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Belding senior Paige Ledin delivers a pitch during the season opener at home against Vestaburg on Tuesday. Ledin pitched six shutout innings with nine strikeouts. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Belding opens softball season with wins over Vestaburg

Pitching usually has the edge early in the softball season while hitters adjust their timing. Belding’s Paige Ledin had that edge. The senior starter threw six shutout innings, while striking out nine batters, in an 8-0 season opening win at home against Vestaburg on Tuesday.

Tri County’s Lucas Prater shakes the hand of Montrose wrestling coach Steve Barnette during the Division 3 215-pound award ceremony. To the right of Prater is Lakeview’s James Smith, who placed seventh, while Prater placed eighth. Smith defeated Prater by 3-1 decision in overtime in the consolation finals on Saturday. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Eight area wrestlers earn individual All-State honors

Such a wide range of emotions can be found at the state wrestling finals where even winning is sometimes met with disappointment. Tears can stream from the faces of winners and losers. Winners can feel exhilaration, shock and relief. Losers can feel heartbreak, anger and even contentment. Without a doubt, no other sport displays as many emotions as wrestling does. After three days, just 56 wrestlers out of 896 will be crowned individual state champions, although 448 in four divisions will walk away with All-State honors.

The referee checks the shoulders of Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Calvin Dent, bottom, as he is getting pinned by Belding’s Mitchell Ward during the 171-pound match Wednesday night. - Daily News/Chip Burch

GR Catholic Central knocks Belding out of regionals

A few matches that could have gone either way ended up being the difference for Belding’s wrestling team. In the first round of the Division 3 regionals at Tri County High School, the Redskins were ousted by Grand Rapids Catholic Central 38-33. The result was not what Belding coach Art Ward hoped for.

A battle for a rebound takes place among, from left, Montabella’s Josh Balhorn, Belding’s Xavier Andino and Montabella’s Kelton Eldred during Monday night’s game. - Daily News/Chip Burch

Montabella basketball survives Belding run

Montabella’s boys basketball team had to hold off a resilient Belding team. But hold the Redskins off the Mustangs did, winning 64-57 after leading by 18 after three quarters. “They (Belding) played a tough fourth quarter, hit some tough shots that got their motivation going, got a little bit of momentum,” Montabella coach Jared Simon said. “They carried that and did a good job of making a run back. You have to credit them.”

Belding senior Katie Wood pulls up for a shot and two of her game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter against Comstock Park at home on Friday. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Wood’s 28 points leads Belding in final home game

Katie Wood played her final game at home. Wood, a four-year starter, went out in style, scoring 28 points while leading the Belding Redskins to a 75-60 win over Comstock Park on Friday. “We wanted her last game to be really special,” Belding coach Brad Wilson said. “She led us offensively and defensively. She just has the drive to win and she will do anything it takes to do that. As a coach, it’s fun to watch and sit back and marvel at her talent.”

Belding’s Mitchell Ward pins Tri County’s Ryan VanderMuellen in the final match of the Division 3 district semifinal to win 33-32 at Central Montcalm on Thursday. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Belding stuns Tri County, tops Lakeview for district title

On paper, Tri County should have won. On the mat, Tri County did not win. In stunning fashion, the Belding Redskins upset the No. 8 ranked Vikings with a pin in the final match to knock off the favorite 33-32 in the semifinals of the Division 3 team district wrestling tournament at Central Montcalm on Thursday.

Belding senior Katie Wood, right, takes a back step against Sparta defender Delaney Armock at home on Friday night. Wood scored a game-high 23 points. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Belding remains perfect in O-K Blue, defeats Sparta

Five down, five to go. The Belding Redskins girls basketball team reached the midway portion of the O-K Blue season with a perfect 5-0 record intact. In their latest victory, the Redskins used a strong first quarter and got a game-high 23 points from Katie Wood in a 60-39 home win at Sparta on Friday.

Greenville’s Stephen Hilliker, top, tries to roll Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern’s Troy Sorensen during their 119-pound match Wednesday night. Hilliker won on a technical fall for his 100th career win. - Daily News/Chip Burch

Greenville defeats Belding wrestlers

Greenville’s wrestling team got a pair of wins it wanted Wednesday night. The Yellow Jackets won their O-K Bronze matchup with Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, winning 57-24. They then beat arch rival Belding 53-15. It was good enough for Greenville coach Paul Johnson.

Belding’s Maison Krieger goes for a pin against Grandville’s Michael Carrasco during the 130-pound semifinal at the Lakeview Invitational on Saturday. Krieger placed second. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Belding wrestlers look to carry momentum

The Belding Redskins wrestling team put on a good showing at the Lakeview Invitational on Saturday. Belding placed third out of 14 teams behind Grandville (ranked No. 6 in Division 1 by and Chippewa Hills (ranked No. 3 in Division 3). In all, nine Belding wrestlers placed out of 12 at the individual tournament.

Montabella’s Carson Dalrymple, on bottom, tries to hold his position against Ionia’s Cole Cudney during the semifinals of the 103-pound division on Saturday. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Chippewa Hills wrestlers win Lakeview Invitational

The competition at the individual Lakeview Invitational was noticeably tougher than past seasons. With the additions of Grandville (ranked No. 6 in Division 1) and Chippewa Hills (No. 3 in Division 3), the individual talent featured many 2015 state placers, including defending state champion Cameron Mahlich of Ionia. Chippewa Hills and Grandville dominated the competition with six individual champions and six runner-ups in 14 weight classes. Chippewa Hills, though, edged Granville in total points 250-233.5.