AUBURN HILLS — One wrestler was going to advance to the semifinals and the other was going to be bumped into the consolation bracket.
Those were the stakes when Belding sophomore Michael Walker and Lakeview junior Terry Greiser met in the championship quarterfinals at 152 pounds on Friday at the Michigan High School Athletics Association (MHSAA) individual wrestling state tournament at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Even with 25 area wrestlers competing this weekend, it is rare for two to match up this deep into the postseason.
In a tight match, it was Walker defeating Greiser — for the first time ever — in a 3-2 decision.
“I knew he was going to be tough coming in,” Lakeview’s Terry Greiser said. “I wrestled him before and I beat him before.”
Walker said he had lost the prior six matches against Greiser, but was glad to get the win when it mattered most.
“I wrestled him like six times and lost every time,” Walker said. “This is great to win this time.”
The match started slow as both wrestlers were cautious. After two minutes, the match was scoreless.
“In the first, I was kind of scared to shoot, because last time I had a bad shot, he got two and beat me 3-2,” Walker said. “This time I wrestled him. In the second, I got him in a ‘fireman’s,’ which was pretty nice at the end.”
After two periods, the match remained tied at 2-2.
In the third, Walker earned an escape for a 3-2 lead and was able to hold off Greiser. Walker was still aggressive, but careful not to be called for stalling.
“He came out and beat me. He did it,” Greiser said. “I needed to be a little more aggressive and take more shots. I didn’t set up enough shots or take enough shots. I’m very disappointed with the loss.”
Walker, who did not get past districts as a freshman credits his practice partners for his improvement.
“I have better practice partners this year and they way I practice is better,” Walker said of the difference this year for him.
Walker lost his semifinal match in a heartbreaker 11-10 to Birch Run’s Jared Elliott. Down 10-9, Elliott got a takedown with just 12 seconds remaining to win.
For Greiser, he was dropped into the consolation second round to face Dalton Yore of Richmond. A win was needed to continue on in the tournament.
“I have to place at state this year. I have to win the next one,” Greiser said before his second round consolation match. “I have to work more on my offense. If I do that, I think I can do it.”
Greiser lost in the “Blood Round” “(consolation second round) to Yore by a 4-3 decision. Greiser finished the tournament 1-2. He was 35-15 on the season.
Walker will wrestle at 10 a.m. in the seventh round. He will still have a chance for third place.