By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
CENTERVILLE — Troy senior Carlos Quintero knows how it feels to be an alternate the Division I district wrestling tournament.
Now, he will find out what it’s like to be on the mat Friday and Saturday at Kettering’s Trent Arena.
And he will be joined by Piqua’s Lance Reaves-Hicks after both recorded top four finishes at the Centerville D-I sectional — which concluded Sunday after a water main break on Saturday.
Quintero came in as the top seed, but one mistake changed all that in his 160-pound semifinal match on Saturday.
But, Quintero repsponded like a champion with two dominating wins to finish third and earn his district berth.
“How you handle adversity is everything,” Troy coach Doug Curnes said. “He is in a close match in the semifinals (against Beavercreek’s Garrett Golden) and then he is stuck. And responding from that is a lot tougher than responding from giving up an early takedown (like he did Friday night) .”
In a close match, with a grapple for control, Golden won and recorded a pin in 3:34.
“I will have to look at the tape this week and make corrections,” Quintero said.
Quintero, 36-6, followed with two major decisions to take third.
He defeated Nyaz Izkander of Stebbins 15-5 in the go-to district match and Evan Thompson of Fairmont 13-5 in the championship match.
“Yes sir it did,” Quintero said about the loss motivating him. “I will get back to work this week. I will watch the video and learn and train extra hard. I will be ready (for district).”
His response did not surprise Curnes.
“Carlos (Quintero) is not 100 percent right now,” Curnes said. “We need to get him 100 percent by district. He has the right mentality. I would rather it be that, than the other way around.”
Nolan Fox was Troy’s other placer, finishing sixth in the 106-pound weight class.
Fox, who finished 22-16 on the season, opened Sunday with pin of Piqua’s Peyton Offenbacher in 26 seconds and followed that with an 11-4 decision over Vince Perkins of Northmont.
That left him one match from district, but he was pinned by Jacob Philbeck of West Carrollton in 1:45.
“Nolan (Fox) told me that he never envisioned himself as a district qualifier this week,” Curnes said. “I said, ‘You were one match away so you will have a different mentality next year right?’ And he said yes.”
In the fifth-place match, Jadah McMillen of Sidney hit a 3-point move late in a 4-3 match to get a 7-3 win over Fox.
“Nolan (Fox) really wanted that match bad,” Curnes said. “But, he just made a mistake there at the end. He was solid all year for us and he will be back next year.”
It was one of the more anticipated matchups of the semifinals.
Northmont returning state qualifier Seth Frantz (38-2) was matched up against Piqua junior Lance Reaves-Hicks (36-2).
And the match did not disappoint.
And for the longest time, it looked like Reaves-Hicks would pull the upset.
He hit a five-point move near the end of the first period to take a 6-1 lead.
But, four penalty points and two stalling points were the difference as Frantz won 11-9.
“Lance (Reaves-Hicks) scored plenty in the match, but unfortunately six of those points were for the other guy,” Piqua coach Scott Kaye said. “It was a controversial match, but it was controversial both ways. It showed Lance can wrestle with the best, there are just some things we have to get cleaned up.”
Reaves-Hicks, 37-4, never really recovered in his final two matches of the day — but showed his mental toughness in getting through the go-to district match with Centerville’s Caleb Miller.
With 40 seconds to go in the third period, Miller was up 1-0 and Reaves-Hicks was starting down on a restart.
Seven seconds later, Reaves-Hicks was on his way to district after reversing Miller and pinning him.
“It was just tough to come back after that emotional loss,” Reaves-Hicks said. “I just had to find a way (to get the win).”
In his third-place match, Reaves took Beavercreek’s Justin Knipper to his back to take an 8-7 lead — then, he made an untypical mistake and Knepper pinned him at the 3:58 mark.
“That kid had just done the same thing and then Lance turned around and did it right back,” Kaye said.
Reaves-Hicks just hopes to turn things around at district.
“I guess (that next week is more important),” Reaves-Hicks said. “I just have to find a way to get re-focused,”
Kaye believes he will.
“I believe this was the toughest draw (of the four sectionals),” Kaye said. “There are some other good guys, but I really think this (sectional) was the toughest draw of the four.”
The district tournament will be held Friday and Saturday — with the top four in each weight class advancing on to the state tournament.
Contact Rob Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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