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Postseason Roundup: Huskies fall in wrestling state semis; TC Christian sends 7 bowlers to states; Trojans' hockey advances to D2 regional finals

Feb. 24—KALAMAZOO — The competition ended a bit too soon for the Benzie Central Huskies at the Division 4 state championships on Saturday.

The Huskies, who came in ranked third in the D3, took on the second-ranked St. Louis Sharks in the team state semifinals. Benzie had plenty of momentum after picking up a convincing 59-13 victory over Iron Mountain in the quarters Friday, but that all went away as the Huskies dropped their first four matches Saturday and were fighting from behind the rest of the way in a 37-22 loss to St. Louis.

The draw to set the day's matches went to the 113-pound weight class to start the semis, giving St. Louis — which has a strong lower part of their lineup — an early advantage.

"We went loss, loss, loss, loss," Benzie head coach Josh Lovendusky said. "And then the kids started getting into their heads. If it starts at a different weight, I think it's a different story — but it's tough to come off those four losses. It's like, 'What do I do?'"

Lovendusky said that early hole led to some of the wrestlers getting out of their good habits and trying to do more than they needed.

"The concept was to just keep on track and do your job," he said. "We needed to weather the storm because we knew this was coming, but they were trying so hard to get extra points that they didn't wrestle how they needed to wrestle. That's what hurt us. We wanted to trust the process, but things backfired when we needed them to go the other way."

Despite the loss in the semifinals, the Huskies still made program history by becoming the first pack of Huskies to reach the second day of the state championships.

"We knew we were going to make the second day," Lovendusky said. "St. Louis kept everything super close, even the matches we won."

Picking up wins on the day for the Huskies were Joe Morse at 138 pounds, Owen Cruden at 150, Tyrone Brouillet at 165, Conner Wenkel at 175, Michael Pfeiffer at 190 and Ryan Kincaid at 285.

"It's always tough to watch the finals knowing where we could have been," Lovendusky said. "Being there is what our goal was, and we came up short today."

There is some consolation for the Huskies, however. Their season isn't over as they will send a baker's dozen plus one to the individual state championships this coming Friday and Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit.

Benzie Central's lone girls representative, Cambrie Lawrence, ran through her competition at 130 pounds in last Sunday's regional meet at Cadillac to win a regional title and earn a finals appearance.

She will be joined by 13 Benzie boys wrestlers — Tyrone Brouillet, Conner Wenkel, Jacob Gillison, Joe Morse, Lane Sanchez, Ryan Kincaid, Dayne Gillison, Ben ReDidder, Nathan Higgins, Owen Cruden, Dalton Geetings, Michael Pfeiffer and Danny Wallington — in the Motor City.

Lovendusky and his coaching staff along with the wrestlers have been building the wrestling program at Benzie to the point where it is now, and they hope to continue that. But Lovendusky said the numbers are smaller at the middle-school level than they would like, and that coupled with just three freshmen coming out for the team this season has the head coach working to increase interest.

"When you start expecting excellence and kids to do well, some kids are afraid of that," he said. "Our numbers aren't what they could be. ... I hope that it's just a little fad and that we can get — not only for my sport but all of the sports — kids to come out and try something that pushes them."

After the semifinal loss, Lovendusky took time to thank the community for their support throughout the 2023-24 season.

"I just appreciate everything they've done for us. My coaching staff was amazing, and the community involvement has been amazing," he said. "I'm proud to be a part of a family like that."

BOWLING REGIONALS

Sabres win individual championships

TRAVERSE CITY — What a Saturday evening it was for the Traverse City Christian boys and girls varsity bowling teams.

Sabres junior Ethan Ehlert won with a 1,279 series in the Division 4 boys regional, and senior Gwen Oliver finished with a 1,079 series to place first in the girls regional at Lucky Jack's.

TC Christian will have five additional bowlers in Muskegon for the D4 state finals.

For the boys, Sabres seniors Tristian Lhamon and Luke Rasmussen also qualified for states. Lhamon bowled a 1,114 to place fifth, and Rasmussen placed seventh after a 1,115 series.

Senior Rebekah Burch finished second in the girls regional with a 1,047, senior Kacy Palmer placed fourth with a 1,023 series, and Naomi Elenbaas placed fifth after bowling a 924.

Benzie Central junior Tyler Brooks qualified for states after placing second in the boys regional with a 1,189 series.

Sabres freshman Josh Milward missed the cut after rolling a 1,091 to place eighth in the boys regional. Benzie Centrals' junior Jeremiah Wilkinson placed ninth after bowling 1,080, and Glen Lake sophomore Tanner Crick finished in 10th place with 1,062.

Other area bowlers in the top 20 in the boys regional were TC Christian sophomore Zack Wheat (11th), Benzie Central junior Logan Hewitt (12th), Glen Lake sophomore Isaac Holloway (16th), Bellaire senior Nik Shumaker (18th), and TC Christian freshmen Jacob Furtah (20th).

Mancelona freshman Hailey Kauffman finished 16th in the girls regional. Other top 35 finishes were TC Christian senior Eden Boeve (22nd), Bellaire freshman Chloe Roseman (31st), and Mancelona senior RaeAnne Gregware (35th).

The D4 state finals are March 1-2 at Northway Lanes in Muskegon.

Boyne City's Piechan qualifies for state

CHEBOYGAN — Boyne City junior Zachary Piechan edged out Grayling senior Mitchel Harrington by just four pins for the seventh spot to qualify for the Division 3 boys state finals at Spare Times Lanes in Cheboygan.

Piechan rounded out with a 1,116 after six games, and Harrington finished with 1,112 to place eighth. Harrington's teammate, senior Bryce Malcom, placed ninth with 1,119.

Other area bowlers in the boys top 20 were Elk Rapids sophomore Cohen Reinhardt (17th), Grayling junior Thomas Helsel (18th), and Boyne City junior Jonathan Shepherd (20th).

Boyne City junior Victoria McGeorge placed 12th in the girls regional, with her teammate Lauren LaBute placing 14th. Grayling senior Makynna Holmes placed 20th with an 896.

The D3 state finals are March 1-2 at Jax 60 in Jackson.

Petoskey's Hendrick headed to state finals

GAYLORD — The Petoskey boys varsity bowling team is sending James Hendricks to the Division 2 state finals after placing seventh at Gaylord Bowling Center on Saturday. Hendricks bowled a 1,153 through six games.

Other area bowlers in the top 30 are Gaylord freshmen Isaiah Favel (14th), Gaylord senior Kyle Wilde (17th), Gaylord sophomore Braden Irland (25th), and Gaylord sophomore Calvin White (T-28th).

Gaylord junior Sarah Oldenburg placed 18th in the girls regional with a 911.

The D2 finals are March 1-2 at Century Bowl in Waterford on Saturday.

HOCKEY REGIONALS

Central advances to D2 regional championship

MIDLAND — The Trojans just scored another goal.

Traverse City Central breezed past Mid-Michigan on Saturday to win 9-1 to advance to the Division 2 regional championship for the first time since 2021. The Trojans return to Midland Civic Arena on Monday to take on Midland.

"We overcame a slow start in the first period," Central head coach Chris Givens said. "Found our legs in the second and played much better from there out."

Traverse City Central: Drew Zrimec 2 goals; Arthur McManus 1 goal, 1 assist; Graham Peters 1 goal; Zander Lorincz 1 goal, 2 assists; Collin Benedict 1 goal, 1 assist; Zack Troyer 1 goal; Laiken Batcha 1 goal, 3 assists; Matthew McKinney 1 assist; Devin Garner 2 assists; Cole Herzberg 2 assists.