Davison eliminates three-time defending champion Catholic Central; Brighton and Anchor Bay also advance in D-1
Battle Creek – Detroit Catholic Central carried a 25-match postseason win streak into Friday’s Division 1 state quarterfinals. The Shamrocks had won the last three state titles, finished as the state runner-up in 2011 and also won the title in 2010.
Overall, C.C. has won 11 state titles in Class A/Division 1 dating back to the late 1960s and have long since become one of the state’s perennial powerhouse programs in the large school divisions. Since 2010, C.C. has posted a 38-2 postseason record
But Davison, which lost to C.C. in the state finals the past two years, avenged those postseason defeats with Friday’s 35-28 victory over the Shamrocks at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek. All-time, Davison is 8-3 in state-final matches but has not won a title in nine years.
Davison will face Brighton in Saturday’s semifinal.
This was the Cardinals’ 11th quarterfinal since 2000. They won five straight titles from 2002 to 2006 and also won the crown in 2000 to go along with three second-place finishes in the new millennium.
“I didn’t have to say much to this team,” Davison coach Roy Hall said. “Just meeting up with Catholic Central again was enough for them. It’s a great feeling beating a team like that. They are so well-coached and have such a great sports history. I didn’t need to motivate them at all. They beat us in the finals the past two years.”
Davison (21-6) trailed 10-8 through four weight classes before going on a 21-0 run over the next five matches for a 29-10 lead. The Cardinals picked up a pin at 171 for a 35-16 advantage, which clinched the victory and dethroned the three-time defending state champs.
New Baltimore Anchor Bay was upset in the regional round last season and now the Tars are in the semifinals in Division 1 for the first time.
Anchor Bay, which is 37-0 and the lone unbeaten team in this division, cruised past Grand Haven 49-12 Friday at Kellogg Arena.
Coach Jim Morrisette, in his 25th season at Anchor Bay with a 607-223 record, has never coached a state championship squad.
With multiple athletes boasting records of more than 40 wins and 14 wrestlers with at least 30 wins on the season, Anchor Bay won 11 of 14 weight classes against Grand Haven, including 10 of the first 11 matches for a commanding 43-3 lead.
“We’re getting closer and closer to our goal,” said Morrisette. “There’s so many good teams in Division 1 this season. We have a lot of respect for the teams here. We’re looking forward to wrestling again on Saturday.”
Anchor Bay, which lost in the state quarterfinals in 2010 and 2006, has never advanced to the state semifinals and will face Hartland at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Hartland is making its sixth straight Final Four appearance.
Brighton reached the state semifinals two years ago. Now with a youthful second-year coach in Tony Greathouse, the Bulldogs are two wins away from their first state title.
Brighton, which defeated three-time defending state champion C.C. in its season opener in early December, has maintained the pole position ranking all season and edged Oxford 39-19 in Friday’s state quarterfinals at Kellogg Arena in a match that was closer than the final score indicates.
Oxford has reached the at least the state quarterfinals 11 times since 1999.
“(Oxford) is better than your normal No. 8 seed,” said Greathouse.
“I told the guys just to remain focused as we have all year,” continued Greathouse. “There’s always good teams here. We knew this would not be easy. We knew how tough Oxford was. A month ago they only lost to No. 2 Anchor Bay by only five points.”
Brighton, which started 10 seniors Friday and has advanced to the quarterfinals three times in five years, has never won a state title. The Bulldogs trailed Oxford (16-9) by a 19-13 count with six weight classes to go before venturing on a 26-0 run to close out the match and knock out Oxford, which had reached the semifinals in six of the last seven years