BLANCHARD — Montabella’s wrestling team finished second in their own dual-meet tournament Saturday, but only because of a lost tie-breaker.
The Mustangs went 4-1 in the tournament, with their only loss coming to Mason, who is ranked 10th in the state in Division 2 by MichiganGrappler.com.
“I thought we wrestled extremely well today,” Montabella coach Shaun Balhorn said. “I was really proud of the kids and how they came back against Mason, a Division 2 program that was pretty strong.”
The Mustangs (21-5) started out with a 72-0 shutout of Breckenridge, followed by a 63-5 win over Chippewa Hills.Then the Mason match hit.
“We were down 33-11 at one point,” Balhorn said. “We came back.”
The Mustangs got four wins out of the final five matches to force the tie.
“If you can get a big win out of a kid, that sparks your team.” Balhorn said. “Jonny Durham at 171 (pounds) pulled a pin out with one second left and that gave the kids some hope. We got a big win from Dan Davidson at heavyweight. That was another big win for us. We could have used a bonus point there.”
After Montabella got two more pins for the tie, the tie-breaker system had to determine a winner. It wasn’t until the eighth tie-breaker, which is the team who got the first point of each match the most times, that the Mustangs were hung with the loss.
“It sucks to lose, but I was happy with that,” Balhorn said. “They (Montabella) wrestled tough. We got the pins when we needed. I think if we don’t give up a pin here or there we win that dual.”
The rest of the day was easy, as Ithaca fell to the Mustangs 72-6 and Leroy Pine River went down 55-17.
“Top to bottom we owned every dual and that’s what we thought we were going to do,” Balhorn said.
“I think our guys are right where they want to be,” Balhorn said. “I think they understand what they’ve got to do and I think they’re all just peaking at the right time.”
Montabella had eight wrestlers win all five of there matches. Dustin Scott (103 pounds), Tristan Viglianco (112), Quinn Stradtner (112/119), Logan Burns (152), Jonny Durham (171), Jeremy Quezada (189) and Davidson (285) were all undefeated in the tournament.
The Mustangs host another quadrangular Wednesday, getting Ionia and Greenville’s “B” team in that meet. It’s the final dual meet before the Central Michigan Athletic Conference meet this coming Saturday.