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Two Ada wrestlers compete at Troy district; McClain 5th at 150 

UPDATED with corrections

McClain sets Ada single-season record for wins, finishes 2nd in career wins

By Cort Reynolds

TROY__Two Ada High School wrestlers competed at the Div. III district wrestling double-elimination tournament in Troy’s Hobart Arena Friday and Saturday, with one just missing a return trip to the state meet.

Bulldog senior Clayton McClain captured fifth in the 150 lbs. division to earn the state alternate spot. 

A top-four finish in any weight bracket automatically advances a wrestler to the state meet March 8-10 at the Schottenstein Center on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus next weekend.

As one of four sectional champions in his 16-wrestler district bracket, McClain was the top seed in his quarter of the bracket.

McClain pinned Madison freshman Kody Clark in his first-round match Friday at 2:53. Later that day in the quarterfinals, he pinned senior Tristen Howard of Norwood in 5:47. 

“Clayton wrestled two really good matches on Friday,” said Ada head coach Eric Perkins. “He controlled both of them nearly start to finish. He got to his shots early and often and finished them cleanly. He was relaxed and focused on his way to securing two pins.”

In the semifinals Saturday, McClain lost by technical fall when trailing 18-2 to Legacy Christian senior Brayden Brown.

“Clayton wrestled a really good opponent and the match felt closer than the score looked,” said Perkins of the semifinals. “He had a tough time finding his offense early, but competed well in some spots and got better as the match went on.” 

In the consolation semifinals, McClain battled but ended up getting pinned by Valley View senior Zeran Brady at 3:55 to fall out of contention for a state qualification berth.

“In his consolation semifinal match, Clayton faced a returning state qualifier who was a really strong physical kid from Valley View,” Perkins noted. 

“Clayton really struggled to settle into the match and find places to get to his offense. The match was close through two periods, but Clayton was working really hard to fight off shots, and in the third period he got himself into a tough position and ended up getting pinned.”

In the fifth-place bout, McClain pinned Adena freshman Austyn McWhorter at 4:14.

“His fifth-place match was very similar to his Friday night matches,” said Perkins. “He was aggressive, he was efficient and did a nice job converting his attacks into points. He dominated the entire match, and ended it with a pin to secure the state alternate spot.

By posting a 3-2 record at the district competition, McClain finished his season with a 45-9 record. Barring unforeseen injuries to one of the wrestlers ahead of him, he ends his career with 131 wins, second only on the all-time program list to Chase Sumner.

With his three district wins over the weekend, he also broke Sumner’s Ada single-season record of 43 wins by two victories.

McClain went 0-2 in the 144 lbs. bracket at the state tournament last year, and moved up one weight class his senior season.

Ada sophomore Silas Riblet lost his first-round 113 lbs. division bout to Covington senior Carson Taylor Friday afternoon by pin at 3:25.

“Silas fell behind early and gave a great effort he was just overmatched against a senior who has been wrestling a lot longer than Silas,” said Perkins of his first match.

In the first consolation bracket round, Riblet executed a unique move in the final seconds to defeat Brookville junior Hunter Gibson by a 4-2 decision to stay alive. 

“Silas's second match was a really close competitive match,” said Perkins. “Both guys had chances in the first period but it ended 0-0. Silas did a really good job standing up on the whistle and got his escape.

“He got taken down, moved really well on bottom and his opponent was called for a locking hands technical violation,” he continued. “That tied the match at 2-2. 

“The other kid chose the bottom position to start the third period and Silas not only held him down the full two minutes, he used a move I don't think he has ever even practiced to turn his opponent to his back and earn two near fall points in the last few seconds of the match to win 4-2.”

But in the second consolation round Saturday, Riblet was pinned at 2:45 by Carlisle senior Brayden Orick to end his season with a 24-18 record.

“His third match was competitive too,” Perkins recalled. “Silas got behind early, fought back really well and was ahead when he got pinned. It is only his second year of wrestling, so there are small things he is still learning.

“But he has had two really good seasons, both ending on the second day of the district tournament,” the coach added.