|112||#3 Johnson||3-6||#2 Hrisopoulos|
|152||#10 McRill||31-9||HM (160) Kinne|
|160||#3 (152) Garty||34-9||Throne|
|171||#2 Cooks||37-9||#4 Maskill|
|215||HM Ellis||37-15||#5 Line|
The Wildcats and Cardinals did not meet last season, but in the two years prior Davison’s season ended at the hands of Oxford. On paper they certainly appear well situated to avenge those losses, but I think we’ve all learned that discounting Oxford in BC is far from a wise decision.
It’s not impossible, but it will take an upset or two, and even the slightest the of slip-ups will probably derail Oxford’s hopes of an upset. The most important match in my eyes is 112, where we will mostly likely see a rematch of last weekend’s regional final. Up to that point #3 Max Johnson had been having the stronger season of the pair, but #2 Alex Hrisopoulos managed to pin him in the match’s final seconds. Another pin seems virtually out of the question, but getting a decision here will be critical for Oxford.
As mentioned in my quarterfinal preview, Oxford’s 2X all-state senior Eddie Schlickenmeyer was a scratch at regionals last weekend. The Wildcats may be able to get through to the semis without him, but it will take their entire lineup if they are going to knock off a team of Davison’s caliber. Even if Schlickenmeyer does wrestle, he will still be an underdog against #3 Matt Miller, but it’s an upset that Oxford will most likely need to have.
The strength of Oxford’s lineup is 152 on up, and that is where I see the majority of their points being scored. Most notably, will probably see another rematch from last weekend’s regional final between #2 Jordan Cooks and #4 Wes Maskill. It’s a tall order for Maskill, but he kept it within a single point at regionals, and this is the type of momentum swinging upset that could potentially be enough to swing the dual in Oxford’s favor.
|119||R. Hughes||9-0||HM (112) O'Brien|
|125||#6 Castillo||9-3||#1 (119) Zdebski|
|130||#8 N. Hughes||9-6||#7 Toth|
|140||#1 Eicher||12-9||#3 My. Amine|
|145||#3 Gorial||12-12||#1 Ma. Amine|
This is a dual that many have been waiting for. Coach Cheney has built the Hartland program into an absolute juggernaut. This year marks their 14th consecutive appearance in BC, and they have achieved just about everything there is to achieve in high school wrestling with one obvious exception: a state championship.
After several near misses along the way, including 4 consecutive runner-up finishes from 2004-2007, this Eagle’s squad has fans believing 2014 will be the year they finally capture the state title that has eluded them for so long. They are right to believe, but it will be an uphill climb with two of the country’s top-30 ranked teams standing in their way.
Anyways, enough history, let’s talk matchups. Hartland may make a few minor moves, but for the most I don’t think they will have too much an impact on the final outcome. DCC’s lineup, on the other hand, is much tougher to anticipate. From 112-135 in particular they will have a lot of options. One big question is whether or not #7 Evan Toth will come down to 125. It’s a definite possibility considering he has made 126 for a couple events where the national weights were used, but keep in mind that wrestlers are now required to weigh in on both Friday and Saturday at the team finals. Another possibility is that they drop Tyler Morland to 152, which would give them the option of flipping him and #1 Nick Bennett should they feel it benefits them.
Due to the abundance of possibilities down low I won’t bother getting into any specific matches, but as whole I think from 103-135 these teams are pretty darn even, and if either side can out score the other by more than a point or two it will be a huge win for them.
That brings us to the dual’s middle of the lineup where the dual’s 2 most critical matches will take place. At 140lbs Hartland will likely bump up #1-ranked defending state champ to take on #3 Myles Amine in a rematch from last year’s state semifinals. Then at 145lbs, #2-ranked defending state champ Malik Amine should see #3 Jacob Gorial, a returning state runner-up. The most likely scenario is a split, but if either team can win both these it will be tough for the other to overcome. Also, don’t forget that Nick Bennett, ranked #1 at 152, has been at 145 this year, so that is another option for DCC.
|103||HM Lopinski||0-6||#2 Agens|
|112||#2 Hamdan||3-6||#1 (103) Gowens|
|119||#3 (112) Roberts||7-6||C. Roesly|
|125||#4 (119) Dusseau||7-9||#1 Yates|
|130||#7 Lopinski||10-9||HM (125) Eaves|
|135||HM Randall||10-12||#4 T. Roesly|
|140||#1 Weaver||13-12||#2 Siersema|
|145||#1 Waters||16-12||#4 Jacobs|
|160||HM Brockway||22-15||#6 Workman|
|171||HM (160) Sumber||25-15||Olsen|
|215||HM (171) Grames||28-21||Graham|
|285||#4 (215) Morgan||31-21||Ehrke|
It's hard not to get excited about this one. During Hudson’s run of 5 consecutive titles, they have met Hesperia in the finals 3 times with each dual being decided by 8 points or less. This time around they will meet one round earlier than they are accustomed to, but the level of competition should be just as strong.
It’s been an impressive transition for first year Hesperia Head Coach John Dingledine. The Panthers started the season slow due largely to the absence of several key starters, but over the past couple months their lineup has gradually come together, and now appears to finally be complete.
All that being said, I don’t think is a very good matchup for Hesperia. Ultimately, I think what kills them is Hudson’s mini-murderer’s row from 140-152. At 140/145 #2 Chase Siersema and #4 David Jacobs have been studs for Hesperia all year, but Hudson has #1-ranked defending state champions Cole Weaver and JD Waters at those weights, and bumping up won’t do Hesperia much good with #4 Kyle Johnson waiting at 152Two key sub-plots to keep an eye on will be the potential return of Eldon Graham at 215, and a possible rematch state final rematch at 125. A 4th place finisher at the state tournament a year ago, Graham did not compete individually this postseason, but rumor has it he will is taking part in the team run. Meanwhile, at 125 Hudson will likely bump Isaac Dusseau who will have vindication on his mind against #1 Zack Yates. Currently ranked #4 at 119, Dusseau was pinned by Yates in the first period of last year’s individual state finals.
|wt class||New Lothrop||score||Lawton|
|103||#3 Krupp||6-0||HM Chapman|
|112||A. Birchmeier||6-6||#5 Torres|
|125||#4 D. Birchmeier||18-6||Porter|
|130||#4 Bennett||18-9||#2 Barkovich|
|135||#10 Copes||18-12||#3 Menck|
|145||E. Birchmeier||24-15||#9 (140) Smith|
|152||#2 (145) Bauman||27-15||#6 O'Donnell|
|171||#1 Krupp||36-15||#6 Conner|
As I mentioned in my quarterfinal preview, Lawton has been without 2013 SQ’s Blake Parker and Austin Beach all season. Even if both are able to return to the lineup they will still be underdogs, but it might be enough to close the gap on what I think is otherwise going to be a relatively lopsided dual.
With their lineup as it currently stands Lawton has an outside chance to win 7 and split the matches. However, combine New Lothrop’s penchant for bonus points with Lawton’s relative lack of depth, and I think it would take 8 wins for Lawton to pull off the upset, and even that may not be enough.
What especially hurts Lawton is New Lothrop’s big guys. At 171 #6 Brody Conner has been an absolute hammer for Lawton, but he will have to wrestler either #1 Taylor Krupp, or bump up to take on #3 Cody Symons at 189.
Furthermore, throwing Parker and Beach back into the mix would certainly help, but probably to a quite limited extent. Sure, it would minimize bonus points, but I’m not sure how realistic it is to expect either to win against a top-10 opponent given the rust that has likely accumulated during their absence from competition.