LAKEVIEW — The Belding Redskins and Lakeview Wildcats were neck and neck most of the day. Both on the wrestling mat and in the Wildcat Invite standings.
Belding outlasted the host Wildcats 161-159.5 on Saturday to capture the tournament championship. The Redskins had eight wrestlers place in the top four while the Wildcats had nine wrestlers place.
“It was a close one. I’m glad we managed to pull it off,” Belding coach Travis Meyer said. “This is a tournament set up for teams like us that are building. It’s great to keep coming here. Lakeview wrestled very well and I can’t believe it came down to a point and a half. It’s exciting to be on this end once in a while.”
The championship came down to the final match. At 285 pounds, Belding’s Todd Haller clinched the team and individual titles with a 9-1 major decision over Doug Wyman from Mason County Central.
“At that point we won because Todd (Haller) won,” Meyer said. “We had a couple of things go right for us at the end.”
Belding junior Zach Johnston also placed first (171 pounds) with a 7-5 decision over Lakeview’s Koty Burgess. For Johnston it was revenge for a two-point loss to Burgess earlier in the season at Chippewa Hills.
“I think I controlled the match. He got points on escapes that I gave him,” Johnston said. “He never never really got in deep.”
Johnston (3-0 for the day) also earned his 100th career win with a 14-0 major decision over Mason County Central’s Boris Radloff.
“It was good. It felt good after spending all the time trying for it,” he said. “I think I wrestled really strong today and lately. I need to work a little bit more on my top game.”
Belding also had significant contributions from its abundance of freshman. Freshman Nate Cooley (103) placed third, Jesse Scheidel (119) third, Brady Phelps (130) second, Blake Quick (135) second and Mike Walker (145) placed third as well.
“The best part was seeing some of our freshman kind of step up, compete and place to make a contribution for us,” Meyer said.
Andrew Hall (135), Jordan Betham (152) and Gus Ward (215) took first place for the Wildcats. Second place finishers were Terry Greiser (145), Burgess (171) and Joe Main (189).
Lakeview coach David Blaser was pleased with the performance, but thinks his team could have finished better to make up the difference in points behind Belding.
“It’s just the difference in a few little things and we can fix them,” Lakeview coach David Blaser said. “Our guys are finally winning, but not winning with confidence. We are holding on to 3-2 leads or 7-6 leads, we have to open those up and that’s when pins happen, technical falls and major decisions happen and that’s where you make up the point and a half.”
Betham also reached a win milestone Saturday. He reached the 150 win mark with a 3-0 record on the day.
“The finals match I new was going to be tough,” he said. “Jaden (Sella) is always tough every time I’ve wrestled him. My other two matches I wrestled pretty good in.”
Betham’s cousin (Hall) reached the 150 win mark on Wednesday at Holton. The two family members celebrated their new milestones together on Saturday. Ironically, the both reached 100 wins in the same tournament a year ago.
“That’s a big accomplishment. They push each other to get to those milestones,” Blaser said. “Even 100 wins for a high school wrestler is a pretty big milestone. When you get to a 150 that means you’ve been at the elite level for four straight years.”
Tri County placed seventh with 82 points. Tommy Gilbert (103) placed first and Tucker Martin (112) second for the Vikings.
“We haven’t been real successful this year. We’ve had a lot of injuries, but today was kind of a bright spot,” Tri County coach Corey Renner said. “We got a few medals and had a champion. The kids we still have are working hard and it’s nice for a few of them to have success.”
Belding’s Neil McCully placed second at 160.
Finishing third for Lakeview was Robbie Robbert (125) and Devin Cavendish (160). Austin Davy place third at 103. Lakeview’s Garrett Cavendish placed fourth (152), but he participated with Team Widcat.
Will Cook (125), Brandon Empie (140) and Jayson VanDyken (189) all placed fourth for the Vikings. Belding is at Coopersville, Lakeview at Holton and Tri County is at Fremont on Wednesday.
Wildcat Invite Results
1. Belding 161.0
2. Lakeview 159.5
3. Fremont 152.0
4. Grant 121.0
5. Godwin Heights 84.0
6. Ionia 83.0
7. Tri County 82.0
8. Mason County Central 71.0
9. Morley Stanwood 55.5
10. Team Wildcat 30.0
11. Traverse City Central 10.0
Note: Team Wildcat was a team made up of extra wrestlers from tournament teams.
103: Tommy Gilbert (TC) pinned Koty Nelson (FR), 1:38
112: Don Nguyen (GH) pinned Tucker Martin, 1:17
119: Luke Spotts (FR) pinned Trever Skinner (MCC), 1:38
125: Alec Spotts (FR) dec. Trevin Townsend, 5-1
130: Theron Blake (FR) pinned Brady Phelps (BE), 3:56
135: Andrew Hall (LK) pinned Blake Quick (BE), 3:24
140: Brandon Piggott (IO) pinned Mike Taylor (GH), 5:46
145: Ray Haas (GH) dec. Terry Greiser (LK), 9-6
152: Jordan Betham (LK) dec. Jaden Sella (FR), 3-1
160: Ryan Connell (GR) pinned Neil McCully (BE), 4:50
171: Zach Johnston (BE) dec. Koty Burgess (LK), 7-5
189: Steven Malloy (MS) dec. Joe Main (LK), 6-3
215: Gus Ward (LK) dec. Chase Arrell (IO), 7-3
285: Todd Haller (BE) major dec. Doug Wyman (MCC), 9-1
103: Nate Cooley (BE) major dec. Austin Davy (LK), 10-2
112: Logan Jennings (GR) pinned Travis Murtland (MS), 1:51
119: Jesse Scheidel (BE) tech. fall Dylan Jenerou (GR), 20-5
125: Robbie Robbert (LK) dec. Will Cook (TC), 8-5
130: Brandon Serna (IO) pinned Sean Higley (MS), 2:51
135: Brian Hitts (GR) major dec. Jordan Zamarron (IO), 21-7
140: Alex Gates (FR) dec. Brandon Empie (TC), 7-3
145: Michael Walker (BE) major dec. Will Hawkins (FR), 12-2
152: Brandon Heiss (GR) pinned Garrett Cavendish (TW), 2:36
160: Devin Cavendish (LK) injury def. Aaron Johnson (TW)
171: Boris Radloff (MCC) dec. Charlie Dakin (FR), 4-3
189: Jeff Dulyea (GR) pinned Jayson VanDyken (TC), 1:20
215: Kevin Couturier (GR) pinned Jon Dipple (MCC), 1:40
285: Jessie Powers (FR) pinned Russell Henry (GH), 4:15