Pine River places 2 wrestlers at state finals

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LEROY — Pine River had nine wrestlers advance to the Division 4 state wrestling finals over the weekend at The Palace of Auburn Hills, and two came back with medals.

Kyle Nixon placed fourth at 145 pounds and Jordan Stone was eighth at 112 for Pine River

“All the kids had a pretty good tournament,” said Pine River coach Tim Jones. “We go down there and the kids had wrestled a great regional two weekends before that to get to state finals. For a lot of them, it was their first time. You have to get that experience. A lot of them handled The Palace well, including Jordan Stone.”

Nixon pinned Zack Taubitz of Montabella 1:24 in the consolation semifinals Saturday and then lost 7-5 in overtime for third place to Aaron Bauman of New Lothrop.

Stone lost in the match for seventh place by a major decision to Trevor Hilgendorf of Middleton-Fulton.

“He wrestled really well to be an all-state wrestler,” Jones said. “He had a tough road to get through there. When he got there, he didn’t falter but stuck right with the pressure and made it work for himself.”

Robert Ragatzi at 119, Tyler McCurry at 215 and Chase Morrison at heavyweight also wrestled well, Jones added.

Of the nine Pine River wrestlers at the finals, Nixon, Ragatki and Elliott VanDreumel are seniors.

“We have six (of the state qualifiers) returning to the team which will make a nice nucleus,” Jones said.

On Thursday, the first day of the finals,  three Bucks went 1-0.

Stone at 112 pounds drew a bye. Nixon at 145 pounds pinned Zack Mobley of Athens Climax Scotts in 1:36. Morrison at 285 pounds improved to 31-17 with a 5-3 decision over Cory Katterhenrich.

Tony Moore at 112 pounds fell to 39-10 with a 10-3 loss to Justin Braford of Schoolcraft. Isaac Dusseau of Hudson had a tech fall over  Ragatzki, 32-16, at 119 pounds 15-0. Elliot VanDreumel of Pine River fell to 36-12 after getting teched at 125 pounds 19-4 by Dallas O’Green of Carson City-Crystal.

Jeff Gross at 160 fell to 27-17 with a 6-1 loss to Josh Wendling of New Lothrop.   McCurry at 189 pounds fell to 30-12 with a 6-4 loss to Mitch Ely of Hudson. Dom Garcia is 22-12 at 215 pounds after getting pinned in 5:32 by Owen Wilson of New Lothrop.

Action continued on Friday. Stone (31-6) lost 11-2 by major decision to Hudson’s Tyler Roberts (42-17) in the quarterfinals before bouncing back with a 57-second pin against Carson-City Crystal’s Taylor Barkley (35-13) in the second consolation round while Moore (39-11) was eliminated by Barkley in the first consolation round.

Ragatzki (33-17) pinned Decatur’s David Helmuth (36-17) in 2:15 in the first consolation round of the 119-pound bracket before dropping a 4-1 decision to St. Louis’ Konnor Holton (37-10) in the second consolation round. At 125 pounds, Elliott VanDreumel (36-13) lost 11-2 by major decision to Reading’s Tyler Britton (42-7) in the opening consolation round while Nixon (45-3) won a 1-0 decision over New Lothrop’s Aaron Bauman (50-6) in the 145-pound quarterfinals before falling 6-5 in sudden death to Hudson’s JD Waters (48-10) in the semifinals.

Gross (27-18) was pinned in 4:57 by Constantine’s Daniel Waterman (43-9) in the 165-pound first consolation round while McCurry (31-13) won a 11-7 decision against Dansville’s Jacob Stid (22-11) in the 189-pound bracket before dropping a 5-1 decision to Decatur’s Cole Southworth (40-11) in the second consolation round.

Garcia (22-13) dropped an 8-5 decision to Decatur’s Austin Glynn (26-10) in the first consolation round of the 215-pound bracket while  Morrison (31-9) was pinned in 2:54 by Hillsdale’s Nate Boardman (40-1) in the 285-pound quarterfinals before dropping a 4-2 decision to Decatur’s Logan Kennedy (38-4) in the second consolation round.

Herald Review sports editor Greg Buckner contributed to this report.