Hersey completed its Mid-Suburban League duel slate by dispatching visiting Wheeling 41-26 Friday night in Arlington Heights to celebrate senior night with a bang.
Seniors Tom Somenek and Dean Simmons opened with back-to-back pins to begin the evening. By the time teammates Anthony O'Brien (106) and Mitch MacTavish (113, 20-6) tacked on another 10 points for the Huskies (15-7-0, 3-2-0) with a major and pin, the Wildcats (18-11-0, 3-2-0) had little left in reserve as missed a chance at earning outright second-place honors in the MSL East.
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"(Hersey) just came out and outwrestled us tonight, and they were clearly the better team out there," said Wheeling coach Neal Weiner. "I thought we did well at 120 (Johny Carvajal), 126 (Tristan Guaman) and 220 with Yoni (Medina) but we didn't compete, and Hersey's coaching staff did a very good job of getting their guys ready and you have to give them credit for that."
Hersey coach Jim Wormsley liked his team's fast start -- and its ability to sustain.
"We come out on fire with Tom and Dean getting us going, then really put some pressure on them with Jorge (Montesinos) and Steve (Psaradellis) winning with a pin, then with a major -- and it was just a terrific effort from all of the guys," said Wormsley, who takes his team to No. 1 Oak Park-River Forest on Saturday for the Huskies' annual invite.
Somenek and Simmons, two of just a few veterans on a young Hersey club, both improved to 21-6 with pins at 4:36 and 1:46. After Wheeling's Sam Blair (20-16) cut the hosts' advantage to 12-4 with a major decision at 171, it was all Hersey from there on out.
"I know I was a little emotional before we got started tonight with this being senior night and my last duel (here) -- but the guys really came out strong, and I am really proud of how everyone wrestled to make the last night for the seniors the best it could be," said Somenek, who won 22 times last season.
Wheeling was in need of a response following the 10-point spree from O'Brien and MacTavish, and got it when Carvajal (29-9) recorded a fall in 1:40 and Guaman followed suit to pull the visitors closer at 35-22.
But Grant Warner turned things back in Hersey's favor when he defended 2013 MSL champ Ricky Muro (28-9) with a solid six-minute effort for a 7-3 decision at 138 pounds before Jaylen Shaw put a ribbon around the Huskies' victory with a 4-2 defeat of David Gonzalez (22-9) at 145.
"We have a rough one tomorrow at Oak Park, but we can take a great team effort into that tournament and hopefully have it carry over there and next weekend at the MSL tournament," said Wormsley.
The Huskies will host the conference tournament, which begins Friday at 5 p.m. and concludes on Saturday.