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Hartland, Catholic Central advance to state semifinals WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Eagles oust Oxford with 43-27 win; Shamrocks roll Brighton 55-3

Game Info

Wrestling - 2/24/2017 

Novi Detroit Catholic Central 55
Brighton 3
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MOUNT PLEASANT >> Hartland served notice that it won’t go down easy at the Division 1 team state wrestling tournament.

The No. 5-seeded Eagles, the defending D1 state champions, knocked No. 4-seed Oxford out of the tournament with a 43-27 victory in the quarterfinal round Friday at McGuirk Arena, and advanced to Saturday’s semifinal round where they’ll face No. 1-seed Novi Detroit Catholic Central.

Macomb Dakota, a 26-25 winner over Westland John Glenn, will face Davison, a 40-24 winner over Grandville, in the other semifinal.

Catholic Central, now 29-1, hammered Brighton 55-3 as they continued a devastating run of lopsided victories. They’ve shut out two of their last three opponents in winning district and regional titles, and held Brighton to a single victory out of 14 matches.

“I like our effort … and our ability to go out and score points,” said Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock, whose squad is still feeling the hurt of losing in last year’s semifinals. “It’s a ton of motivation. We felt we were the best team last year and we didn’t get it done.”

The Shamrocks won 13 straight matches en route to a 52-0 lead before giving up a victory to Brighton. Ty Morland, one of five returning state champs in the lineup, pinned Jack Ireton in 58 seconds of their 171-pound match to remain unbeaten, with Nick Jenkins (285), Rhett Newton (112) and Kevon Davenport (130) also scoring victories by fall.

“Our coaches know how to peak us at the right time,” said Morland, who disregards any pressure factor for the No. 1 Shamrocks. “We know what we’re capable of.”

Oxford coach Paul McDevitt saw things going bad before the Wildcats stepped on the mat. “It started off when we lost the coin flip and they got the matchups they wanted,” said McDevitt. “We won the matches we thought we’d win, (but) once we got down low, they were really tough.”

Oxford’s Devin Trevino scored a technical fall over Hartland’s Jacob Hartman at 160 to open the match, but the Eagles took over from there, reeling off three straight victories, including a 4-2 win by Reece Anguish over Peter Veltigian at 189 in a match halted more than a half-dozen times from bloody noses from both opponents.

Byron Schlickenmeyer, working at heavyweight instead of his normal 215 oiybds, brought the Wildcats back by pinning David Dunville in the third period as Oxford trailed 15-11.

But Hartland won the next four matches, building a 34-11 lead with five matches remaining. The Wildcats were still in it, though, and breathed some life from consecutive victories from Garrett Tyrrell (130) and Sergio Borg (135) to narrow their deficit to 34-20. But 140-pounder Tanner Culver sealed the victory with a 2-0 win over Ryan Miller as Hartland coach Todd Cheney, whose teams have made 16 straight trips to the state tournament, notched his 700th career victory.

His daughter, Maddy, held up a photo-collaged poster with 700 wins. “This is pretty gratifying, “ Cheney said. “We got bonus points. We pin people. That’s how we won the state title last year.”

Indeed, five of the Eagles’ nine victories came by fall.

For McDevitt, it was a a bit closer to the end of the season, when he’ll step down from coaching the Wildcats. “It’s still a great feeling just to be here with the kids and compete with the fans all behind you,” he said.

McDevitt and Cheney are good friends.

“We’ve known each other 25 years,” Cheney said. “I was at his wedding and he was at mine. I’m going to miss him.”

Last Updated: 2/24/2017 7:34:26 PM EST

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