The Lisle wrestling team knows the postseason looms.
Going into Thursday night's Interstate Eight Conference competition against Manteno and Herscher, the league meet was just nine days away.
The Lions wanted a good showing as they continue to fine-tune their skills going into the most important time of the season and for the most part accomplished that goal. Lisle beat Manteno 49-24 and battled Herscher, ranked No. 6 in a Class 1A poll, well before falling 48-30.
"There's room for improvement. Conference is going to be tough and we are going to have to come ready to wrestle and make sure we can fill a good lineup," said Lisle coach John Davis. "We wrestled good in some matches against two tough teams. We just need to keep on improving."
Five Lisle wrestlers won both of their matches on Thursday night starting with A.J. Pascente at 113 pounds and followed by Ryan Kilroy (138 pounds), Ben Buchelt (145), Brian Czyl (152, 160) and Tyler Schech (195).
Pascente, ranked No. 6 at 113 in a Class 1A poll, spent just 4:59 wrestling his two opponents. He pinned his Manteno opponent in 1:46 and Herscher counterpart in 3:13.
"I feel great. There's not much I can't do, and I just take every match as it comes along," he said.
Another senior, Kilroy, was on the medals stand last season in Champaign, finishing fourth at 120, and has set his sights on bigger things.
He won by major decision against Manteno and by fall in 4:10 against Herscher.
"Tonight I was a little sloppy," Kilroy said. "As a team, we're coming together and really picking things up in the practice room. We just need to keep working hard. Herscher continues to get better, but hopefully we can beat them in conference."
The Lions won seven of the first nine matches against Manteno and were never seriously threatened.
Herscher led 18-6, but Lisle won the next three matches to take a 24-18 lead thanks to Kilroy's and Buchelt's falls and Czyl's forfeit win.
The Tigers closed out the match with five of the next six victories.
Lisle gets a chance at a big tuneup with its own invitational Saturday. Teams that will compete include Westmont, Walther Lutheran, Riverside-Brookfield, Evergreen Park, Joliet Catholic Academy, Aurora Central Catholic and Lake Forest.