BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — Wesley Maskill picked up a steal Wednesday evening.
The Oxford junior stunned state-ranked Aaron Morgan of Rochester in a 160-pound match, which helped provide some pivotal points in third-ranked Oxford’s 43-29 OAA Red Division wrestling victory over host and fifth-ranked Rochester.
In a match where swing points were at a minimum, Maskill upended Morgan by pin in 2:20.
“I think Rochester already thought they had that match won,” smiled Maskill, who pumped his fists after his upset. “He beat me three times last year. I wanted to show that I am back and better this season. I was able to (get his head) and flip him down. I knew we needed some extra points somewhere and I was able to do it.”
The win at 160 gave Oxford (7-1, 1-0) a 28-21 advantage with five matches to go. The Wildcats won three of the final five matches to pull away.
Rochester’s Shane Shadaia (171) won by major decision and Shwan Shadaia (215) posted a major decision to pull Rochester to within 31-29. Oxford’s Zach Wood (285) posted a pin in 5:39 of Cam Daniels that sealed the deal.
The Wildcats also closed the meet with a void victory at 103 to push the final margin to 14 points. When the two teams faced off twice last season, both matches went down to the final weight class, with Rochester winning in the regular season and Oxford winning in the Division 1 regional finals (Sweet 16).
Both teams had several wrestlers out of the lineup. Rochester had four starters out while Oxford had two on the sidelines.
“This might not be vindictive of the next time we wrestle,” said Oxford coach Brandon Rank. “They had two all-staters out and we had two all-staters out. Next time we’ll see some different matchups and I think it will probably go down to the end again.
“I am proud of the way we wrestled. We picked up a few swing points that we needed in order to win,” added Rank. “I thought Wesley’s win at 160 was huge. Those were points we needed and he beat the fourth-ranked wrestler in the state.”
Rochester coach Frank Lafferty was not overly disappointed with the loss, considering that Josh Wood, Dean Vettese, Ricky Morgan and Noah Ternis all sat out for various reasons.
Oxford was missing Mike Willits and Marty Gianolla.
“It was still a really close match. They just picked up the one big upset where Aaron dipped his head for a second and Maskill stuck him,” said Lafferty. “We’ll be fine. We haven’t seen our entire lineup yet this season. When we get everyone back, we’ll give them a better battle.”
Collin Campbell (112), Rocco Borg (152) and Brent Kraus (189) also had wins for Oxford.
Justin Kim (119), Tyler Dukhart (125), Joey Gunther (135), Dillon Maier (140) and Kaelen Richards (145) won matches for Rochester (13-5, 0-1).
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