BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — Justin Kim felt a little bit of pressure Wednesday night. Who wouldn’t, given his position?
The Rochester junior 103-pounder needed a win in his weight class and he delivered. Kim stuck Oxford’s Collin Campbell to the mat in 48 seconds, lifting the home-standing Falcons to a shocking, 37-29, victory over the defending Division 1 state champion Wildcats.
It was the OAA Red Division opener of both teams.
“Oxford is a great team. We knew it was going to be really close,” said Kim, a state qualifier last season. “We picked up every win as possible. So I felt a little bit of pressure going into my match.”
Senior Matt Lippart set the table for Kim, as he edged Oxford’s Zach Wood 3-1 in the 285-pound battle that put Rochester up 31-29 and staged a winner-take-all classic in the 103-pound match.
Rochester (14-3, 1-0), which came in ranked seventh in Division 1, defeated third-ranked Oxford in any type of format for the first time since the 1990s. The Falcons rallied with wins in five of the final seven weight classes and won 8-of-14 overall.
The victory was the signature win that Rochester’s program was searching for this season after already losing to three other Division 1 ranked opponents.
“Everybody wrestled well,” said Rochester coach Frank Lafferty, who fields perhaps his best team since taking over the program eight years ago. “Obviously, they were missing a guy and we were missing a guy. Both teams wrestled well. This was an exciting match. This is what high school wrestling is all about.”
Oxford finished second at the recent Oakland County with 243 points and Rochester was third with 178 points in a field of nearly 50 high schools back on Dec. 16-17. The Wildcats (4-4, 0-1) led 29-28 after Prescott Line pinned Luke Haynes in 21 seconds at 215.
Rochester picked up pins from Kaelen Richards (135) and Schwan Shadaia (189) and Tayler Dukart (115) recorded a win by disqualification,.Josh Wood (119) and Shane Shadaia (152) also won their matches for the Falcons.
Daniel Curtis (112), Mike Willitz (130), Noah Cantera (140), Rocco Borg (145) and Marty Gianolla (160) joined Line in the winners circle for Oxford, with Borg winning his match with a take down with one second left in the third period.
Still, Oxford has shown some vulnerability after graduating over half of its starters from last season.
“I think some of our weaknesses were exposed. For one our conditioning isn’t there,” said first-year Oxford coach Brandon Rank. “We’re pretty young in some spots. I think today made us see just how young we are. But we’ll keep putting teams out on the mat and compete. We did not have the best day today.”
Both teams were without a key wrestler. Rochester was missing sophomore 140-pounder Dean Vettese, while Oxford lost senior 125-pounder Kyle Hill to a skin rash moments before his match.
Wednesday’s match was probably better suited for a Division 1 state tournament match. And perhaps the meeting between Oxford and host Rochester is foreshadowing a potential meeting in the Division 1 regionals in late February if there are no upsets.
WEST BLOOMFIELD 22
103: Justin Kim (R) p. Kayla Taub 0:35; 112: Seth Birchmeier (R) p. Saif Squwich 2:45;119: Josh Wood (R) Matt Gordeneau 7-2; 125: Ross Bahro (WB) d. Tyler Dukart 16-3; 130: Josh Gunther (R) d. Mario Giglio 10-7; 135: Kaelen Richards (R) p. Andrew Kasmarogi 1:42; 140: Aaron Smith (WB)p. Dillon Maier 4:47; 145: Aaron Morgan (R) p. Chris Grant 1:35; 152: Shane Shadaia (R) p. Phil Grier 3:50;160: Darren Witherspoon (R) d. John Hubbard 12-10; 171: Cody Devoe (R) p. Pat Russell 1:24; 189: Schwan Shadaia (R) d. Zach Root 4-1; 215: Matt Lippart (R) p. Nick Alessi 2:07; 285: Dan Karot (WB) p. Carmeron Daniels 2:40.
OXFORD 65, FARMINGTON HARRISON 10
103: Collin Campbell (O) d. Michael Volvanyoy 7-4; 112: Daniel Curtis (O) d. Dan Allor 7-1; 119: Edwin Schlickenmeyer (O) d. Gabe Colston 17-0; 125: Kyle Hill (O) Andrew Faialka 3:35; 130: Mike Willits (O) d. Karone Mick 3-2; 135: Noah Cantera (O) p.Bobby Matheson 4:46; 140: Rocco Borg (O) p. JD Williams (O) 0:29; 145: Noah Kinnie (O) d. Marcus Shephard 12-4; 152: Wesley Maskill (O) p. Paskal Pietrushi 3:12; 160: Marty Gianolla (O) p. Kyle Lake 5:12; 171: Liam Logan (O) p. Sultan Hubbard 2:13; 189: Grant Krause (O) p. Austin Jarvis 2:22; 215: Prescott Line (O) p. Olando Washington 0:57; 285: Zach Wood (O) p. Andrew Rexroth 0:20.
112: Daniel Curtis (O) tech. fall Seth Birchmeier 19-4; 119: Josh Wood (R) maj. dec. Edwin Schlickenmeyer 11-3; 125: Tyler Dukart (R) d. Kyle Hill by DQ; 130: Mike Willits (O) d. Joey Gunther 5-0; 135: Kaelen Richards (R) p. John Brish 1:15; 140: Noah Cantera (O) p. Dillon Meier 1:09; 145: Rocco Borg (O) d. Aaron Morgan 6-5; 152: Shane Shadaia (R) d. Wesley Maskill 10-5; 160: Marty Gianolla (O) p. Darren Witherspoon 3:10; 171: Cody Devoe (R) d. Liam Logan 7-2; 189: Schwan Shadaia (R) p. Grant Krause 5:02; 215: Prescott Line (O) p. Luke Haynes 0:21;285: Matt Lippart (R) d. Zach Wood 3-1; 103: Justin Kim (R) p. Collin Campbell 0:48.
FARMINGTON HARRISON 46,
(Box score unavailable.)
OAKLAND COUNTY RESULTS: http://northoaklandsports.com/2011/12/18/2011-oakland-county-wrestling-championship-results/
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