and he led 1-0 after two periods. Hidlay got his escape, making the score 1-1 early in the third period.
Hidlay got his best opportunity to score with 15 seconds left in the first period, but Poznanski fought it off and they went to overtime. The first overtime period was no different than the rest of the match, with no scores they went back to the alternating 30-second periods.
Hidlay kept Poznanski down for the first segment of this overtime, and then immediately got an escape when it was his turn on bottom. Hidlay wins 2-1
Finals: Aaron Brooks (#1) vs Trent Hidlay (#2)
197 Pound Semifinals
Myles Amine and AJ Ferrari, one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament started off with Ferrari taking down the one seed in the first period. Amine got an escape and cut the deficit to 2-1 after the first period of wrestling.
Ferarri kept attacking and trying to score points, but took a 3-1 lead into the third period. Amine started in the bottom position, and could not get an escape for over a minute, and the riding time for Ferarri proved to be too much to overcome. Ferarri wins 4-1.
Nino Bonaccorsi and the highest seed wrestler in the semifinals Jake Woodley squared off to see who would wrestle Saturday night. Bonaccorsi got the first takedown and took a 2-1 lead into the second period.
Bonaccorsi scored one more takedown and won the match 4-1.
Finals: Ferarri (#4) vs Bonaccorsi (#6)
285 Pound Semifinals
Gable Steveson and Tony Cassioppi squared off in an all-Big Ten match. Gable got to work early taking down Cassioppi in the first 20 seconds.
Steveson kept scoring and dominated Cassioppi, taking him down repeatedly and ultimately winning 16-6.
Mason Parris and Gannon Gremmel met on the other side of the bracket and Parris got a quick takedown and a turn and never looked back. He pinned Gremmel in the second period.
Gable Steveson (#1) vs Parris (#2)
TL//DR: NCAA wrestling tournament semifinals recap. We got some pins a bunch of overtime bouts and overall a great night of wrestling.
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