Montabella wrestlers first in CMAC

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 11:44 am on Monday, February 06, 2012

BATH — Montabella’s wrestling team has won a second conference championship in four years.

The Mustangs scored 253 points, which was 10 ahead of Dansville for their first Central Michigan Athletic Conference title since 2009. Carson City-Crystal finished third.

“We’re pretty happy about it,” Montabella coach Shaun Balhorn said. “It was part of our goals this year and I thought we had a good chance. Yesterday we had some kids lose some matches we weren’t planning on but we had some other kids step up.”

Montabella had five conference champions. Zach Taubitz won the 119-pound class, Thomas Ranney was first in the 140-pound division, Logan Burns was tops at 152, Jeremy Quezada won the 189-pound class and Dan Davidson won the 285-pound division.

“Zach Taubitz is a freshman. It came down to an overtime match from a kid from (West Branch) Ogemaw Heights,” Balhorn said. “Dalton Kuklewski beat a kid from Carson City. That was a big win for us. And Dan Davidson wrestled well, too.”

Second places came from Dustin Scott (103 pounds), Tristan Viglianco (112), Dalton Kuklewski (130) and Jonny Durham (171) and a third place from Joey Durham (140).

The Eagles got two conference champions. They were Alex Baker in the 103-pound class and Ken Dittenber in the 112-pound division.

“Alex beat the kid from Montabella that he lost to earlier in the year,” CC-Crystal coach Kacy Datema said, referring to Scott.

Dittenber “has been dominant all year,” Datema said. “We wrestled him at (112) at Ithaca and we knew it would be a tough day and those were his only two losses. He’s been a powerhouse at (103).”

Garner Cusack (125) and Travis Willett (215) took second places and Trevor Curler (130) and Dakota O’Green (160) had thirds for the Eagles.

Overall Datema was happy with the way things turned out.

“I think we wrestled pretty well,” he said. “Eric Ward didn’t wrestle that day and that impacted our points. We finished where we wrestled out to. We had a pretty good day. We had some kids wrestle better than we expected.”

CC-Crystal will head to Fulton Wednesday for Division 4 team district action, while the Mustangs will go to Leroy Pine River for their team district.

“That’s our second goal of the season,” Balhorn said. “I like the way we match up. I’m really optimistic we can win a team district.”

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