Wrestling: Tower advances with dramatic win over DeWitt

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Mount Pleasant — Warren Woods Tower pulled off the biggest comeback win of the day at the state team wrestling finals Friday afternoon at McGuirk Arena when Chaise Mayer earned a 20-4 technical fall win for the difference in a 35-33 victory over DeWitt.

Things didn’t look good for No. 2 seed Tower as it trailed 33-18 heading into the final three bouts of the match.

Tower needed bonus points if it had any hopes of pushing its record to 27-0 and advancing to the semifinals.

Senior Nathan Pipes delivered at 285, turning a 4-0 lead into a pin midway through the second period to cut the deficit to 33-24.

“I can’t even put it into words how the feeling was, being out there knowing that my team needed me at that moment, this is the greatest moment of my life right now,” Pipes said. “It was a close match and I just caught him where I needed to catch him and I wasn’t letting go. He tried to take a bad shot and I threw him right to his back. It was an intense match with a great finish.”

Then, sophomore sensation David Stepanian followed with a first-period pin at 103 pounds to cut the gap to 33-30 and give Mayer a chance to be a hero.

Mayer, 47-1, made the most of his opportunity, dominating Jordan Weber in the 112-pound bout to close out the win.

“We had a lot of things not go the way we planned,” Mayer said. “We were down, but we knew it was possible, had the right guys to do the right thing and we believed in them.”

So, what was going through Mayer’s mind when he took the mat?

“No doubts,” Mayer said. “I knew what I had to do. I knew it was going to get done.”

No. 4 seed Marysville (27-0) also advanced, defeating No. 5 seed Allendale 37-16 by winning the final seven matches to wipe out a 16-10 deficit. Nino Bastianelli (189) and Keegan Warren (112) had pins for Marysville.

Catholic Central dominates

Top-ranked Detroit Catholic Central continued its dominating postseason run with a 55-3 rout of No. 8 seed Brighton in a quarterfinal.

Next up for Catholic Central (29-1) is a semifinal bout against defending Division 1 state champion Hartland at 9 a.m. today.

Hartland (33-3), the No. 5 seed, defeated No. 4 seed Oxford, 43-27, to hand coach Todd Cheney his 700th career win.

Macomb Dakota (33-3), the No. 3 seed, earned its first semifinal appearance in school history with a 26-25 win over No. 6 seed Westland John Glenn. Dakota will face No. 2 seed Davison (25-3), a 40-24 winner over Grandville, in the other semi.

Catholic Central (29-1), looking for its first state title since winning three straight from 2012-14, blanked all four of its opponents during district and regional action, then swept its way through the first 12 weight classes Friday to push the streak to 68 straight before Harley Berne of Brighton won his bout at 145.

Tyler Morland (171), Nick Jenkins (285), Rhett Newton (112) and Kevon Davenport (130) all earned pins for Catholic Central with Morland, the top-ranked wrestler in his weight division, getting his pin in 58 seconds to push his record to 31-0 while opening up a 9-0 cushion.

“Rory (Cox) had a good takedown to get us off to a good start and I got a pin in the first period,” Morland said. “Things are going well for us and we’re looking forward to tomorrow. We beat Hartland earlier in the year and we want to build on that.”

Catholic Central pulled out the victories early on with Division 1 quarterfinals opening up at 160 pounds and Rory Cox earning a 2-1 decision over Jake Soop, followed by Morland’s pin at 171 and Connor Curnutte’s 4-2 decision over Greyson Stevens at 189 for a 12-0 lead Then, after Jackson Ross picked up a 14-6 major decision at 215, Jenkins had a pin in 1:03 for a 22-0 lead.

Jenkins, the defending individual state champ at 285, was thrilled to get the pin at CMU, his future home in the years ahead.

“It’s pretty special to come out and wrestle the way we have the past few weeks,” Jenkins said.


Division I

Detroit CC d. Brighton, 55-3

Hartland d. Oxford, 43-27

Macomb Dakota d. John Glenn, 26-25

Davison d. Grandville, 40-24

Division 2

Lowell d. Tecumseh, 41-20

Marysville d. Allendale, 37-16

Niles d. St. Johns, 36-26

Warren Woods-Tower d. DeWitt, 35-33

Division 3

Richmond received bye

Lake Fenton d. Whitehall, 34-31

Chippewa Hills d. Lake Odessa Lakewood, 43-16

Dundee d. Caro, 58-12

Division 4

Hudson d. Munising, 79-0

Bronson d. Springport, 35-31

New Lothrop d. Carson City-Crystal, 32-31

Leroy Pine River d. Clinton, 31-29

Saturday’s semifinals

Division 1, Division 4, 9 a.m.

Division 2, Division 3, 11:30 a.m.

Saturday’s finals

Division 1, Division 4, 3:30 p.m.

Division 2, Division 3, 6 p.m.


Twitter.com: @DavidGoricki