Photos courtesy of Jen Tate and Hart wrestling
It’s not about the destination, but the journey. Hart’s wrestling team can take solace in that sentiment.
Hart advanced to the team state finals at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo for the fourth straight season, but the Pirates ran into a juggernaut Dundee program and fell in the Division 3 quarterfinals, 64-15, on Friday.
Hart, the eighth seed, finishes the season with a 31-6 record. The Pirates captured West Michigan Conference Rivers Division, district and regional titles.
Top-seeded and five-time defending state champion Dundee (17-2) advances to Saturday’s noon state semifinals against fifth-seeded Constantine (27-3), which got past fourth-seeded Clinton via forfeit. Clinton sent an ineligible (wrong weight class) wrestler to check-in, resulting in an automatic disqualification for the team.
Third-seeded Whitehall, a 48-24 winner over sixth-seeded Gladstone in the quarterfinals, will face second-seeded Algonac in the other semifinal Saturday. The state finals match is set for 3:45 p.m. Saturday.
Against Dundee, which has won eight of the last 10 Division 3 state championships, Hart fell behind 52-0 before winning three straight individual matches. Adrian Tice (190 pounds), Adrian Lara (215) and Ivan Lara (285) all notched wins for the Pirates.
The season is not over yet for several Hart wrestlers. Six of them have qualified for the individual state finals March 3-4 at Ford Field in Detroit.
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