Handles Hart in quarters, 45-24
IMLAY CITY — The Imlay City wrestling team concluded an outstanding 29-6 campaign, advancing all the way to the Division 3 state semifinals before seeing their postseason path halted.
Wings Event Center, in Kalamazoo, hosted the tournament which was contested last Friday and Saturday.
“What a great event it was for us,” Imlay City Coach Tony D’Ambrosio commented. “I don’t think anyone could have a bad weekend at a team state wrestling finals,” he noted.
“For these young men to come together and and hold each other accountable it was a special season to see. It contributed to the quarterfinal win over Hart. To be in a semifinal dual and watch these kids compete at the highest level is something we will never forget. The parents, administration, coaches and community came together in a loving way to make this trip special for the team.”
Imlay City, the fourth seed, opened their tournament stint Friday afternoon with a 45-24 win at the expense of fifth-seeded Hart (30-5).
That battle got underway with Hart’s Julian Vasquez picking up a 6-0 victory over Imlay City’s Cristian Rager at 112 pounds.
The next five weight classes, though, would see Imlay City triumph. Dominic D’Ambrosio notched a an 8-5 win against 119-pound counterpart Trayce Tate; Cristian Rojas took 1:05 to stop Julio Sarabia at 125 pounds; Julian Rojas needed 3:03 to defeat 130-pound counterpart Nicholas Sawdy; Conner Wildie notched a 6-0 victory over Bryce Johnson at 135 pounds; and Christopher Galiana registered a 6-3 triumph against JoseLuis Andaverde.
When those bouts concluded, Imlay City had jumped out to a 21-3 advantage.
The 145-pound weight class would see Hart’s Mason Cantu beat Imlay City’s Austin Herrera, 22-6. That trimmed Hart’s deficit to 21-8 with seven bouts done.
Imlay City’s Anthony D’Ambrosio then pinned Hart 152-pounder Guillermo Ortega with 4:44 gone.
Hart’s Zane Thomas then answered with a pin of Imlay City’s Aaron Evely with 1:57 elapsed. His outcome made it 27-14, Imlay City.
The 171-pound weight class ended with Hart’s Alex Hicks pinning Imlay City’s Brady Vanderploeg with 3:40 gone. That made it 27-20, Imlay City, at the time.
Imlay City 189-pounder Lance Wolford then pinned Hart’s Jon Ponce with 1:00 gone, increasing his team’s cushion to 33-20.
Hart then countered with a 15-2 win by Leo Guaadarrama over Latham Perry at 215 pounds, bringing them to within 33-24.
However, that would prove as close as they got. Heavyweight Chris Torres followed it up with a pin at the 38-second mark of his encounter versus Ivan Lara and Tanner Land pinned 103-pound foe Ivan Lara with 1:47 gone.
That enabled Imlay City to prevail via a 45-24 count.
The following afternoon Imlay City would not fare as well when the final scores were added up, bowing out with a 74-5 semifinal loss to top-seeded Dundee.
Their matchup began with Dundee’s Kaden Chinavare downing Imlay City’s Julian Rojas, 6-0, at 130 pounds.
The next eight verdicts would also prove favorable for Dundee. That stretch saw Logan Sander claim a 15-0 triumph against 135-pound foe Conner Wildie; Trey Parker pin Christopher Galiana with 1:47 elapsed at 140 pounds; Austin Jaworski notch a 14-1 victory over 145-pound counterpart Austin Herrera; Aiden Davis pin Anthony D’Ambrosio with 1:10 gone at 152 pounds; Casey Swiderski pin 160-pound rival Aaron Evely with 1:01 elapsed; Jacob Fenbert pin Brady Vanderploeg with 1:09 gone at 171 pounds; Connor Collins pin 189-pound adversary Lance Wolford with 1:21 elapsed; and Kaiden Hubbell pin Latham Perry with 53 seconds gone at 215 pounds. That made 51-0, Dundee, at the time.
The 285-pound weight class saw Imlay City prevail when Chris Torres pinned Justin Busz with 34 seconds elapsed, closing the gap to 51-6.
Dundee then rattled off four straight wins. Ashton Viers pinned 103-pound foe Tanner Land with 1:12 gone; Kade Kluce pinned Cristian Rager with 23 seconds elapsed at 112 pounds; Braeden Davis registered an 18-3 triumph against 119-pound counterpart Dominic D’Ambrosio; and Cameron Chinavare pinned Cristian Rojas with 3:24 gone.
Imlay City lost one team point due to unsportsmanlike conduct.
Dundee (17-4) would go on to defeat third-seeded Alma (28-2) by a 55-12 count in the title match.
Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.