RAPID CITY-Being the underdog in a state championship match is nothing new for Josh Crownover.
The Bon Homme/Scotland/Avon junior was not expected to capture the Class B 160-pound championship last season, but he upended Canton's Shaeden Scheidt in overtime. Fast forward to Saturday's 170-pound title match and the stage is set nearly the same, except Crownover is an even bigger underdog.
Scheidt came into the match having won all 52 of his matches on the season and had steamrolled his way through the state tournament bracket. Still, Crownover (41-5) traded points with Scheidt, until he broke a 4-4 tie with a takedown late in the third period and was able to hang on long enough at the end for a 6-5 decision and a second-straight state title.
"Last year, I came in and said I could beat anybody on the mat," Crownover said. "I came in the same way today. I can beat anybody, no matter if he beat me before. It's my time to shine-that's what I was telling myself."
While Crownover owned a prior victory in the state finals, Scheidt (52-1) was responsible for two of his five losses this season. Both of those matches were two-point wins for Scheidt, with one coming in overtime.
Those matches caused Crownover to change his game plan ahead of Saturday's match and it worked. Aside from a sequence toward the end of the first period in which Crownover was able to escape a pin and back points, Scheidt-who has 30 pins on the year-was never able to mount much offense.
"He's very good with his legs on top," Crownover said. "I knew I couldn't allow those in and I knew I had to work takedowns, which is what I'm good at. I worked on my scrambles all week with my training partners in the wrestling room."
Crownover picked up a stalling call near the end of the match, drawing Scheidt within a point with 29 seconds to play, but he was able to avoid any further damage in the waning moments.
"I felt it in very good position at the end there with my shot, but he rolled out of it and get on top," Crownover said. "I knew I had to hold onto that leg and I knew I had to maintain position."