Glenbard West back on track
Saturday's wrestling quad at Wheaton Warrenville South proved to be just the remedy for what was bothering both the host Tigers and Glenbard West the previous night.
After a Friday night that saw each school drop conference duals, the Tigers and Hilltoppers each defeated both Lake Park and Fenton Saturday morning to start off the quad 2-0 and set up a showdown to see who would be king for the day. Glenbard West, with a solid lineup top to bottom, then prevailed 43-20 in the day's final meet to finish 3-0 and improve to 19-5 on the season.
"Absolutely, this has been a positive weekend and it's been a great year," said Hilltoppers coach Nick Posegay, whose team dropped a West Suburban Silver dual with state power Oak Park on Friday. "It's a tough conference and we're in a battle every week. It's nice to come out on the weekend here and get a sweep. That feels good."
The Hilltoppers were again paced by CJ Sojka (120 pounds) and Zak Hassan (126), a pair of wrestlers closing in on 30 wins this winter after going 3-0 Saturday. But Posegay also was impressed with how 132-pounder Pernevlon Sheppard and 220-pounder Bernie Gallegos performed. Sheppard defeated the Tigers' Qarin Johnnic 11-2 to finish 3-0, and Gallegos capped his perfect day with a first-period pin against Wheaton Warrenville South.
"It's a lot of wrestling and hard on the body, but you've got to keep going, keep working," said Gallegos, who also won Friday and is 14-10 on the year. "Today everyone did their part and it was a good team effort."
The Hilltoppers opened the meet with a 61-9 defeat of Lake Park and followed that with a 57-12 win over Fenton. Wheaton Warrenville South, meanwhile, knocked off Fenton 49-18 and Lake Park 45-27 despite having suffering a few forfeits caused by holes in the lineup.
"The kids wrestled tough and just got after it," Tigers coach Matt Janocek said one day after his team wasn't at its best in Friday's DuPage Valley Conference loss to Glenbard East. "They're working hard, getting more in shape and getting ready to start peaking the next few weeks."
Four Tigers went 3-0 on the day, including 138-pounder Ramond King, who won by fall against Lake Park's Albert Hogan and had a major decision over Fenton's Andy Santana to improve to 24-5 on the season. Freshman Adam Schultz (170), heavyweight Joe Kirsch and Camden Johnnic (145/152) also went 3-0 in the meet.
"The season's coming to an end and I still have to do a lot of training," said King, who lost a tough bout Friday against Glenbard East but rebounded well Saturday. "I'm just going out there and trying to have fun and give it my all."
A short-handed Fenton squad hopes to get back a couple key wrestlers for the stretch run, but 106-pounder Brandon Exconde came up big for the Bison. Exconde went 3-0 on the day, including an impressive win against the Hilltoppers' Troy Frazier.
Lake Park's Braden Wilkiel recorded a pin at 113 pounds that tied up the Lancers' dual with Wheaton Warrenville South at 27, but the Tigers finished that meet with an 18-0 run that was capped by King's pin. As a team, Lake Park finished the day 1-2 after beating Fenton 44-30 to close out their action at the quad.
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