Boys wrestling: Montini wins thriller over IC to advance to team state

The Wauconda dual-team sectional Tuesday had everything a wrestling fan could want.

Three of the top four teams in the state were on hand including No. 1 Montini Catholic vs. No. 2 IC Catholic (9-5-0) in one of the two semifinals before a ramped up crowd inside the Bulldogs gym on hand to watch the elite of 2A wrestling.

In what could have, or should have been the state title final, it was Montini (23-2-0) winning in the final match of the night to defeat IC Catholic when Josh Vazquez edged Deven Casey, 3-2, to give the Broncos a 32-29 victory.

Next up for Mike Bukovsky's club will be No. 5 Yorkville Christian (17-7-0) Friday in a dual-team state quarterfinal in Bloomington at the Grossinger Motors Arena.

“That was one heckuva dual — one that everyone expected to go down to the last one or two matches — and thank goodness for Josh (Vazquez) who lost a heartbreaking state final last weekend (but) found a way to come back to beat the 120-pound state champion (Deven Casey) to send us into to Bloomington,” said Bukovsky after watching Vazquez register the match-winning takedown 60 seconds from time.

This will be the Broncos’ 24th trip to the dual-team state tourney.

This contest went back-and-forth all night long, and would keep even the large contingent of Wauconda (9-1-0) fans in their seats to watch the final outcome long after their club needed just over one hour to easily defeat Notre Dame (12-10-0) when it used seven pins to overwhelm their guests 55-16.

Next up for the Bulldogs will be No. 3 Washington (20-6-0) in their 2A dual-team state quarterfinal.

Around the area in 3A action, defending state champion St. Charles East (19-0-0) will open its title defense against a talented No. 9 Hononegah (8-1-0) at 5 p.m. after its 39-25 victory over Hersey on its home gym. No. 1 St. Charles East moved on after a 49-21 victory over Maine South.

No. 16 Libertyville (12-1-0) will make its eighth state appearance after its 45-19 win against Prospect (12-9-0) in the other semifinal at Hononegah. The Wildcats will face Oak Park-River Forest (9-3-0) at 7 p.m. after they dashed the hopes of Schaumburg (19-7-0) which was looking to make its first dual-team state appearance.

No. 15 Naperville Central (20-6-0) returns to Bloomington for the first time since 2012 after its 40-21 defeat of host Downers Grove South, where No. 3 Mt. Carmel (8-2-0) won with ease over No. 5 Marmion Academy.

Naperville Central has a 7 p.m. date with No. 7 Yorkville (18-4-0) while Mt. Carmel meets No. 2 Joliet Catholic, now 14-4-0 after its 46-18 triumph over Lincoln-Way East.

The semifinals take place Saturday morning, followed at 6 p.m. by the championship and third-place state contests.

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