ELSIE — First-place bragging rights in the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference were on the line, and New Lothrop claimed them with a come-from-behind victory over Montrose.
The Rams, ranked No., 6 in Division 3, took a commanding 27-9 lead but New Lothrop, ranked No. 2 in Division 4, won the final five bouts, scoring 23 consecutive points, to capture a dramatic 38-33 neutral gym victory.
Daven Lockwood put the Hornets up, 35-33, with a 15-0 technical fall win over 112-pound foe Thor Robbins..
Then at 119, New Lothrop sophomore Leo Bauman faced Jacob Brandt. Bauman took a 2-0 lead in the first 30 seconds of the bout before Brandt tied it at 2-apiece. Bauman got an escape as the third period began and held on to that 3-2 advantage as the clock ran out.
Bauman, now 7-12, was lifted high by jubilant teammates as they celebrated a key victory in the MMAC.
“I felt a lot of pressure but I knew I had to get the win for the team and I was out there, just trying to grind out a win and not lose. I was definitely getting gassed. It was a tough match,” he said.
New Lothrop, which earlier in the season edged Durand by three points, improved to 3-0 in the MMAC and 9-2 overall. The Hornets began the night with a 63-15 win over host Ovid-Elsie.
New Lothrop coach Jeff Campbell said Bauman, like so many others on the team, has put in the work in the practice room, and it paid off Wednesday.
“Leo Bauman is the kind of kid you root for,” Campbell said. “He never complains and he just comes up every single day and works his butt off. If you were to wrestle Leo five years ago to three years ago, to last year to now. I don’t know if he sees it but I see it, the growth and how much better is really special and that’s a lot of pressure.
“We’ve taken out two really big ones,” Campbell added. “I just told my team I’m so proud of them. Because for this to happen, a lot of guys dropped an extra weight. They made huge sacrifices and kind of put their individual wants on the side to make our lineup stronger.”
Montrose, now 2-1 in the MMAC, opened the night with a victory over LakeVille.
“Really the marquee match of the night came at heavyweight,” Montrose coach Jason Perrin said. “It was two kids ranked No. 1 in their divisions.”
The dual began at 125 pounds and Montrose’s Hunter Coxon topped Caleb Sharpe on a 56-second pin. The Rams quickly went up 18-0 as Aidan Bernard pinned Olvia Gilbert in eight seconds and Blake Greenman pinned Parker Noonan in 3:09.
New Lothrop then got on the board with Evan Keelean’s unopposed win at 140 and it was 18-6.
With five bouts remaining, New Lothrop was down by 18 points. Grayson Orr’s 30-second pin at 215 brought the Hornets to within 27-16.
Then unbeaten and defending state champion Isiah Pasik faced heavyweight foe Levi Harber for the second time in four days. Pasik (19-0) who handed Harber his first loss in 21 matches this season 3-1 in the championship match at the New Lothrop Hall of Fame Tournament, edged Harber this time 2-1 and brought New Lothrop within 27-19. The match had been scoreless through two periods before Pasik took a 2-0 lead and held on in the final minute.
“I should have gotten a pin. We needed a pin,” Pasik said.
The Hornets did in the next bout as 103-pounder Blake Wendling pinned the Rams Hunter Sitko in 1:03.
Setting the stage for Bauman’s dramatics was Lockwood.
“The coaches were telling me I’ve got to go out there and win so Leo could go out there and win,” Lockwood said. “What was going through my mind was to get bonus points and so I made it easier on Leo.”
Lockwood normally wrestles at 119, Campbell said.
“He took on the No. 1 ranked kid from Ovid-Elsie (Talan Parsons) tonight and lost to him 1-0,” Campbell said. “Then he beat a kid from Montrose who I think is ranked pretty high in Division 3 and teched him.”
New Lothrop’s victory over Ovid-Elsie was highlighted by pins from Sharpe, Dalton Birchmeier (130), Joe Torres (189), Orr and Pasik.
Ovid-Elsie sophomore Talan Parsons, now 24-1, edged Lockwood 1-0 with an escape with 1:33 left in the second period.
“I wrestled very safe that match,” Parsons said. “I studied him a little bit. He was 119. I didn’t want to go out and just atttack him and try and outmuscle him. Because I knew I couldn’t. So I went out and tried to use my speed. I didn’t get to the legs until the end of the third period.”
The Marauders, who gave up five weight classes to voids, now stand 0-3 in the MMAC and 1-6 overall. Ovid-Elsie honored its seniors after the New Lothrop match and then lost to LakeVille, 63-16.
Against LakeVille, the Marauders received pins from Max Spiess (135 pounds), who downed Brett Raible in 47 seconds; and Parsons, who pinned Jordan Shapter in 12 seconds at 112.