Lancers end Niles’ streak of district titles
Division 2 No. 10-ranked Niles saw its dual-meet wrestling season come to a close Wednesday in the championship match of the Edwardsburg District.
While the final score against Lakeshore was 27-27 with both teams earning seven match victories, the Lancers edged the Vikings 2-1 in pins to win the second tiebreaker criteria for the right to move on the Coldwater Team Regional Wednesday.
Lakeshore turned the tables on Niles. It was one week ago that Vikings beat the Lancers 37-16 to clinch the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West Division title.
The rematch was set when Niles beat Edwardsburg 45-22 and Lakeshore topped St. Joseph 63-15 in the semifinals. The championship match started at 160 pounds.
Winners for the Vikings (18-6) were Quintin Smith (major decision at 160), Jason Echeverria (overtime decision at 285), Cade Stevenson (technical fall at 112), Brenden Hall (pin at 130), Mitchell Findeisen (decision at 135), Courtland Lamberton (decision at 140) and Davin Simpson (decision at 152).
Victors for the Lancers (25-4) were Corey Hampton (pin at 171), Tyler Hill (decision at 189), Isaac Weir (decision at 215), Austin Whitman (decision at 103), Austin Franco (pin at 119), Tony Williams (decision at 125) and Cody Carlisle (decision at 145).
Lamberton’s come-from-behind win — the 101st of his prep career — tied the score at 24-24. Carlisle’s triumph put the Lancers up 27-24. Simpson’s win knotted the score at 27-all and helped necessitate the tiebreaker.
“They outwrestled us,” Niles coach Todd Hesson said of the Lancers. “They should be congratulated.”
The Vikings saw their streak of district team titles end at four while the Lancers added another accomplishment to the resume of Bruce Bittenbender, the all-time winningest wrestling coach in Michigan history with more than 850 dual wins in his 47th season.
“This is probably one of the most rewarding ones,” Bittenbender said. “Niles won the district three years in a row. Now, we’re on that upswing.”
Division 2 Team District
LAKESHORE 22, NILES 22
(Lakeshore wins on fifth criteria — most pins)
103: Austin Whitman (L) d. Nathan Frary 7-5; 112: Cade Stephenson (N) t.f. over Ian Beshears 16-1; 119: Austin Franco (L) p. Terris Frick :42; 125: Tony Williams (L) d. Andrew Flick 6-0; 130: Brenden Hall (N) p. Hunter Buck :55; 135: Mitch Findeisen (N) d. Eric Taylor 12-6; 140: Courtland Lamberton (N) d. Robert Dente 7-4; 145: Cody Carlisle (L) d. Devonte Gaskill 6-4; 152: Devin Simpson (N) d. Ryan Rush 5-1; 160: Quintin Smith (N) m.d. over Kyle Lindley 19-10; 171: Corey Hampton (L) p. Dayton Smith 5:34; 189: Tyler Hill (L) d. Cody Glick 5-1; 215: Isaac Weir (L) d. Braulio Sosa 5-2; 285: Jason Echevarria (N) d. Bryce Robinson 4-3 (3 OTs).
Varsity records: Lakeshore 24-4, Niles 19-5
NILES 45, EDWARDSBURG 22
103: Dylan Guernsey (E) d. Nathan Frary 7-5; 112: Cade Stephenson (N) p. Bryce Guernsey :27; 119: Michael Higley (E) p. Terris Frick :55; 125: Hunter Vargo (E) d. Andrew Flick 4-0; 130: Brenden Hall (N) p. Michael Tatay :16; 135: Mitch Findeisen (N) p. Calob Besaw 2:19; 140: Courtland Lamberton (N) won by forfeit; 145: Lucas Marks (E) m.d. over Robert Glober 10-0; 152: Devonte Gaskill (N) p. Jacob Andrina 1:51; 160: Quintin Smith (N) d. Austin Cline 11-5; 171: Joe Hess (E) d. Dayton Smith 3-0; 189: Blake Parsons (E) d. Cody Glick 11-5; 215: Braulio Sosa (N) p. Bo Thomas :55; 285: Jason Echevarria (N) p. Josh Harris 3:48.
Varsity record: Edwardsburg 22-6