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updated: 2/23/2013 11:13 PM

Make it six straight state titles for Montini

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

BLOOMINGTON -- For the Montini wrestling team the issue of dynasty has been eclipsed by a sense of its enduring legacy.

Since the IHSA expanded wrestling to three classes during the 2008-09 season, the Lombard high school is the sole program to win a team dual-meet state championship in the middle tier.

Lincoln-Way West, Sycamore and Geneseo were the Broncos' latest victims as Montini stormed to its fifth straight Class 2A title Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

Montini also won a Class AA championship in the final year of the two-class arrangement.

In the Broncos' 49-10 win over Geneseo, Jordan Laster (132 pounds), Michael Sepke (145) and Xavier Montalvo (160) -- all of whom were individual state finalists last weekend in Champaign -- secured technical falls to help the Broncos race out to a 23-0 lead.

"It's kind of the same feeling (to win an individual state championship and a team state title)," Montalvo said. "Winning as a team is also a very good feeling."

The Pawelski and Turk brothers were also flawless on the day for Montini (34-4).

Tommy Pawelski, a 120-pound Stanford recruit, had a fall, which Vince Turk then duplicated at 126 pounds, to account for the final score against Geneseo (24-3).

James Pawelski and Jake Turk, one of four individual state champions for Montini, also had victories in the final weight contests as the Broncos won 11 of the 14 matches.

"It feels awesome (to be a part of four state championship teams)," the elder Pawelski said. "The first two teams (Lincoln-Way West and Sycamore) might have been better teams (than Geneseo). It was nice to put them out the way first."

It was the Broncos' 11th state championship in wrestling since the turn of the century.

Glenbard North is the DuPage County Class 3A version of Montini.

Two-thousand and seven was the lone year Mark Hahn has not guided Glenbard North to a state appearance since 2001.

The Panthers survived a scare against Machnesey Park Harlem and gave ultimate state champion Sandburg more than a run for its money in the semifinals.

Prospects in the third-place match appeared dire when Lincoln-Way Central heavyweight Grant Bartell had a first-period fall to put Glenbard North in a 27-16 hole.

But Glenbard North (18-7) rallied with four consecutive wins, scoring 18 unanswered points in the process for a 34-27 victory.

Jered Cortez iced the come-from-behind verdict with a fall 26 seconds into the final match, at 126 pounds, to run his Glenbard North winning streak to 103 matches in a row.

"It's a good thing to have pressure on your back," the Panthers' back-to-back undefeated state champion said. "You either push through or let the pressure unfold."

Patrick Augustyn (106 pounds) began the Panthers' late uprising, which Teddy Marco and Jon Marmolejo extended.

Michigan recruit Brian Murphy closed out his Glenbard North wrestling days with a pin at 152 pounds.

Making its third team appearance in program history, Lisle bowed out of the Class 1A quarterfinals with a 47-30 loss over Petersburg (PORTA).

The Lions' five wins all came via falls from Ryan Kilroy, Brian Czyl, Tyler Schech, Kevin Sheahan and AJ Pascente.

"We couldn't stay off our backs," Lisle coach John Davis said. "That was the difference in the match."

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