By JAMIE BAKER
BASCOM — Carey went out on top.
The Blue Devils has a near-perfect finals performance to top host Hopewell-Loudon for the team championship in the 29th and final Midland Athletic League wrestling tournament.
The Blue Devils were a perfect 5-0 in championship matches and 10-3 overall in finals bouts to turn a 136½-132½ pre-finals deficit into a 185-169½ margin of victory over the runner-up Chieftains.
“We’ve told them all year long this is the last year for the league and we wanted to go out winners,” said Carey coach Ryan Pratt, who was named the MAL’s Coach of the Year.
“We told them before the finals, ‘Don’t quit, wrestle hard, stay focused and remember Carey pride.” This is four-in-a-row and there is no more,” he added with a smile.
A pair of seniors came up big in the finals for the Blue Devils as Deryk Sammet and Zack Sauber turned in key championship performances.
Sammet had little problem pinning top-seeded John Brodman of Tiffin Calvert in 1:19 at 120 pounds, reversing a 15-point loss to Brodman in last week’s LCC Invitational.
Sauber doubled up Fremont St. Joseph’s Bobby Mancha 10-5 for the 220-pound crown.
Jevyn Pratt (106), Zach Brodman (145) and Jon Racheter (195) also won individual titles to help Carey claim its fourth straight MAL crown.
Brodman and Hopewell-Loudon’s Damion Vitt shared the tournament’s outstanding wrestler award.
Brodman stopped Fremont St. Joseph’s Sean Vasquez 2-1 in the finals while Vitt rolled to an 8-0 win over Mohawk’s Kevin Lonsway in the 152-pound title match.
Fremont St. Joseph 285-pounder Corey Durbin won the MAL’s career wrestling award.
The host Chieftains, meanwhile, got after it in front of the home crowd in the early rounds as eight Hopewell-Loudon wrestlers reached the championship match in their respective weight classes.
But Hopewell-Loudon, which was trying to win its first MAL team championship, had to settle for second after winning 5 of 11 finals bouts.
Alex Brock (138) and Vitt claimed league titles for the second straight year while Chet Swartzmiller (113) also claimed the second MAL crown of his career.
Zach Clouse added a title in the 170-pound weight class for the Chieftains.
A young Mohawk team also put together a solid performance as the Warriors were third for the second straight year.
The Warriors will join Carey and Seneca East in the Northern 10 Conference next season and the future appears bright as Mohawk freshman Chet Margraf (126) and Cole Draper (182) both won their weight classes.
Fostoria St. Wendelin’s Cole Williams became St. Wendelin’s first three-time MAL champ and their final league wrestling champion when he pinned Hopewell-Loudon’s Vollie Brock in the 132-pound final.
“I really wanted to win and prove to myself and everyone else that I’m still a champion,” Williams said.
“I was so happy, as soon as the referee slapped the mat, I couldn’t stop smiling because I wanted to finish the MAL as a champion.”
1, Carey 185. 2, Hopewell-Loudon 169½. 3, Mohawk 110. 4, Lakota 87½. 5, Fostoria St. Wendelin 60½. 6, Fremont St. Joseph 52½. 7, North Baltimore 46. 8, Seneca East 27½. 9, Tiffin Calvert 16½.
103 — J. Pratt (C) pinned DeHaven (FSW), 2:38.
113 — Swartzmiller (H-L) maj. dec. Beckford (L), 13-2.
120 — Sammet (C) pinned Brodman (TC), 1:19.
126 — Margraf (M) maj. dec. Young (H-L), 12-3.
132 — Williams (FSW) pinned V. Brock (H-L), 1:37.
138 — A. Brock (H-L) dec. Hoepf (SE), 7-1.
145 — Brodman (C) dec Vasquez (FSJ), 2-1.
152 — Vitt (H-L) maj. dec. Lonsway (M), 8-0.
160 — Jaso (L) dec. Steinhauser (H-L), 7-3.
170 — Clouse (H-L) dec. Fagen (NB), 12-3.
182 — Draper (M) dec. Myers (H-L), 9-4.
195 — Racheter (C) pinned Sowers (M), 4:38.
220 — Sauber (C) dec. Mancha (FSJ), 10-5
285 — Durbin (FSJ) pinned Mullins (M), 4:25.
113 — Daniel (M) dec. Kincade (C), 6-4.
120 — Hammond (H-L) dec. Kroeger (L), 4-3.
126 — Tolento (L) dec. Leaky (SE), 9-4.
132 — Dyer (C) pinned Biddle (Lak), 1:44.
138 — D. Pratt (C) pinned Tiell (L),:58
145 — Kern (L) pinned Muniz (H-L), :53.
152 — Jaso (L) pinned Ferguson (C), :28.
160 — Rehus (C) dec. Hammond (M), 13-12.
170 — Colburn (FSW) pinned Stombaugh (C), 3:54.
182 — Bra. Mullholand (C) pinned Park (FSW), 2:05.
195 — Meggitt (NB) pinned Bustillos (H-L), 2:31.
220 — Bankey (NB) pinned Carver (L), 2:36.
285 — O’Flaherty (C) pinned Andrus (NB), 1:22.
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By JAMIE BAKER