After struggling with a lack of depth in recent years, the Round Lake wrestling team has found strength in numbers this season.
With a full 14-man roster, the host Panthers went 3-0 in their triple-dual meet Saturday to climb above the .500 mark.
Round Lake (13-11) started with a 42-30 victory over Johnsburg, followed with a 61-9 victory over St. Viator and closed the day with a 42-22 triumph over Lake Forest (15-10).
"It helps when you have 14 guys because usually we are giving up some forfeits," Round Lake coach Mike Hruska said. "We wrestled pretty well for the most part, and both Lake Forest and St. Viator beat us last year so we're showing improvement."
Lake Forest opened by capturing a 56-21 decision over St. Viator (8-8), which finished up with a 37-24 loss to Johnsburg (7-13). Lake Forest defeated Johnsburg 48-26 in the middle round.
Beginning the second round against St. Viator at 182 pounds, Round Lake fell behind 3-0 when Jake Wolf (14-2) posted a 4-1 decision over Cesar Monsivais. St. Viator 195-pounder Mike Perk then recorded a pin in 4:46 for a 9-0 advantage.
But that was the end of the road for the visitors, as the host Panthers scored 61 unanswered points to close out the meet starting with 220-pounder Javier Ambriz (25-7) capturing a 6-4 decision over Niko Weder.
Round Lake 285-pounder Anthony Enriquez followed with a 9-4 decision over Brandon Flores, before a forfeit win by 106-pounder Anthony Ramirez kept the momentum rolling for the Panthers. Jonathan Cermeno (113) and freshman Jason Wooten (120) both had shutouts in their matches, before 126-pounder Jarron Rogers (21-12) pinned his opponent in 1:49.
Zach McCain (25-7) rolled to a 16-2 major decision over Mike Whelan at 132 pounds, before 138-pounder Dominic Tovar won by forfeit. Then came 145-pound senior Andre Neal (23-10) with a 5-2 decision over Jackson Churak and a forfeit victory by Round Lake's Juan Gomez at 152.
The Panthers' onslaught of victories was closed out with a 14-2 major decision by Tony Williamson at 160 and pin in 2:59 by junior Shamier Austin (6-1), who is a transfer student from Mundelein.
"Austin is a pretty talented kid," Hruska said. "He still hasn't had a chance to get his conditioning to where it needs to be."
Austin, Ramirez, Rogers, Tovar, Ambriz and Enriquez all picked up three wins apiece for the Panthers.
St. Viator led Johnsburg 24-22 after 11 bouts, but the Skyhawks outscored St. Viator 15-0 in the final three matches to earn the team victory.
Wolf went 2-1 on the day for the Lions, while Perk won his only match. St. Viator sophomore Ryan McGuire (16-2) went 1-1 at 195.
"We're still young, and once we get everybody healthy by the end of the month we should be ready to compete very well," St. Viator coach Jason Churak said. "We're happy to have Niko (Weder) back on the team this year, and Wolf just hits it as hard as anyone has seen and he is just 100 percent committed."
Lake Forest seniors Caleb Durbin (23-4 at 160) and Quinn Dailey (24-3 at 132) led the Scouts with three wins each.
"We've had four good dual meets this weekend, all competitive, and we need to fine-tune some things," Lake Forest coach Matt Fiordirosa said. "We're wrestling well. We just have to find a way to win the close matches."
Johnsburg was led by three wins apiece from 2016 state qualifier Austin Butler (22-2 at 170), Brad Wizceb (120), Matt Tobin (152) and Justin Peake (182).