Logan Massa defeated Isaac Jordan to win the title (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
LAS VEGAS -- Sophomore/freshman Logan Massa became the fourth Wolverine rookie to capture an individual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational title, winning the 165-pound crown to headline the No. 10-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team's performance on the second and final day (Saturday, Dec. 3) of the annual event held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Three Wolverine freshmen earned top-three finishes at their respective weight classes as U-M claimed ninth place with 73 points.
Massa used riding time to knock off Wisconsin's top-seeded -- and second-ranked -- Isaac Jordan, 8-7, in the championship match. He rallied from an initial deficit, and the wrestlers traded a takedown apiece in both the first and second periods to give Massa a narrow one-point advantage entering the final frame. He rode for nearly the entire period, accumulating 1:27 in time advantage, to earn the deciding point. It is Massa's biggest collegiate win to date; Jordan is a three-time All-American and the 2016 NCAA runner-up at 165 pounds.
Massa cruised in the semifinal round, scoring four takedowns and six back points to earn a 17-4 major decision against Arizona State's third-seeded -- and ninth-ranked -- Anthony Valencia. He gave up the first takedown midway through the first period but responded with two of his own -- one apiece in the first and second period -- before breaking the match open with a 10-point third period. Massa is now a perfect 14-0 on the season with three wins over top-10 opponents.
Sophomore/freshman Stevan Micic had to settle for second place at 133 pounds after dropping a close 3-2 decision to Ohio State's top-seeded -- and third-ranked-- Nathan Tomasello in the championship bout. After a scoreless first period and quick escape in the second, Micic shot in deep on a single leg but, with Tomasello twice grabbing his singlet strap, could not finish on the edge. The Buckeye wrestler, a 2015 NCAA champion, was awarded a controversial takedown off a single leg of his own moments later, and the points proved the difference in the bout.
Micic rallied from an early deficit to take his morning semifinal in overtime, using a pair of takedowns to edge Minnesota's seventh-seeded Mitch McKee, 9-7. After giving up two takedowns in the first period, he initiated the rally with a second-period reversal, riding out the period to trail by just one entering the final frame. He finished on a single-leg takedown with a minute remaining in regulation and rode out the period and finished on another, after a short scramble, with 20 seconds remaining in the sudden-victory frame.
Sophomore/freshman Myles Amine bounced back from his close quarterfinal loss last night with four straight wins in the consolation bracket to claim third place at 174 pounds. He used overtime to beat Iowa State's third-seeded -- and 10th-ranked -- Lelund Weatherspoon, 4-2, in his placement match. After taking his first lead with a late reversal in the second period and riding off Weatherspoon's riding-time advantage in the third, Amine finished on single-leg takedown midway through the sudden-victory period.
Amine earned bonus points in two of his three morning wrestleback wins, including a 9-1 major decision against Stanford's 13th-ranked Jim Wilson. He posted three takedowns, including two in the third period, and a second-period reversal and rode Wilson for 3:38. Amine, who posted a 6-1 record on the season, earned wins over two NCAA All-Americans in Wilson and Weatherspoon. He is 14-1 on the season.
Michigan will wrap up its first-semester schedule next Sunday (Dec. 11), kicking off Big Ten Conference dual competition against Minnesota at 2 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena. Tickets are available through the U-M Ticket Office; the dual will be streamed live on BTN Plus.