After his team’s performance at the SMAC Big 16 Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, Lakeview High coach Chris Dunham said his squad is now both physically and mentally prepared for what it has been shooting for since the 2012-13 campaign got under way December.
A long, successful postseason run.
“We wrestled well overall, I’m pleased with how the day worked out … and today certainly helped set us up for next week’s districts and for whatever comes after that,” Dunham said after his Spartans clinched their third consecutive Big 16 title that came on the heels of the team’s fourth straight regular-season SMAC East crown during Saturday’s gathering in the five-matted Battle Creek Central gym.
“We’re honing in on what we’re hoping to accomplish.”
Lakeview — ranked No. 10 in Division I — had a point total of 211 Saturday, which was 12 points better than second-place Niles’ 199 (with Niles being ranked No. 3 in D-2).
Third was Stevensville-Lakeshore with 172, fourth was Portage Central with 139.5, and fifth was host B.C. Central with 138. Following were Mattawan with 96.5, Portage Northern with 96, Coldwater with 92, Sturgis with 88.5, Kalamazoo Central with 81.5, Gull Lake with 73, Harper Creek with 60.5, Marshall with 54, Loy Norrix with 22.5 and Benton Harbor with zero (St. Joseph did not compete due to dangerous weather conditions on the far west side of the state).
“There was just a lot of good wrestling out there today, a lot of good matches, and I feel good about the way my team is performing right now,” added Dunham.
The Spartans finished with two champions on the day — twin seniors Ross and Max Pennock. Ross Pennock won the title at 145 pounds with a pin in 28 seconds in the final over Portage Central’s Kevin Haughn. And Max Pennock followed with a gold at 152 pounds with a 14-5 major decision over Lakeshore’s Gunner Harrison.
Also enjoying top-four finishes for Lakeview were Lal Sang (third at 103), D.J. Glidden (third at 119), Brandon Williams (third at 125), Colin Read (third at 135), Jacob Harvey (fourth at 160), Rodney Harvey (second at 189/he lost 7-6 to Niles’ Ryan Casey in the final), and Ranuel Packer (second at 215/he fell 7-5 to Lakeshore’s Sebastion Avello in the title match).
Lakeview hosts a team district this coming Wednesday, with BCC and Jackson its opponents. Individual districts follow next Saturday, regionals the following week, and then come the team state finals at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek on Feb. 22-23 and the individual state finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Feb. 28-March 2.
The other two local champions at Saturday’s SMAC Big 16 was Gull Lake’s Kemps Miller, who pinned Niles’ Warren Smith in 2:51 in the final at 135 pounds; and BCC’s Jace Trevino, who pinned Portage Northern’s Austen Labus in 1:32 at 285.
“Jace obviously wrestled very well today … and I think most of our guys are peaking at the right time,” said Bearcats coach Louis Politte, whose program has continued to rise to prominence over the past three seasons. “Now we’ve just got to get a few of our guys back to 100 percent healthy, clean up some of our techniques … and I think we’ll really be ready for districts.”
Also with top-four finishes for the Bearcats were David Smith (fourth at 103), Steven Caldwell (fourth at 152) and Jacob Taylor (third at 171).
Coldwater’s top-four placers were Mohamed Aljabaly (fourth at 119) and Austin Siegle (fourth at 171).
Aside from Gull Lake’s Miller and his title at 135, the Blue Devils had top-four placings by Kyle Kellogg (third at 130) and Addison Jennette (third at 145).
Harper Creek’s top fours were by Mitch Coon (second at 103/he lost to K-Central’s Javius Cunningham by a 9-1 major decision in the title match), Jake Bishop (fourth at 135) and Tyler Robinson (fourth at 140).
Marshall’s top-four placers were Bobby Owens (third at 140) and Madison Hautau (fourth at 285).
At Delton Kellogg High, Constantine — ranked No. 6 in D-4 — finished first with 227 points. Second was Schoolcraft with 181, third was Parchment with 173.50, fourth was Pennfield with 109, fifth was Olivet with 100, sixth was Maple Valley with 82.50, seventh was Delton Kellogg with 64 and eighth was Galesburg-Augusta with 23.
Pennfield wound up fourth in both the regular-season and tournament standings in the KVA, and is next at team districts this coming Wednesday, again at D-K. Pennfield has a first-round bye and will take on the winner of Olivet vs. Delton Kellogg in the district final.
Top-four finishes by Pennfield on Saturday were by Kurtis Babcock (second at 103/2nd team KVA), Taylor Brown (third at 112/HM KVA), Dylan Huff (second at 119/2nd team KVA), Austin Tuttle (second at 125/2nd team KVA), Nick Schwarz (third at 171/HM KVA), Justin Parker (second at 189/2nd team KVA) and Taylor Dean (fourth at 215).
With local first-place finishes Saturday were Cameron Murphy of Olivet at 145 pounds, and Diego Pesina of Maple Valley at 215.
Other top fours from Olivet were Preston Schlee (fourth at 125), Shilo Towery (fourth at 135), Austin Loyd (fourth at 140), Scott Cook (fourth at 171), Corey Huffman (fourth at 189) and Jared Calkins (second at 285).
Other top-four placers for Maple Valley were Kodee Crouch (second at 112), Rodney Bement (fourth at 152), Travis Franks (second at 171) and Zack Rosenberger (third at 285).
Top-four finishers for Delton Kellogg were Robby Madden (third at 103), Kenmark Maligat (third at 130), Cameron Hudson (third at 135), Jake Reed (third at 145) and Cody Reed (fourth at 160).
Galesburg-Augusta’s top-four finisher was Mike Underwood (third at 119).
BIG EIGHT TOURNAMENT
At Homer High, Springport finished first with 197 points, Jonesville was second with 168, third was Homer with 101.5, tied for fourth were Union City and the Athens/Climax-Scotts co-op with 91 each, sixth was Quincy with 72, seventh was Reading with 71 and eighth was Concord with 12.
Homer had one first-place finisher in Tyler Prater at 285 pounds. Other top fours for the Trojans were by Garrett Warner (fourth at 112), Shawn Hoaglin (fourth at 135), Cam Ramirez (second at 160), John Vangart (fourth at 171), Brandon Tackett (third at 189) and James Blair (third at 215).
Union City had a champion in Taylor Howard at 152. Other top-four finishers for the Chargers were Tristan Banks (fourth at 119), Ben Dart (third at 125), Jacob Shepard (second at 130), Tyler Howard (third at 140), Scott Alwood (second at 215) and Davis Fettes (third at 285).
The Athens/Climax-Scotts co-op had one champion in Zack Mobley at 130. The squad’s other top-four placers were Tre Gower (third at 103), Steve Waring (third at 112), Todd Myers (second at 119), Isaac Swager (second at 145), Austin Monk (third at 152) and Aaron Caswell (fourth at 189).
Quincy had two champions in Tyler Massey at 103 pounds and Luke Wiser at 140. Other top fours were by Jacob Massey (fourth at 140), Dylan Head (fourth at 145), Tyler Smith (second at 152) and Nate Smith (second at 171).