COLUMBUS – Piqua junior 100 pounder Averi Wiley is on rampage at the state wrestling tournament as she advanced to the finals with three dominant wins against some of the top level talent in the state.
Wiley opened the tournament with a 2:30 pin of Lorelai Megery of Mentor on Friday and then defeated Leah Willen (39-7) of Harrison in the quarterfinal on Saturday morning. Willen is still in contention for third place as she won two straight consolation matches to advance to the consolation semifinal.
In the championship semifinal match with a spot in the state finals on the line, Wiley faced Riley Banyas of Elyria, who entered the tournament with a 33-1 record. Banyas was also a three-time state placer, finishing runner-up in 2020 and 2021 and third in 2022.
Banyas recorded two straight pins prior to facing Wiley, but Wiley didn’t bat an eye stepping onto the mat against a great wrestler with so much at stake.
Wiley took the match to Banyas and eventually pinned her highly ranked opponent in 4:42 in what was a thrilling finish that brought her coaches to their feet in celebration.
The state finals begin Sunday evening at 5:15 and Wiley will face the defending state champion, Makennah Craft (32-0) of Jackson.