Keith Bauer, and head coach Tim Frey jumping for joy.
“He (Bauer) was down on the leg and he would come up to the hip and that kid’s hips and his weight were very good,” Frey said. “He could sag his weight down so Tyler couldn’t finish off his high-C (crotch shot) because a lot of times he would get that, but this guy sagged so much he couldn’t lift him. Very good defensively on that.
“Tyler didn’t get frustrated; just kept going and kept going,” Frey continued. “All (Aliyev) had to do was not get taken down and Tyler kept coming at him. And the guy kind of went in for a semi bearhug and Tyler hits the headlock, two (takedown points) and two (nearfall points) and that puts him up 7-4.”
Eaton (43-4) got the first takedown in his match against Clemmer with 27 seconds remaining in the first period of the 195-pound final. Clemmer (39-6) pulled even with 16 seconds left in the period when he hit a reversal off a restart. But with just four seconds to go in the period, Eaton answered with a reversal for a 4-2 lead he never relinquished.
“That was huge points there,” Frey said of Eaton’s reversal. “Because he just got reversed and then with only a few seconds left he gets a reverse. Now, you’re back to a two-point advantage and mentally that can play with you and get some momentum back on your side.”
Eaton, who lost 2-1 to Williamsport’s Kobe Baker in the 182-pound final a year ago to have his bid for a perfect season spoiled, continued to stretch his lead against Clemmer. Down to start the second, the North Caroline senior hit a reversal and put Clemmer to his back for an 8-2 cushion midway through the period. Clemmer got a neutral point at the end of the second, and another early in the third to draw within 8-4. But Eaton hit another takedown and again turned Clemmer to his back for three more near-fall points and a 13-4 final.
“I don’t know what happened either,” said a smiling Eaton. “I know I got some back points and more back points.
“I know I had to keep pushing him because he was starting to run out of gas,” Eaton continued. “He had a real good switch. I knew that was coming. I kept trying to get the ankle, I couldn’t get it, so I just kept on with the arm and he eventually got tired. Then he escaped and then he took a bad shot which put me in a position to get him on his back and get some back points.”
Eaton and Bauer became the second and third state champions in North Caroline history, following Brion Blades, who won the 285-pound title in 2014.
Easton freshman Maximus Bentley (106) and senior Zack Strand (195) each lost in the semifinals, but wrestled back to place third, as did Kent Island’s Brady Loveless. All three went 4-1 in the tournament.
Loveless (38-2) lost a 3-2 decision to Perryville’s Eugene Zacerous (40-2) in the semifinals at 170. The senior recovered, earning a 3-1 decision over Randallstown’s Jamaal Abdullah-Aleem (31-9) in the consolation semifinals before scoring a takedown with 10 remaining in overtime for a 3-1 sudden victory over Western Tech’s Ike Kalu (35-3) in the consolation final.
Kent Island sophomore Brady Levasseur (23-23) went 2-2 in the 138-pound weight class. Teammates Jimmy VanLew (113, 22-15), Dylan Finlay (132, 34-10) and Jack Hipps (160, 36-8) each went 1-2, while Ryan Salus (145, 21-15), Michael Scott (182, 34-10) and Hadyn Blanchard (220, 25-18) each went 0-2.
Bentley decisioned Rising Sun’s Matt Childs, 1-0, in the consolation final in a rematch of last Saturday’s 2A-1A East Region championship, also won by Bentley. Strand worked an escape in the ultimate tiebreaker for a 3-2 victory over Western Tech’s Noah Johnson.
North Caroline sophomore Ryan Bauer wrestled back to take fifth at 113.
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Kent Island senior Brady Loveless has his arm raised after defeating Western Tech’s Ike Kalu in the 170-pound consolation final Saturday night at the Class 2A-1A state championships. Loveless won a 3-1 sudden victory to finish a 38-2 season.
North Caroline’s Alex Eaton, right, celebrates his Class 2A-1A state championship Saturday night with head coach Tim Frey, center, and his father, Robin Eaton.
North Caroline coaches Robin Eaton, far left, and Tim Frey look on Saturday night as Tyler Bauer, far right, hugs his father, Keith Bauer, after winning the 160-pound title at the Class 2A-1A state championships.