Mason won its fourth consecutive Division 2 district wrestling title, and its 13th in the last 14 years, with a dominating 67-12 win over Bath/Lansing Catholic in the district final on Thursday at Lansing Eastern’s Don Johnson Fieldhouse.
But first, the Bulldogs had to fend off a stern challenge from the home team in the district semifinals, advancing to the final with a 39-35 win over Eastern in a rematch of last year’s regional final.
Mason jumped out to a 39-6 lead and hung on against the Quakers, who won the same number of matches but just not enough by pins.
The Bulldogs took the full six points in six of their seven match wins, allowing them to advance to the final despite losing the last six matches.
“I don’t think we closed very well,” Mason coach Brian Martell said.
“We had some young kids who went up a weight who really came through for us, and that saved us because at the end we didn’t close it out how we wanted to.”
One of those was in the key match of the semifinal in the heavyweight class, where Noah McGinthy won a lively match against Josh Crim with a pin 40 seconds into the second period.
“We had a 205-pound kid wrestling a 285-pounkid,” Martell said.
“You can’t put too many kids in that position and come out with a victory.”
Eastern coach Adam Fedewa said that facing Mason in the first match of the postseason instead of deeper into the tournament didn’t make much difference to him.
“To make it to the quarterfinals, we’d have to get by both Mason and Fowlerville, and to be honest, I’d just as soon have to wrestle them on different nights,” Fedewa said.
“I don’t think we match up with Mason as well as we would have with Fowlerville, but that’s neither here nor there at this point.”
Mason jumped out to a 34-0 lead in the final.
Bath/Lansing Catholic got on the board with two straight pins, by Milo Root (130) and Chris Root (135), but that would be all of its scoring.
Bath/Lansing Catholic also had a close match in the semis, getting by Haslett 39-30, a win that gained a measure of revenge, and served as a milestone for his young co-op program, according to coach Chuck Root.
“We lost a meet to them just a week ago, so we came out with some energy,” Root said.
“We’re trying to build a program at both schools. We made it to a district final, and they didn’t win a dual meet last year. I really enjoyed the season, and hopefully we can come back and build on it.”
Mason will face the fifth-ranked team in Division 2, Fowlerville, in the regional semifinals in the Gladiators’ home gym on Wednesday.