CC-Crystal, Montabella share CMAC wrestling title


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 9:22 am on Monday, February 04, 2013

Carson City-Crystal’s Austin Hopkins, top, tries to do something with Montabella’s L.D. Lapham during their 215-pound match at the CMAC championships Saturday.

CARSON CITY — Carson City-Crystal and Montabella’s wrestling teams knew it would come down to each other to determine who would win the Central Michigan Athletic Conference title.

The result was both teams won.

The two teams are co-champions after the Mustangs dominated the conference tournament in Carson City Saturday in an unusual format.

The team champion was determined by points scored in five dual meets. Winning the dual meet didn’t matter, because the total score of the five duals was the determining factor.

Individual champions were determined by the individual records of the wrestlers.

In the end both the Eagles and Mustangs had 10 wrestlers get either first, second or third.

“We’re happy with that,” CC-Crystal coach Kacy Datema said of being co-champions. “We wrestled well. Montabella’s a good team, a tough team. They put up a lot of points today.”

Montabella put up 298 points to 203 for the Eagles.

“I’m happy with it,” Montabella coach Shaun Balhorn said. “Carson (City-Crystal) has a good team. They beat us fair and square in the dual. I’m happy with the way we wrestled today.”

Montabella’s Dan Davidson, left, and Carson City-Crystal’s Tyler Brillhart lock up during the heavyweight match at the CMAC championships Saturday.

CC-Crystal got five gold medals. They came from Ken Dittenber (112 pounds), Dallas O’Green (119), Garner Cusack (140), Darren Decker (160) and Austin Hopkins (215).

“That’s a good performance on the day,” Datema said. “10 medals out of 14 weight classes, That’s a good day.”

Datema had a few surprises from his team.

“Garner Cusack wrestled real well,” he said. “The match with (Zach) Taubitz from Montabella was a good one. Kenny Dittenber wrestled well. He had an easy day for him but he still is working hard and getting better.”

The Mustangs’ six winners was Nick Boyer (103), Tristan Viglianco (125), Mike Hyde (145), Joey Durham (152), Jonny Durham (189) and Dan Davidson (285).

“Really impressed with Michael Hyde,” Balhorn said. “A junior who’s in his first year of wrestling and to come out and win a league championship in his first year is pretty good.”

Though it didn’t matter, both teams were 4-0 going into the fifth round of the round robin tournament, where they faced each other.

Montabella won 42-24, but it didn’t mean much, both coaches noted.

“Carson put 24 up on us. That was the most we gave up all day,” Balhorn said. “With their lineup if you give up 24 I think you’re doing OK.”

“They’re a good lineup,” Datema said. “It’s all about matchups. We’re going to prepare all week long and see if we can get the matchups we want.”

Balhorn said he learned things in that match, “but I’m not going to tell you,” he said, laughing.

The two teams will be in the same district Thursday at Fulton. Montabella will open with the host Pirates, with the winner getting the Eagles.

“We saw a lot today, we learned a lot today, as I’m sure they (Montabella) did,” Datema said. “Today was preparation for Thursday.”

“There are some things we can take out of this, but we still have to wrestle,” Balhorn said. “They (CC-Crystal) are a good club and they didn’t have their best lineup out there (Saturday). We’re just going to keep growing in practice every day.”

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