Tournament time is nearly here for Michigan high school wrestling teams. While area wrestling teams are still looking for wins the final weekend of January, they are also fine tuning for the postseason. On Saturday, the Belding Redskins traveled to Montabella for a round-robin team tournament and placed second. Their only loss was to tournament champion Chippewa Hills 40-27.
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The Lakeview Wildcats hosted its annual individual wrestling tournament on Saturday. Mason County Central outlasted 16 schools to earn the championship this weekend with 202 points. Grant was second with 164 points and Belding third with 150.
Due to a lack of wrestler turnout, the Montabella Mustangs are mainly focusing on the individual aspect of its season this year. The Mustangs, 2-2 on the young season, will wrestle at today’s individual tournament at St. Louis. With about 10 wrestlers on the squad, the Mustangs will be giving up plenty of points in team competitions.
Montabella’s boys basketball team needed four extra minutes of playing time, but it got it’s first win of the season. The Mustangs went into overtime before knocking off the Evart Wildcats 55-53 Monday night in the season opener for both teams.
The Lakeview Wildcats and Montabella Mustangs opened the girls basketball season on Tuesday and both teams showed signs of rust. Lakeview’s defense, though was mostly strong and helped to carry the Wildcats to a season opening 53-20 win over the Mustangs at home.
The Montabella Mustangs have been in playoff mode for the past three weeks. After back-to-back losses to Carson City-Crystal and Coleman, the Mustangs’ record stood at 4-3. Six wins guaranteed a playoff spot, meaning Montabella needed to win its final two games to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Carson City-Crystal’s football team needed to break a two-game losing streak. Montabella’s needed to start another winning streak. The Eagles broke their streak.
Montabella has a football team that can light up a scoreboard in a hurry, and Vestaburg found out just how fast during Friday’s Mid-State Activities Conference matchup. A quick-strike offense, combined with Montabella’s stifling defensive effort, led to the Mustangs’ 35-0 homecoming victory over the Wolverines.
Montabella and Vestaburg had different football games on Friday. The Mustangs were dumped by Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart while the Wolverines shut out Ashley.
Shaun Balhorn has been to the Michigan High School Athletic Association football playoffs before. That was in 2004 during Balhorn’s first run as head coach of the Montabella Mustangs football program. Now, Balhorn is back on the varsity sideline for the first since 2007 after taking over for David Clay, who resigned following the 2013 season.