Cary-Grove pins its way past Huntley
Cary-Grove's wrestling team silenced visiting Huntley Thursday night with its firepower.
The Trojans (6-2) went on a pin frenzy under the spotlight before a big home crowd, recording 8 falls in 14 bouts, including the first three of the night to roll over the Red Raiders 50-15 in a Fox Valley Conference dual in Cary.
Jeramey Dermont (285), John Cullen (106) and Michael Cullen (113) needed just under 4 minutes to pin their opponents, before Logan Hanselmann rebounded from a late 5-1 deficit to pin Ricky Vigil at 5:21 to send the Red Raiders into a free fall from which they would never recover.
"We knew coming in that Cary-Grove was good but they are darned good and just might be the favorite to win it all in our conference, and later at the regionals," said Huntley head coach B.J. Bertelsman, who for the first time during his tenure missed training due to a weeklong bout with the flu.
"I am sure it didn't help the guys that I was out for two days, and although I don't want to take anything away from Cary-Grove I know we're not as bad as we looked tonight, and I know better things are ahead for us, that's for sure."
The build up to this match was fueled by an impressive 35-31 recent victory by the Red Raiders over perennial FVC power Crystal Lake South, but the momentum the visitors brought with them into the Trojans' cozy surroundings quickly disappeared by a 24-0 opening run, which soon became a 42-9 advantage following Garrett Glueck's pin in 1 minute at 152 pounds.
"This team has placed a lot of expectations on themselves, and their work rate and focus on reaching individual and team goals continues to impress me," said Cary-Grove coach Ryan Ludwig. "And aside from all of that, this is just a great group of kids to be around and to coach, and I look forward to watching their progress from here on out."
The second-year coach was especially proud of the aforementioned Hanselmann, who despite struggling out of the blocks against Vigil, stayed composed and unnerved as he slowly got himself back within striking distance at 5-2, before a takedown at the edge led to the junior turning Vigil onto his back where he would finish off his talented counterpart.
"Logan has wrestled just three years, but he missed last season to an injury," Ludwig said. "He's like a sponge, just soaking up everything we can throw at him, and he's really come a long way pretty fast."
The 120-pounders effort was just as impressive as the one delivered by sophomore Michael Cullen, who methodically carved up his opponent on his way to a fall at 1:42 to keep the state No. 3 rated 113-pounder undefeated thus far.
Brandon Meyer (11-1, 126) and sophomore Chris Gamboa (132) both were given high marks by Bertelsman afterward as they helped keep the visitors stay within striking distance with a fall and 10-4 decision to make it 24-9 — but that was as close as it would get.
Mike Underwood, Gabe Aguirre and Glueck would make quick work of things, each by a fall, and after Austin Schofiield of Huntley defeated Matt Hughes (7-5) at 160, the Trojans would quickly pick up where they left off with Patrick O'Malley dominating at 182 on his way to a tech-fall at 6 minutes, after teammate Emerson Kersten would grind out a 5-0 win over Mike Walker.
"We've worked so much on how to react to certain situations, and what to do when they occur, that for me, in my match, I stayed with what I wanted to do, then just took advantage of an opportunity when it was there," said Underwood.
"This is an exciting team to be a part of, especially in my last year and I really feel like all of us are capable of doing some very good things before the year is over."
Brandon Mabry would run his overall record to 10-1 on the season after a hard-fought 13-6 decision over Greer Bozeman at 195 pounds for the Red Raiders, but Nick Huff (220) would put the icing on the cake for the hosts with its 8th and final pin of the night at 3:29.
"Obviously, we're going to have a very good chance to win a lot of duals if we can get ourselves 6-7-8 pins like we did tonight, so I am very proud of the effort of the guys. But we've got a tough quad coming up on Saturday with Barrington, Deerfield and Libertyville, so we'll kind of see where we're at after that," offered Ludwig.
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