Matt Lyle and the rest of the Dowagiac wrestling team hope to turn the tables on Berrien Springs in the first round of the Division 3 Team District Tournament. The Chieftains will face the Shamrocks at 6 p.m. in Buchanan. (Leader photo/File)

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Buchanan the favorite at Division 3 Team Districts

Published 10:06pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Host Buchanan will assume the favorite’s role in tonight’s Division 3 Team District Wrestling Tournament.

The Bucks will face Lakeland Conference foe Bridgman-New Buffalo in the opening round, which begins at 6 p.m.

Buchanan is led by defeated wrestlers Jeff Mucha (140) and Gage Hutchison (285). Mucha and Hutchison enter state tournament action with records of 43-0 and 42-0 respectively.

Hutchison is the defending state champion at 215 pounds.

But the Bucks have plenty of other talented wrestlers in the line-up. Alex Brown (160) is 38-7, Jim DeVlaninck (215) is 37-5 and Patrick Wheetley (145) is 35-9.

Dowagiac will face Berrien Springs in the first round. The two Wolverine Conference West Division foes met Jan. 23 with the Shamrocks edging the Chieftains 39-36.

At Saturday’s Wolverine Conference Championships, Berrien Springs finished fourth and Dowagiac 12th.

The Shamrocks had a champion in Johnie Moore at 189 pounds, two second place finishers and two third place finishers.

Tristan Howard (285) finished third for the Chieftains’ top placing, while Matt Lyle (140) was fourth. Howard is 32-12 on the season and Lyle 31-13.

Dowagiac took just six wrestlers to the tournament. Also competing were Elijah Luth (135), Tom Smith (152), Sean Thompson (160) and Aubrey Houston (130).

Smith finished with a 3-2 record, while Luth and Houston were both 2-2. Thompson went 1-2 on the day.

The championship match is scheduled to begin 10 minutes following the completion of the last semifinal. Admission is $5 per person and no passes will be accepted.

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