ISHPEMING - Going into Thursday night's MHSAA Division 4 District 3 prep wrestling championship match, Dan Carlson was a little concerned.
"We were sick all week, so coming into this, I didn't know what to expect," the Westwood High School head coach said.
He needn't have worried.
Vince Carlson of Westwood puts Ishpeming’s Matt Maki on his head during their 125-pound bout Thursday night in the MHSAA Division 3 district tournament at WHS. Carlson wound up with a pin at 5:59. (Journal photo by Craig Remsburg)
Picking up six pins, host WHS beat Ishpeming 52-27 to advance to regional team competition at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Manistique against St. Ignace.
In the semifinal matches, Westwood beat Munising 60-21, while Ishpeming toppled Gwinn, 48-25.
"We wrestled well," Carlson said after the Pats claimed their first district win since 2003. "For the kids to come out and wrestle as well as they did, it's tremendous."
St. Ignace wins district team title in Newberry
NEWBERRY - Neither Manistique or host Newberry could keep the St. Ignace High School wrestling team from taking a district team title.
The Saints knocked off Rudyard, 64-13, Wednesday night before overcoming Manistique, 66-15, in the District 199 championship match.
Manistique had made it to the finals by beating Newberry, 51-12.
St, Ignace will next travel to Manistique at 6 p.m. Wednesday to take on the winner of the Westwood district.
The Patriots opened with pins by Cameron Lawry at 215 pounds and David Lancour at 285 to take a 12-0 lead.
After Emily Myers picked up a pin at 103 for Ishpeming, the Patriots won the next four bouts - including pins by Shawn McIntyre (119), Vince Carlson (125) and Trevor Swanson (130) - to go up 36-6.
"I'm a little disappointed," Hematites head coach Tim Hares said. "A couple of my kids learned a big life lesson when they didn't make weight at 112 and 119."
Hares then had to juggle his lineup.
"We couldn't match up with Swanson and that was the turning point," Hares said.
But the young Hematites didn't quit. IHS ran off four straight wins, including pins by Dylan Giuchin (135), Jonathon Willey (140) and Jordan Tousignant (145), to get back to within 36-27.
Carlson said he wasn't worried at that point.
"I knew I had some good wrestlers coming up," he said.
Derek Wing (160) recorded a pin and Westwood teammate Francois Montbrun won 13-2 over Cody Johnson to give the Patriots some breathing room and the eventual win.
"I've been out most of the year (with injuries) and not in condition, but I fought through it tonight," Wing said. "I just countered (Johnson's) moves.
"It feels pretty good (to be a district champion). We worked hard all year and it's good to achieve this accomplishment. We were told beforehand to leave everything on the mat."
Willey came up with a fall for Ishpeming.
In Munising's match with the Patriots, Henry Cobb recorded a pin for the Mustangs.
"We only have five wrestlers, so we had no chance to beat Westwood," Mustangs coach Bob Miles said.
Cooper Guidebeck pinned a Munising opponent for Westwood.
Gwinn experienced the same problem as Munising in its match against Ishpeming.
"We only had five kids wrestle, though four of them posted pins," Modeltowners coach Dustin Luoma said.
CJ Redfern, Alex Anderson, Brittany Dunklee and Alex Redlon recorded falls for the Modeltowners.
Willey pinned a Gwinn opponent for Ishpeming.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.