Greenville’s wrestling season ended by No. 1 Lowell in regionals


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 11:36 pm on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Greenville’s Tyler Lee, left, and Muskegon Reeths-Puffer’s Brett Thomas push each other’s heads during their 171-pound match Wednesday night. (Daily News | Chip Burch)

 

SPARTA — Greenville’s team wrestling season is over.

The Yellow Jackets lost to Lowell in the finals of the Division 2 regional Wednesday night 46-25. This came after getting to the final with a 49-25 win over Muskegon Reeths-Puffer in the semifinals.

Greenville (28-8) had a bit of trouble with the Rockets to start, going down 18-12 after losing the 285-pound match.

But Reeths-Puffer (29-4) won only two matches from then on out, getting out to a 25-18 lead before the Jackets won the final five matches for the win.

“That Reeths-Puffer match, they beat us earlier in the year 40-26,” Greenville coach Paul Johnson said. “We did have a couple kids out. I just thought that we wrestled well. I thought the win at 189 was a nice job. Edgar Guerrero got a pin for us. At 112 we went from a pin to a decision. Then a couple other spots we got wins.”

In fact, Greenville got four pins and a major decision to close out the Rockets.

Greenville’s Stephen Hilliker, back, tries to roll Lowell’s Channing Perry on his back during their 130-pound match Wednesday night.

That led to a rematch against the Red Arrows, who beat Greenville 45-17 in the final O-K White Conference dual of the season.

Lowell, ranked No. 1 in the state in Division 2 by michigangrappler.com and the three-time defending Division 2 champions, came into the meet against the Jackets with a near-perfect 81-0 whitewashing of Fruitport in the regional semifinal.

The Arrows won the first six matches to jump out to a 31-0 lead and never looked back.

“You can’t win them all and I felt that we wrestled really well,” Johnson said. “I felt that our kids wrestled well every match, they went to win and not to survive the match. That’s important.

Johnson said being able to score more this time around than the last time Feb. 1 was to kids wanting it more.

“It was a combination of things,” Johnson said. “We had some kids that it was their last match in high school. They wanted to finish on a high note.”

Johnson mentioned winning five of the last eight matches as a good point.

“We got a pin at 112,” he said about Anthony Goodfellow’s win. “We didn’t get that last time. They (Lowell) had a kid out. I couldn’t put a finger on just one thing. But I would say it was a combination of things.”

Getting two wins for Greenville were Deandre Sage (125 pounds), Stephen Hilliker (130 pounds), Eli Boettger (145 pounds) and Dren Bartrum (152 pounds).

“I thought it went well. It could have been a little better,” Sage said. “We could have been going on to state. But overall I think we all fought our hardest and as a team, I thought we did the best we could do.”

On his two wins, Sage said he was “feeling good.”

“It’s just a few more wins closer to state,” he said. “I got regionals this weekend. Hopefully, I can get through that and we’ll see how everything pans out.”

Johnson said the season was a good one.

“It’s always disappointing to lose,” Johnson said. “The only way to win is to win the state title and we’ve only done that once. Not at all disappointed with the effort. I was pleased with the guys winning a district title. That was a great accomplishment. I’m not disappointed at all and I hope they (Greenville) are not.”

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