The Saline wrestling team picked up two wins in SEC action Wednesday night.
The Hornets swept Pioneer, 84-0, and then earned another victory over a fuller Pinckney team, 66-12.
Pioneer, with holes throughout the lineup, stood no chance to the 39-strong Saline team. The Hornets won a majority of the matches by void. But when there was an opponent, the Saline grapplers made short work of them.
At 119, Ethan Malinczak won by pin in the first period. At 130, Dylan Hughes led 3-2 after the first period and then won by pin in the second round period. At 135, Noah Frush won by pin in the first round. At 152, Harrison Hill pinned his opponent 11 seconds into the first period.
While the Pinckney Pirates had wrestlers for most of the bouts, they didn’t fare much better.
At 112, Brett Marvin won by pin in the first period. At 119, Ethan Malinczak also won by first period pin. At 130, Dylan Hughes won by pin in the first period. At 140, Luke Hoyt build a 4-0 lead in the first period and watched his opponent cut that lead to 6-5 after two periods. But Hoyt won by pin in the third period. At 145, Elliot Hill won by pin in the first period. CJ K16raft won his bout at 160 with a first period pin. Cade Gilles, at 189, also won by pin in the first period. At 215, Nick Sabin built a 9-1 lead in the first period and then won by pin in the second period.
Coach Chad O’Brien said the Hornets are off to a solid start.
Freshman Brett Thornell is off to a 6-0 start. Seniors Elliot and Harrison Hill, at 145 and 152, are also wrestling well.
“Our seniors are doing what seniors should do. Both Hill brothers are undefeated right now,” O’Brien said.
Juniors Cade Gilles (171) and CJ Kraft (160) are also key contributors and leaders who are performing.
Saline is 5-1.
Saline’s depth is paying dividends, O’Brien said.
“When you have 40 kids on your roster, you get a lot of work in practice. And I get a lot of kids in, and get some of the matchups we want. (The depth) is a huge advantage,” O’Brien said.
Saline’s wrestling team has won eight straight district titles. The team has other goals in mind.
The Hornets beat Bedford in dual meet last year but couldn’t complete the job at the SEC meet. This year, the Hornets want to take the SEC Red. In addition, Saline would like to go deeper in the state tournament this year.
“We’ve got to stay healthy. Our seniors have to do what seniors need to do. Our big guns have to score points for us. And the kids who maybe aren’t going to win have to minimize the damage – they can’t get pinned, give up three points instead of six,” O’Brien said.