NOVI, Mich. -- After falling to a tight defeat in the finals of the Clash XII National High School Wrestling Duals, No. 3 Oak Park River Forest, Ill., had a rigorous docket for its return to the mats for competition on Saturday in Novi, Mich. The Huskies had to do battle against four fellow members of the Fab 50 national high school team rankings in the Detroit Catholic Central Super Duals.
Larry Early (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)OPRF showed their elite level in going 4-0 against those teams, winning 38 of 56 weight class matchups on the day. It started with an opening dual meet against No. 11 Montini Catholic, Ill. The Huskies are ranked first in Class 3A, while the Broncos are tops in Class 2A in Illinois. Things did not start out well for OPRF as they lost tossup bouts in the three opening matches of the dual meet: Chris Garcia upset No. 16 Larry Early 4-3 at 145 pounds, Luke Fortuna defeated Matt Rundell 3-1 at 152, and No. 14 Xavier Montalvo beat Kamal Bey 6-5 at 160.
However, the Huskies bounced back with aplomb, winning the next four bouts to take an 18-9 lead after the 220 weight class. Included in that stretch was two wins in tossup bouts: Andre Lee with a 3-1 overtime victory over state champion Anthony Ferraro at 195 pounds, while Emonte Logan avenged two earlier season losses in a 5-3 victory over Edgar Ruano at 220.
No. 9 Michael Johnson, Jr. earned a pin in 55 seconds against Adam Lemke-Bell at 285 pounds to cut the Broncos deficit to 18-15. However, three consecutive victories from the Huskies stretched the lead to 30-15, which functionally clinched the dual meet with three bouts remaining. The final score would end up being 36-18 in favor of OPRF, with the additional notable outcome coming in the final match when No. 8 Isaiah White of OPRF defeated returning state runner-up Vincent Turk 3-2.
The additional match in the opening round placing national ranked teams against one another saw No. 20 Detroit Catholic Central, Mich., defeat No. 23 Brecksville, Ohio 40-34. The Shamrocks won eight matches in the dual meet, which included a 1-0 decision victory by Myles Amine in the last bout of the dual against Sonny Lucas. That match at 138 pounds featured a pair of state placers, and it assured that the dual meet did not come down to criteria.
Unlike the opening dual meet, No. 3 in the nation OPRF started their second dual meet against No. 20 Detroit Catholic Central very strong with three consecutive victories. The stretch started with junior Matt Rundell upending freshman Tyler Moreland 3-1 at 152 pounds, and ended with No. 9 Davonte Mahomes defeat No. 12 Andrew Garcia 5-3 at 170 in a battle of top 100 seniors. Senior Logan Marcicki, ranked No. 16 nationally, and Jimmy Russell would respond with victories for Shamrocks within the next three bouts to cut the deficit to 17-7.
However, that would mostly be the highlight of the dual meet for Detroit Catholic Central, as the Huskies came up with five consecutive victories to make it out of reach. That string ended with OPRF leading 39-7. The last match of the dual meet -- which was at 145 pounds - would be the highlight bout of the dual, as No. 12 at 152 Nick Bennett defeated No. 16 Larry Early by a 13-10 score.
This round of wrestling featured two other matches with nationally ranked teams going against one another. Unlike last year when Montini bounced back from an opening round loss (to St. Johns, Mich.), they were unable to do that in this year's second round. It was No. 26 Davison, Mich. coming up with the 38-24 upset over the No. 11 Broncos.
The Cardinals started strong, opening up a 13-4 lead after four bouts. However, Montini Catholic came back with four consecutive wins to take a 20-13 lead. To open that stretch, it was a 2-2 ultimate tiebreaker rideout victory for Anthony Ferraro at 195 pounds, where he upset Jordan Cooks, who is ranked No. 14 nationally at 182 pounds.
Starting with a forfeit from sophomore Max Johnson at 113 pounds, and then ending with No. 16 Justin Oliver earning a 9-8 victory over Vincent Turk at 138, Davison turned that 20-13 deficit into a 38-20 lead. Chris Garcia would close the dual with an 11-3 major decision victory over state runner-up Matthew Miller in the match's last bout to make the final score 38-24 Davison.
The third nationally ranked team matchup in round two saw No. 23 Brecksville defeat No. 38 St. Johns. The Bees won eight of fourteen weight classes in a 33-31 victory. They won seven of nine matches after trailing 16-3 through four weight classes to clinch the dual meet with one match remaining. Arguably the most crucial bout for Brecksville was the opening one, when Grayson Davis came up with a 5-4 win over returning state placer Mark Bozzo at 152 pounds.
In round three, No. 3 in the nation OPRF continued their assault on the field with a 42-13 victory over St. Johns. The Huskies bounced back from losing two of the first three weight classes with a stretch of eight victories from nine bouts, starting with a forfeit taken by Andre Lee at 195 pounds (Tyler Wildmo did not wrestle in this match for St. Johns) and going through a pin in 1:02 from No. 8 Isaiah White at 138 pounds.
The two most notable bouts of the dual meet, the opening bout and the second last one, were both won by Redwings wrestlers. No. 4 at 152 Logan Massa bumped up one weight class, and scored a 15-13 victory over sophomore sensation Kamal Bey at 160 pounds; while No. 3 at 138 Zac Hall also bumped up a weight class to defeat No. 16 Larry Early 7-3 at 145.
In other action in round three, Montini and Davison both had reverse outcomes in response to their round two dual meet. No. 11 Montini beat No. 23 Brecksville 36-30, while No. 26 Davison lost 33-32 to unranked Dundee, Mich.
The Broncos won the last three bouts of a dual meet that saw four lead changes and an additional tie in order to win their lone dual meet of the day. After the 126 pound match, which saw Montini's Dylan Duncan defeat Cadet freestyle All-American Justin Demicco 10-4 in a battle of sophomores, the match was tied at 26-26. In the next bout, fellow sophomore Austin Hiles gave Brecksville their last lead of the dual meet after a 12-0 major decision over Caleb Fortuna.
Vincent Turk came up with a 6-2 victory over state placer Sonny Lucas in a battle of juniors at 138 pounds to cut the Montini deficit down to 30-29. Next, an 18-9 major decision from senior Chris Garcia -- a state champion last year -- gave the Broncos a 33-30 lead with one match to go. Junior Luke Fortuna came up with a match-sealing 5-2 victory over senior Grayson Davis in the match's final bout at 152.
In a dual meet where the teams split bouts 7-7, one that had six lead changes and a mid-dual meet tie, it was Dundee who upset nationally ranked Davison. It was a pair of pins from Danny Mandell and Ryan Heiserman to open the dual meet at 160 and 170 pounds for the Vikings. The Cardinals then responded with four consecutive victories, the last of which was a 3-2 tiebreaker win for Dakota Powers at 285 pounds, to take an 18-12 lead at the turn.
A pin from Drew Mandell in 46 seconds at 106 pounds would tie the meet at 18-all. The squads would then trade vicotires in the next five matches, ending with a pin from No. 16 Justin Oliver at 138 pounds to give Davison a 32-27 lead with two bouts remaining. State champion Doug Rojem, with a 2-0 victory over two-time state placer Dominic Russ at 145 pounds; and state qualifier Sean Marogen, with an 11-9 overtime victory over freshman Brandon McRill at 152 would then give Dundee the bouts necessary to pull off the upset.
In the fourth round of the day, the last one for the out of state squads, the Huskies would cap off their dominance with a 40-15 victory over Davison. The first six bouts of the dual meet set the tone, as the Huskies jumped out to a 23-3 lead. It started with a 15-0 technical fall from No. 9 Davonte Mahomes at 170 against freshman Jason Cooks and ended with a forfeit win from No. 6 Jason Renteria.
Davison would win four of the next five bouts to cut the deficit down to 26-15 with three bouts remaining in the dual meet, which was the closest any team got to No. 3 Oak Park River Forest with a limited number of matches remaining. Key in that stretch was a 4-3 upset victory at 138 pounds by No. 16 Justin Oliver against No. 8 Isaiah White.
However, No. 16 Larry Early was quick to restore order for the Huskies with a 15-0 technical fall victory over three-time state placer Matthew Miller at 145. A 3-0 decision over Matt Rundell at 152 and a 24-second pin by Kamal Bey at 160 would cement the OPRF victory.
The other dual meet placing nationally ranked teams against one another in the fourth round saw No. 20 Detroit Catholic Central upend No. 11 Montini Catholic 44-25, as the Shamrocks won nine of the weight classes. Key to the meet was the starting four weight classes, as Detroit Catholic Central won all four matches and jumped out to an 18-0 lead. Notable victories in that stretch were earned by Nick Giese, 6-4 over state champion Anthony Ferraro at 195 pounds, along with the 7-2 decision win for Jimmy Russell over Junior freestyle All-American Edgar Ruano at 220.
The last ten matches would be split at five-apiece between the two squads. Most notable in that stretch were a 4-2 overtime victory for Vincent Turk over Myles Amine at 138 pounds, and the pin in 1:35 for nationally ranked Nick Bennett over Chris Garcia at 145 to clinch the dual meet for the Shamrocks.
No. 3 Oak Park River Forest, Ill. 36, No. 11 Montini Catholic, Ill. 18 (9-5 matches)
No. 20 Detroit Catholic Central, Mich. 40, No. 23 Brecksville, Ohio 34 (8-6)
No. 38 St. Johns, Mich. 48, Hudson, Mich. 13 (11-3)
Dundee, Mich. 57, Clarkston, Mich. 15 (11-3)
Bedford, Mich. 38, Solon, Ohio 33 (7-7)
No. 3 Oak Park River Forest 42, No. 20 Detroit Catholic Central 13 (10-4)
No. 23 Brecksville 33, No. 38 St. Johns 31 (8-6)
No. 26 Davison, Mich. 38, No. 11 Montini Catholic, Ill. 24 (8-6)
Bedford 42, Rochester, Mich. 23 (9-5)
Hudson 42, Solon 12 (10-4)
No. 3 Oak Park River Forest 42, No. 38 St. Johns 13 (10-4)
No. 11 Montini Catholic 36, No. 23 Brecksville 30 (8-6)
Dundee 33, No. 26 Davison 32 (7-7)
Bedford 36, Clarkston 24 (8-6)
Solon 51, Rochester 15 (11-3)
No. 3 Oak Park River Forest 40, No. 26 Davison 15 (9-5)
No. 20 Detroit Catholic Central 44, No. 11 Montini Catholic 25 (9-5)
No. 23 Brecksville 41, Dundee 27 (9-5)
Hudson 62, Rochester 16 (11-3)
Solon 43, Clarkston 24 (9-5)
Davison 58, Bedford 9 (12-2)
Detroit Catholic Central 49, Hudson 22 (9-5)
Dundee 55, Rochester 19 (10-4)