Chippewa Hills wrestling team drops close semifinal contest to Dundee

MAKING HIS MOVE: Chippewa Hills Billy Koepf tries to get the best of Dundee’s Kyle Reinhart at the state semifinals. (Pioneer photos/John Raffle)

MAKING HIS MOVE: Chippewa Hills Billy Koepf tries to get the best of Dundee’s Kyle Reinhart at the state semifinals. (Pioneer photos/John Raffel)

MOUNT PLEASANT — It was 7-7 in matches, but the bonus points were huge for Dundee (20-4) in a 28-22 Division 3 semifinal wrestling win over Chippewa Hills  on Saturday.

It came down to the last match at Central Michigan University’s McGuirk Arena with defending individual state champ Sean Sterling (160) pinning Chippewa Hills’ Trevor Swix in 2:31 for the winning points.

Dundee defeated Chippewa Hills 40-16 in the state final last season.

Dundee advanced to Saturday’s title match with Richmond and lost 28-28 on criteria.

“We won seven and they won seven,” Chippewa Hills coach Nate Ethridge said. “They scored more bonus points than us. We lost most of the swing matches. I thought we could win 11 matches on them but we won seven. It wasn’t enough.”

The Warriors stayed alive with four one-point decisions.

“It was a very hard-fought dual,” Dundee coach Tim Roberts said. “I give a ton of credit to the Remus team. They did an outstanding job and won a lot of the close matches that were swing matches. Their kids came to battle. It was a great dual to be a part of.”

Dundee started out with a 7-0 lead with victories by Kyle Molynski (171) over Robert Granberry 4-2 and Brandon Whitman (189) over Luke Henderson 15-5.

The Warriors put together two one-point decisions to cut it to 7-6. Billy Koepf (215) edged Kyle Reinhart 4-3 and Andrew Vinton (285) nipped Devon Forrest 2-1.

Dundee won two straight with Caleb Fairchild (103) pinning Taylor Gibson in 43 seconds, and Jonathon White (112) edging Bray Haynes 3-2

“They’re tough, solid all the way through,” Roberts said. “You’re not going to get a lot of bonus points against them. This was a low scoring dual. It was good kids wrestling against good kids.”

Chippewa Hills strung together three straight decisions to cut Dundee’s lead to 16-15. It was Kaden Ellis (119) over Daniel Jaworski 3-2, Mason Hayes (125) over Christian Kllion and Austin Spedowski (130) decisioning McCallister Mcavoy 4-1. Then the two teams started trading decisions. Dundee’s Grant Ott decisioned (135) Austin Young 6-2 and Nolan Saxton (140) helped the Warriors with a 7-2 win over Zachary Bellaire.

“Our win at 135 was huge,” Roberts said. “Grant Ott came through and did a good job on a very outstanding wrestler. That puts in a spot in where we needed to have two wins in the late matches to win the dual.”

Tylor Orrison (145) had a 4-2 decision over Chippewa Hills’ Jaycob Sharp. David Spedowski (152) had a 15-5 major decision over Alex Motylinski for the 22-22 tie, setting up Sterling’s performance.

Dundee took a 20-4 dual record to the finals. Chippewa Hills’ season ended at 28-2.

The Warriors had made it clear in November they wanted to win a state title after taking second last season.

“It hasn’t set in yet,” Ethridge said after Saturday’s loss. “I still believe in our guys. They do a lot. They sacrifice a lot. We didn’t win. There’s nothing else to say. We got beat.

“We get one other swing match and we win. We didn’t get it.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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