Niles comes up short in upset bid of Goodrich

Published 9:44 am Monday, February 25, 2019

KALAMAZOO — For the first time since Todd Hesson has been coaching the Niles wrestling team, the Vikings were defeated in the state quarterfinals.

Niles, the No. 7 seed, needed to win several close matches early in its Division 2 quarterfinal matchup with No. 2-seeded Goodrich in order to pull off the upset at Wings Stadium Friday night.

The Vikings were unable to make that happen and lost to Goodrich 36-26.

“It was one of those things,” said Niles coach Todd Hesson. “We had some close matches. If one of them had gone our way, we’d have been all set. But they didn’t. Goodrich was seeded second for a reason. They earned it. That’s what we tell the kids. It doesn’t mean we had a bad season. It’s the way it goes sometimes.”

After opening with 2-0 victory by Kenny Krempetz in overtime at 189 pounds, Niles lost three consecutive close decisions that gave Goodrich all the momentum it needed.

Tysen Custard was defeated by Honour Kline 6-3 at 215 pounds before a bloodied Brian Soto lost to Blake Coffell 5-1 at 285 pounds.

At 103, Conner Pickens was edged by Ryan Angelo 12-10 as the Vikings fell into a 9-3 hole.

The two teams traded pins at 112 and 119 pounds with Niles’ Jamison Zimmerman pinning Zion Cheff in 1:14 at 112 pounds and Goodrich’s Cameron Macklem pinning Carson Landon in 39 seconds.

Goodrich added a win an 11-4 win at 125 pounds by Caleb Teague over Ryan Franco before Niles came storming back.

The Vikings trailed 18-9, but a pin by Bryce Brust over Carson Richards t 130 pounds and Javond Ball’s 10-5 win over Carson Turnbow had Niles right back in the match.

Connor Tibbetts kept the Niles wave rolling with a 12-5 decision over Colin Austin at 140 pounds.

Goodrich finally put a halt to the Niles’ winning streak at 145 pounds when Dominic Edwards pinned Kade Wagley in 3:51.

Robert Buckland grabbed the momentum back for the Vikings with his pin at 152 pounds over Sam Fisher, which gave Niles at 27-24 win with two bouts left.

Unfortunately for the Vikings, Goodrich swept those final two matches with pins and advanced to the semifinals where it defeated DeWitt 37-22, to advance to the finals where it was defeated by No. 1-seeded Lowell 29-23.

One of the turning points of the match came at the 140-pound weight class where it appeared that Niles was going to be able to force Goodrich’s Austin to be disqualified for stalling.

He was just two penalties points away from disqualification heading into the third period. Not only did Austin not get disqualified, Niles failed to score any bonus points when it had to settle for a decision.

“Winning at 215 would have been nice,” Hesson said. “And we had a chance for bonus points at 140. But it was a great year. The kids did a great job. It’s disappointing unless you win a state championship. Yes, we’re disappointed now. But overall it was a fantastic year. The kids did a great job. They wrestled hard all of the time, even tonight. Now we’ll move on and focus on the individual (which is next weekend at Ford Field in Detroit).”



At Kalamazoo


189: Ken Krempetz (N) d. Kevin Patterson 2-0 (OT); 215: Honour Kline (G) d. Tysen Custard 6-3; 285: Blake Coffell (G) d. Brian Soto 5-1;103: Ryan Angelo (G) d. Conner Pickens 12-10; 112: Jamison Zimmerman (N) p. Zion Cheff 1:14; 119: Cameron Macklem (G) p. Carson Landon :39; 125: Caleb Teague (G) d. Ryan Franco 11-4; 130: Bryce Brust (N) p. Carson Richards 3:27; 135: Javond Ball (N) d. Carson Turnbow 10-5; 140: Connor Tibbitts (N) d. Colin Austin 12-5; 145: Dominic Edwards (G) p. Kade Wagley 3:51; 152: Robert Buckland (N) p. Sam Fisher 1:27; 160: Juwan Vines (G) p. Cole Simpson 4:57; 171: James Penfold (G) p. Cade Best 3:18.

* Niles team point deducted for unsportsmanlike conduct.