MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- End of the season, and Central Michigan is wrestling well. End of a match, and the Chippewas, to a man, wrestled with energy. End of a career, and a big, big win for Logan Parks.
The Central Michigan wrestling team won six matches including the final two on Friday as the Chippewas topped Michigan State, 21-15, in a nonconference dual before 1,015 at McGuirk Arena.
It was CMU's sixth-consecutive dual victory as it finished 8-4. The Chippewas will now look ahead to the Mid-American Conference Championships on March 7-8 in DeKalb, Ill., and to the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis March 19-21.
How It Happened
The Chippewas got a pin from 125-pounder Drew Hildebrandt in the night's opening bout, and then won five more matches by decision.
Those victories came from Drew Marten (133), Dresden Simon (141), Parks (157), Landon Pelham (197) and Matt Stencel (285).
The meet was tied, 15-15, after Michigan State won three consecutive at 165, 174 and 184.
Pelham put the Chippewas ahead, 18-15, with a dramatic 3-1 overtime win, and then the fourth-ranked Stencel closed it with a workmanlike 4-1 victory, his ninth straight as he improved to 26-4.
Big Win for Parks
Parks, the lone senior on the Chippewa roster, posted a 4-2 victory over 25th-ranked Jake Tucker.
Parks, who is ranked 16th, had never beaten Tucker in three previous meetings. Down 1-0 entering the third period, Parks tied it with an escape and then scored a takedown with just under a minute remaining.
It was Parks' fourth-consecutive victory and his ninth in his last 12 matches. He improved to 18-10.
"It was big for the team, it was big for him," CMU coach Tom Borrelli said. "I could tell he was going to wrestle good tonight.
"I think he was pretty emotional, but he handled it really well. He kept his composure, he stayed real basic in his match which is real important. The times he's been beaten by that kid the kid's outscrambled him and so we had to keep him real basic so he didn't get in any scrambles. He scored from a front headlock which is as basic as it gets."
It was an inspiring victory for Parks, who has displayed a steady resolve throughout his five years at CMU.
"He's been so steady, that's the biggest thing," Borrelli said. "His freshman year I think he lost 13 matches in a row or something like that. Just to fight through that and end up where he is right now - you appreciate that as a coach to see a kid fight through adversity and then become the leader of the team."
Pelham's win put the Chippewas in front for good, and it came after he fought off several attacks from May where the Spartan gained the advantage. But was never able to complete a takedown against the cagey Pelham, a junior who improved to 18-10.
They went to overtime tied 1-1 and then Pelham scored a takedown 16 seconds in.
"I watched a lot of film this week, 10-15 of (May's) matches, and I saw that once he gets tired he gets a little lazy on his feet and gets upright and he lost a couple times this year in overtime hitting that same move," Pelham said. "I knew once he was tired it would probably be there."
The Chippewas have long been known for their conditioning and it paid off in spades on Friday. In nearly every match, CMU appeared to have the fresher wrestler in the third period. Marten, for instance, did all of his scoring in the third period in his 7-2 win.
"It's definitely something we talk about every day, all season long, (that) we're going to break guys," Pelham said. "It's what we're known for. I think we work harder than a lot of teams out there and a lot of teams know that. That's why a lot of kids don't come here because they can't handle it."
Said Borrelli: "I think we're getting in good shape. Shape is kind of your mental attitude too and we've had success, that's our sixth win in a row. When you're confident in yourself, you can keep pushing and it's easier than when you're not so confident in yourself."
Good Start, Again
Hildebrandt's pin was his eighth of the year and he extended his win streak to nine matches. He has pinned five of his opponents in that stretch.
Hildebrandt, who is ranked eighth nationally, leads the Chippewas with 28 wins (against three losses). He has scored bonus points - eight pins, six major decisions - in 14 of his victories.
He is 12-0 in duals, an important statistic because most duals begin at 125 and he always gives CMU a shot of early momentum, which is critical in a dual meet.
"It feels awesome when Drew goes out there and sticks guys," Pelham said. "We think Drew, he's the best 125-pounder in the country. It's not fair how much pressure we put on Drew, but we've come to expect a pin at 125 … He just keeps on going out there and doing it. It's huge."
125: Drew Hildebrandt (C) pinned Logan Griffin, 5:30
133: Drew Marten (C) dec. Garrett Pepple, 7-2
141: Dresden Simon (C) dec. Matt Santos, 8-2
149: Alex Hrisopoulos (MSU) dec. Corbyn Munson, 6-5
157: Logan Parks (C) dec. Jake Tucker, 4-2
165: Drew Hughes (MSU) dec. Tracy Hubbard, 4-2, SV-1
174: Layne Malczewski (MSU) dec. Jake Lowell, 9-4
184: Cameron Caffey (MSU) pinned Ben Cushman, 2:01
197: Landon Pelham (C) dec. Nick May, 3-1, SV-1
285: Matt Stencel (C) dec. Christian Rebottaro, 4-1