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Detroit CC, impressively, claims 13th state title in victory over Brighton; Hudson defends D-4 title

Detroit CC, impressively, claims 13th state title in victory over Brighton; Hudson defends D-4 title
BY: DAN STICKRADT Feb 24, 7:41pm

(Photo Courtesy: MHSAA)

Kalamazoo – A new arena, same result.

Top-ranked Detroit Catholic Central retained its state title in Division 1 in dominating fashion rarely seen at this level.

The Shamrocks finished up their second consecutive season undefeated against Michigan schools after downing No. 2 seed, Brighton, 57-0, at Wings Arena on Saturday.

After shutting out No. 8 Hudsonville 67-0 on Friday and rolling past Davison, 49-6, in the semifinals Saturday morning, Catholic Central recorded its 13th state title overall with its victory over Brighton.

The Bulldogs were penalized with an unsportsmanlike conduct to officially finish with a minus-1 team score.

It marked the first-ever state finals shutout in all four divisions combined since the beginning of the team format tournament in 1988.

Catholic Central outscored its seven postseason opponents by a 468-20 margin, including two shutouts this weekend, to win its seventh crown this decade. 

“Absolutely amazing. This is a special group of guys,” said Catholic Central coach Mitch Hancock. “To go through two years without losing to another Michigan school is amazing. I can’t say enough about them. I am blessed to coach them and be at Catholic Central.”

The Shamrocks (29-1) reached the finals for the seventh time in the last nine seasons. Their only loss was to Cleveland St. Edward. They were relentless against the Bulldogs (33-4), collecting seven decisions, two major decisions, two technical falls and three pins. 

Joshua Edmond, Kevon Davenport, and Aidan Wagh recorded the pins for the Shamrocks.

“Brighton is still a very good team,” Hancock said. “They gave us a lot of very close battles. We only had three pins. Our guys were just so very determined, very focused the whole weekend. This was an incredible result getting two shutouts here.”

Brighton escaped close matches over Hartland (30-29) and Macomb Dakota (33-23) to reach the finals for the second time in school history. The Bulldogs simply did not match up with Catholic Central in the finals.

Brighton, which captured its only Division 1 title in 2015, lost in the quarterfinals last season. The Bulldogs have a young team with nine underclassmen in the lineup.

“We’ve had a great run with a young team,” said Brighton coach Tim Greathouse. “Last year we lost in the quarters. This year we’ve reached (the finals) and we’ll return a lot of guys next season.”

DIVISION 4

Perhaps the two most dominant programs in Division 4 faced off again to rule supreme for another season.

Hudson took home the championship this time.

The top-ranked Tigers defeated No. 6 New Lothrop, 34-22, on Saturday at Wings Arena for their second straight title.

It marked Hudson’s seventh title overall in 10 straight trips to the state finals match. The Tigers also won titles in 2017, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

Hudson coach Scott Merry, who over 30 seasons has compiled an impressive 772-180 dual match record, said this year’s run was a little different.

“I tell you what, this year was special,” said Merry. “At the beginning of the year we had a few kids that (opted) not to come back for whatever reason, we graduated a few kids, and just last weekend our heavyweight came back from an injury and got re-injured. So we wrestled a back-up there all weekend. All of that being said, this group of guys came together and had an amazing run to the state championship.”

Hudson (20-5) trailed, 6-3, after three weight classes. The Tigers won nine of the 14 matches.

New Lothrop (24-5) entered last season’s postseason unranked and gained the No. 7 seed. This year the Hornets gained the No. 6 seed with upset wins over third-seed Carson City-Crystal (41-19) and No. 5 Leroy-Pine River (42-24) in their journey to the finals.

“We’re chasing them a little bit right now,” said New Lothrop coach Jeff Campbell. I thought we did a great job competing. We had that comeback win against Clinton in the semifinals. I thought Hudson was a little better than we were today. There was a lot of parity this year in Division 4. If we came back next weekend, maybe two other schools might reach the finals.”

Highlights of the Team Wrestling State Finals will be on STATE CHAMPS! High School Sports Show - Sunday, February 25th at 9:00am on Fox Sports Detroit