As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
And after starting off the wrestling season with a perfect 5-0 record, host Grant finally met its match Saturday afternoon against state-ranked Barrington.
The Bulldogs (5-1) started off their own triple-dual meet by posting a lopsided 54-9 nonconference victory over Waukegan before adding an impressive 46-11 win over fellow North Suburban Conference foe Stevenson in the second round.
Then came the main event as Grant met Barrington (8-1) in the final round.
Starting at 120 pounds, the Broncos built a comforable 23-3 advantage after eight bouts before easily holding off a late Bulldogs' rally to capture a 32-15 victory and post a 3-0 record on the day.
Barrington beat Stevenson (4-2) 54-18 in the opening round before pummeling Waukegan 65-9 in the second round. The Patriots built a 46-0 lead over Waukegan after nine matches before toppling them by a 61-9 score to end their day.
The Broncos had six wrestlers go 3-0 overall Saturday, including Austin Mazzenga at 113, Miguel Camarena at 120, Matt Conrad (13-2) at 126, 2012 state qualifier Kevin Conrad at 132, Jack Bornhofen at 220, and 2012 state qualifier Ben Calamari at 285.
Barrington 2012 all-stater Coord Wiseman (11-2) went 2-1 as he dropped a tough 3-1 decision to Stevenson 2012 state qualifier Justin Weber (11-1).
In another high-profile bout, Grant 2012 state qualifier Tony Cashmore (8-0) captured a 3-1 decision over Barrington's Mark Shealy (10-2) at 182.
"We lost all of the close matches (against Barrington) except 182 and we've got a lot of things to work on," said Grant coach Ryan Geist, whose team went 3-1 this weekend. "When you get called out like Barrington called us out on some of our mistakes, this was a good meet for our kids to learn from so hopefully they will listen to us more now."
Calamari outlasted Grant 2012 state qualifier Dan Haeffele 1-0 in their 285-pound bout while the Broncos also got wins from John Blanke (145), Travis Cysewski (160), and Colin Thomson (170) against the Bulldogs.
"Today they did very well against Grant and they really pulled together and wrestled solid," said Barrington coach Ken Hoving. "We kept it close, we wrestled solid, and against a team like Grant you have to minimize your mistakes."
Grant held out many wrestlers against Waukegan, but Cashmore, Nick Koch (106), Mike Kouvelis (138), and Jared Lalanda (8-2 at 195) all went 2-0 on the day.
Despite Stevenson's young squad struggling for the better part of the triple-dual, Weber, 160-pounder Ryan Mass, and 170-pounder Ian Burns all posted 3-0 records Saturday.
Weber was very happy with his narrow win over long-time rival Wiseman, who he had not faced since the seventh grade. Wiseman placed sixth in the state last winter.
"I was looking for the "W" (against Wiseman) and in the whole third period I just rode him out," said Weber, whose only loss was at the Barrington tournament last weekend. "Losing to the Plainfield kid at Barrington was a minor speed bump and now I'm just moving forward and today was a big confidence booster as well."
Stevenson coach Shane Cook is practicing patience as he watches his relatively young squad go through some growing pains against the tough competition.
"When you wrestle teams like Barrington and Grant you just know that the competition is going to be fierce," Cook said. "We have a young team with only four seniors in our lineup. But when you wrestle good teams like this you realize the areas you need to improve in very quickly