If Warren Woods-Tower’s wrestling team was looking to send any kind of a message to the seeding committee on Sunday it was certainly done Wednesday night.
The Titans outscored their two Division 2 regional opponents by a combined 141-12 to cruise to a second straight championship.
“We knew how tough they were and we had no illusions of beating them,” said Melvindale coach Tony Durocher said after his squad was beat 75-4 in the championship match. “They’re second ranked and they deserve it. They’ve earned it.”
WWT, which ran its record to 27-0 with the two wins, is ranked second in the state in Division 2 behind three-time defending champ Lowell.
The seeding for the finals takes place Sunday.
“They’ve beaten a lot of tough teams this year,” Durocher said. “I’d like to see somebody on this side of the state finally beat one of those teams like Lowell. It’d just be nice to see one of our guys on this side of the state beat one of those big boys. They have the team. They could beat them. They’re a tough team.”
The Titans won 13 of the 14 matches against the Cardinals, 10 of which were by pin. Of those pins, eight occurred in the first period.
“We’re trying to make a statement,” said Chaise Mayer, who pinned Melvindale’s Mohamed Ahmed at 41 seconds of the first period at 119 pounds. “I don’t think we’re surprising anyone no more. They know we’re coming.”
The Titans, who were seeded sixth last year, lost in the state quarterfinals to third-seeded Gaylord, 31-26.
“We’re focused every day at practice,” said Mayer, who’s a sophomore. “It’s real in the room every day and it’s something different. Not even new technique at this point, it’s staying in shape and staying focused for Mount Pleasant.
“Losing last year was tough,” Mayer added. “It provided big motivation for us coming back. We definitely needed it. Since the first practice this year there was a different intensity in the room. Everyone has been focused this whole year.”
Also recording pins for WWT were CJ Shier (285), David Stepanian (112), Elijuh Weaver (125), Hendri Thomaraj (135), Keff O’Connell (145), Austin Frederick (152), JaJuan Lovejoy (160), Trey Barbour (171) and Joel Radvansky (189).
“It’s a great feeling that all our hard work is really starting to pay off,” Lovejoy said. “The loss last year really humbled us. The wrestling room is definitely more focused. We’re just not happy to be going to the state tournament. We’re looking for a little more out of it. We’re not just OK just being there.”
Lovejoy’s nine-second pin was the quickest of the match.
“Off the whistle it was like a snatch, single,” Lovejoy said. “I was paying attention to him walking up. I wanted to see if he was heavy on his foot or not. I caught him heavy on it, got the quick takedown and took him to his back.”
Shelby Labonty (103) and Nico Martini (140) each accepted voids, while Nate Pipes (215) scored a decision.
“The game plan is just to win,” Lovejoy said. “If there’s a statement brought along with it that’s fine, but the game plan is just to go out there and execute.”
The Titans, who beat Lamphere 66-8 to reach the final, outscored their two district opponents by a combined score of 127-27.
“We’ve been working while we’ve been waiting to get back,” WWT coach Greg Mayer said. “We’re excited. We’re ready. We’re prepared. Now we just have to get through this weekend healthy. If we do that we’ll be right and ready for Mount Pleasant.”
WWT has 12 individuals competing at regionals on Saturday.
“This is the time of year we’re not honing skills and trying to develop,” Greg Mayer said. “It’s go out there, do you job and get off the mat. Nothing unfortunate needs to happen in a training session. Let’s get it done. That’s the approach and that’s what we told them.”
(Host Warren Woods-Tower)
Warren Woods-Tower 75, Melvindale 4
285 pounds: CJ Shier, WWT, pinned Marco Lopez, 2:54. 103: Shelby Labonty, WWT, won by void. 112: David Stepanian, WWT, pinned Saleh Said, 1:10. 119: Chaise Mayer, WWT, pinned Mohamed Ahmed, :41. 125: Elijuh Weaver, WWT, pinned Hamzah Ghaieb, :40. 130: Mustafa Al-Aubedy, M, major dec. Brandon Harger, 14-0. 135: Hendri Thomaraj, WWT, pinned Brandon Ortiz, :51. 140: Nico Martini, WWT, won by void. 145: Keff O’Connell, WWT, pinned Ethan Rodriguez, 1:12. 152: Austin Frederick, WWT, pinned Luis Hernandez, 3:45. 160: JaJuan Lovejoy, WWT, pinned Emmanuel Valencia, :09. 171: Trey Barbour, WWT, pinned James Maggard, :57. 189: Joel Radvansky, WWT, pinned Ginaith Salem, 1:41. 215: Nate Pipes, WWT, dec. Daniel Charles, 7-0.
(Melvindale beat Redford Union, 42-29, to reach the final.)
Warren Woods-Tower 66, Lamphere 8
215 pounds: Shier, WWT, won by void. 285: Pipes, WWT, pinned Dakota Jones, :44. 103: Sebastian McAllister, L, dec. Labonty, 6-0. 112: Stepanian, WWT, pinned Mike Yousif, :17. 119: Mayer, WWT, pinned Justin Selmini, 1:43. 125: Weaver, WWT, pinned Don Glenn, 1:42. 130: Matt Tomsett, L, technical fall Ryan Daniel, 16-0. 135: Lukas Nummer, WWT, dec. TJ Card, 10-5. 140: Martini, WWT, pinned Brenden Seavin, 1:16. 145: O’Connell, WWT, pinned Trevor Kenney, :50. 152: Jack Pehote, WWT, dec. Devin Hunt, 7-1. 160: Lovejoy, WWT, pinned Nick Bates, 1:21. 171: Barbour, WWT, pinned Alex Uhlig, 2:20. 189: Radvansky, WWT, pinned Tanner Norton, 3:23.