The Wheaton North wrestling team has a single-minded mission to the end the 18-year Glenbard North stranglehold in the DuPage Valley Conference in two weeks.
"Come DVC time, we're going to need all 14 guys to contribute to win the championship," Wheaton North coach Travis Cherry said.
In their final major preparation before the league tournament at Lake Park in two weeks, the Falcons placed in 13 of the 14 weight classes to amass 224 points at the Batavia Tournament Saturday afternoon.
Wheaton North crowned four champions -- Jaime Suarez, Riley Lomenick, Duncan Nelson and Devin Donovan -- to defend its title against runner-up McHenry (168.5) in Batavia.
Downers Grove North (139 points) edged the host Bulldogs (137.5) for third place.
Arguably the marquee championship match came at 160 pounds when the Falcons' Donovan faced off against Hampshire senior Max McGowan.
"He's ranked fourth in (Class) 3A (in the illinoismatmen.com ratings), and I'm fourth in 2A," McGowan said.
Donovan, ultimately named the MVP of the upper weights, applied a third-period fall while leading 5-3.
"I was able to keep in control the whole match," Donovan said. "I ended up locking up the cradle."
"I'm not one to make excuses," McGowan said. "I got cradled up. Some refs will call it (a fall) and some won't. Whatever happens, happens. You can't control that."
It was the third major invitational title for Donovan, the most impressive of which came at the famed Dvorak Tournament over the holidays.
"It just goes to show the work I have been doing," Donovan said. "(Winning MVP is) kind of motivating me to keep myself going."
Like Donovan, Saurez is a returning state qualifier for the Falcons.
The 126-pounder had a whitewash in his finals match against Plainfield South sophomore Andrew Cervantes.
"I was able to get to my offense easily," Suarez said.
Lomenick and Nelson won back-to-back titles for the Falcons at 138 and 145 pounds.
"I couldn't quite get to a fall (in the finals) but was able to get the tech (a differential of 15 points or more)," Lomenick said.
"I had a lot of fun out there and tried hard in every match," Nelson said. "That's always the key to winning."
"We treat (tournaments) like a workday," Cherry said. "Come to practice, do what you need to do on the mat and everything will be fine. I have something special at Wheaton North."
West Chicago senior Trey Lally certainly made a case to be the upper-weight MVP after his flawless day in Batavia.
A wrestler cannot do any better than winning a major invitational with three consecutive falls.
"This whole week I was working on my technique in neutral," the Wildcats' 195-pounder said. "I was also working on this one takedown that I used a lot today. Overall, using my technique in neutral propelled me to do better today."
The Wildcats scored 78 points to place ninth in the 17-team field.
Nate Cummings' 3-2 victory over Plainfield South 30-match winner Enzo Silva at 106 pounds was the capstone to the Downers North junior earning lower-weight MVP honors.
Freshman Nick Skamra had the best showing for 14th-place Addison Trail (47.5 points).
With a rather gaudy 17-3 dual-meet record, there was a sense of disappointment among the Batavia coaches.
"We're going to have to figure tournaments out," Batavia coach Scott Bayer said. "Tournaments and dual meets are entirely different beasts. I'm not saying anything the boys don't already know. We need to figure it out as a team to be the team I think we're capable of down the stretch."
In his first varsity campaign, sophomore Reid Coyle was the lone Batavia athlete to make the finals.
The 113-pounder had the only offensive points -- a second-period takedown and third-period reversal -- in his 4-3 victory over West Chicago senior Andrew Velazquez.
"That's where I do my best," Coyle said of the only takedown of the match. "I have a large gas tank due to cross-country. I just knew as long as I push and push, I will get the takedown. I just had to keep him down (after the third-period reversal)."
"(Coyle) took it to the mat, and I didn't," Velasquez said. "I need to work on that at practice."
Joe Posledni and Nick Benson won major-consolation titles for Batavia at 160 and 170 pounds, respectively.
After dropping a semifinal verdict to the Whips' McGowan by 3 points, Posledni found himself in a compromised position in the third-place final.
"I was literally on my back," Posledni said.
But the senior had a reversal at a critical juncture en route to his second-period fall.
"It was a close one (8-5 decision against McGowan)," Posledni said of his motivation in the third-place match. "I just lost in the semis and I was little bit bummed."
Hampshire had five athletes place seventh or better to finish in the No. 10 team slot at 67 points.
Burlington Central had two fewer place-winners, but the Rockets did have the distinction of having Nick Termini improving to 23-1 on the season after he handled McHenry top-seeded 132-pounder Anthony Randazzo in the championship match.
Central standout Austin Macias' day ended prematurely when the reigning Class 3A third-place finisher at 126 pounds was forced to default in his third-place match.
The defending Batavia champion (20-1) dropped his first decision of the year in the semifinals against Cervantes.
"I want to take positives from this," Macias said. "I learned what I have to do with my technique and stuff."