Hill opens state tourney with victory


COLUMBUS — McClain High School senior Ethan Hill made his second career appearance at the State wrestling tournament Friday, March 8 at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Hill was a state qualifier a year ago, going 0-2 at the tournament.

On Friday, Hill, wrestling at 285 pounds, won an exhausting battle with junior Jeffrey Blair of Dayton Chaminade-Julienne that went as far into overtime as matches are allowed.

The result was a 2-1 win for Hill in what is called an ultimate tiebreaker.

Preparation was a key for Hill, his coach said.

“That match is exactly how we practiced this week,” McClain head coach Gary Ryan said. “He did everything he was supposed to do in that match. Everything that happened in that match, he prepared for this week. He was ready for it.

“In the very last overtime, whoever chooses bottom, if they get away, they win,” Ryan explained. “If there are no points scored, the top guy (in this case Hill) wins. That’s the decision right there. We’re going to the next day already.”

“It feels great,” Hill said. “Last year, going 0-2 at state was not fun at all. I was crushed for months. That kid was one of the top-ranked kids in the state for most of the year. That match right there proves that rankings don’t mean a thing. I wanted it more and I went out there and took it. That’s all it is, just wanting it more.

“My goal is always to be at the top,” Hill continued. “I always like to set my expectations high, so, even if I don’t meet them, I still did a bunch. I always expect myself to do the best there is.”

Hill did not fare as well on Saturday. In the quarterfinals he was pinned by senior Alex Griffith of Galion in 3:37 and in the consolation bracket he was pinned by senior Nick Bowser of Hubbard in 2:18. Those losses eliminated him from the bracket.

Hill’s Friday opponent won two matches in the consolations rounds before being eliminated.

Griffith and Bowser battled their way to the match for third and fourth place where Griffith defeated Bowser, 5-1.

Hill finished his season with a record of 26-5.

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