The Pickerington High School Central and North wrestling teams remain in contention for the OCC-Ohio Division championship with two duals to go, but were eliminated from the Division I state team tournament on the first night of competition.
Seeded first in Region 5-A, Central defeated eighth-seeded Logan 59-14 in a first-round match at home Jan. 22 before falling to fourth-seeded Teays Valley 42-22. The Tigers won four matches by forfeit against Logan but went 4-10 against Teays Valley.
North was seeded second in Region 5-A and also played host to the first two rounds. The Panthers opened with a 58-18 win over seventh-seeded Hamilton Township and then lost to third-seeded Lancaster 36-30.
It was Lancaster's second victory over North in six days, following a 35-29 decision in OCC-Ohio action Jan. 16.
Two-time winners for Central on Jan. 22 were Jordan Pieczynski (145 pounds), who beat Logan's Joey Bolin 10-5 and recorded a 13-4 major decision against Teays Valley's John Dye; Aaron Yarger (152), who pinned Logan's Adam Baker in 1 minute, 18 seconds and Teays Valley's Colton Carroll in 2:32; and Dylan McDowell (170), who pinned Logan's Bryce McBride in 28 seconds and Teays Valley's Nick Reider in 1:51.
For North, Andrew Hassel (120), Will Mason (132), Jared Ferguson (138) and George Dial (182/195) each went 2-0.
Hassel topped Hamilton Township's Robbie Daniels 9-7 and pinned Lancaster's Alex Dam in 3:15. Mason won by forfeit against the Rangers and pinned Lancaster's Isak Gatewood in 5:47, and Ferguson pinned Hamilton Township's Anthony Madden in 50 seconds and won by forfeit against the Golden Gales.
Dial wrestled at 182 against Hamilton Township and recorded a 12-3 major-decision win over Alex Perez. Against Lancaster, Dial edged Lancaster's Shawn Norris 3-2 at 195.
Central is 5-0 in the OCC-Ohio, ahead of Lancaster and North at 4-1. The Tigers defeated the Gales 36-30 on Jan. 9.
Central visits Grove City on Thursday, Jan. 30, and North plays host to Gahanna the same night.
The Panthers will visit the Tigers on Feb. 6 in the final regular-season dual for both teams.
Last year, Central and North split the OCC-Ohio title after the Panthers defeated the Tigers 36-27 in both teams' regular-season finale.
-- Dave Purpura