The Bucs fell to the Bulldogs, 48-21. Grand Haven managed to take four victories over the course of the night, two by pinfall and two by minor decision.
After a celebration of appreciation for both parents and athletes alike, the match began with a Grand Haven smackdown.
Cody Miller at 112 pounds and Caleb Braley at 119 kicked off the fights with pinfalls, putting the Bucs up 12-0.
Grandville responded with a pin of Trevor Rademaker at 125 pounds, before Daniel Guillen took the mat.
Guillen had quietly battled his way to a 27-1 record before the final regular season match with Grandville. On Wednesday, he made it 28-1, with a nail-biting 10-9 decision at 130 pounds.
“He is quietly having a darn good season,” said Grand Haven head coach Vince Gervais. “He has gone wherever I’ve asked him to. He’s wrestled 130, 135 and 140 (pounds). He basically does whatever is best for the team.”
The win by Guillen staved Grandville off for a moment, but their climb back into the lead proved inevitable. The Bulldogs ripped off a technical fall, two pins, a major decision, and three pins, in that order to devastate the middle of the Buccaneer lineup.
Drake Morley hit the mat for the 215-pound bout determined to right the ship. He took a gritty 5-2 decision after a scoreless first period. Morley took the only point awarded in the second before rising to victory in the final frame.
“He wrestled a smart match,” Gervais said of Morely. “He has been dinged up with his elbow and ankle and is finally starting to feel better. He beat a really good kid tonight.
“If anything, that will give him confidence for the postseason.”
Collin Monsma followed suit in the heavyweight match, taking down his opponent by a nose in another close match, 4-3.
After taking the first period, 2-0, and holding his lead, 3-1, through the second period, Monsma’s challenger flipped the switch, tying the bout in the third before relinquishing the win.
Coach Gervais hopes the loss serves as motivation for the impending postseason, and believes his team is ready to take on the rest of the state.
“Just small little things,” he said. “They have been doing the rights things all year. I try and focus on the things they do well and a couple small things they might have to do better. In terms of teaching and all that, they are peaking at the right time.”
The Bucs will travel to Grandville on Friday to take on the rest of the O-K Red in the conference championship tournament.
“It is an opportunity to see Grandville again, we weren’t too pleased with the result here,” Gervais said of the conference tournament. “We have an opportunity in a day and a half to right some of the wrongs from today.
“Obviously we want to place as high as possible, but again, the O-K Red is tough, so top three or top two is always the goal. We will gave to go and earn that, no one is going to give it to us.”
After the O-K Red is decided, the Bucs will look to capture their fourth-straight district title in order to proceed to the team regional championship match, likely against Grandville.
“We are getting a lot of Grandville over the next few weeks,” Gervais said. “We are collectively a young team, as the season has gone on my younger guys are continuing to improve and my older guys are peaking at the right time, so I’m really excited about the postseason, they have been working their tails off.
“This is what we work for. We work for February and we work for March.”