Wrestling: State tournament scouting, Lake County

 
By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/18/2015 5:08 PM
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  • Montini's Luke Fortuna, top, and Grayslake Central's Jon Makey battle for the 152-pound championship match during last weekend's Class 2A wrestling sectional at Antioch.

      Montini's Luke Fortuna, top, and Grayslake Central's Jon Makey battle for the 152-pound championship match during last weekend's Class 2A wrestling sectional at Antioch. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

78th annual individual state wrestling meet

Where: State Farm Center, Champaign

When: Thursday: Class 2A preliminaries at 3 p.m., Class 3A preliminaries at 5 p.m.; Friday: Class 2A quarterfinals at 11 a.m.; Class 3A quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m.; Class 1A, 2A, and 3A semifinals at 7 p.m.; Saturday: third- and fifth-place matches at 1 p.m.; Grand March followed by championship matches in all three classes starting at 126 pounds, 5:30 p.m.

Class 3AArea qualifiers: 120 - Stevenson sophomore Eric Carter (31-14); 126 - Grant junior Christian Kanzler (29-8, two-time qualifier);152 - Grant senior Mike Kouvelis (39-9, two-time qualifier); 160 - Libertyville senior Joey Gunther (33-1, sixth in 2014, two-time qualifier); 182 - Stevenson senior Tyler Harrington (35-3, two-time qualifier); 220 - Libertyville senior Mark Dunsing (35-7)

Outlook: After placing sixth in the state as a junior, No. 2-ranked Gunther won his second straight sectional championship last weekend at Barrington on the way to what should be a great finish to his high school wrestling career this weekend downstate.

Kanzler was the other Lake County area individual to emerge with a title out of the powerful Barrington sectional, and he is looking very dangerous as he heads into his second state meet.

After placing second at sectionals, Harrington should have a pretty good opportunity to reach the top-six medal round on Saturday if all goes well while third-place sectional finishers Kouvelis and Dunsing will also be aiming to bring home a medal.

Grant's team still has a lot to look forward to this season potentially as the regional champion Bulldogs will battle Glenbrook South regional champion Prospect in the team sectional on Feb. 24 with a berth to the Elite Eight meet in Bloomington (Feb. 28) on the line.

Clast 2AArea qualifiers: 106 - Grayslake North sophomore Joe Arroyo (23-5); 113 - Carmel Catholic junior Mike Tortorice (32-4); Antioch junior Jake Gross (42-5); 120 - Antioch junior Nathan Dlugopolski (38-8); 132 - Carmel Catholic junior Kenny Barber (35-6, two-time qualifier); 138 - Vernon Hills senior Peter Vanderbloomer (41-7, two-time qualifier); 145 - Carmel Catholic senior Anthony Swindell (25-7, two-time qualifier); 152 - Grayslake Central senior Jon Makey (40-3, three-time qualifier), Grayslake North junior Jake Wright (27-12); 160 - Carmel Catholic junior Nathaniel Morris (28-2), Lakes junior Max Hill (7-3); 170 - Lakes junior Jared Smith (25-7); 182 - Grayslake Central senior David Thiel (35-12); 195 - Antioch sophomore George Bessette (7-1, two-time qualifier), Grayslake North senior Cody Sawyer (25-8); 220 - Grayslake Central junior Richard Novrouzov (20-22); 285 - Vernon Hills senior Joe Blitstein (36-8, three-time qualifier)

Outlook: Carmel Catholic leads the Lake County contingent into the grueling three-day tournament as the Corsairs had two of their four state qualifying individuals crowned champions at the rugged Antioch sectional in Morris and Tortorice. Morris may be at less than full strength due to recent minor knee surgery, but he has put together an outstanding junior campaign for the Corsairs. Barber and Swindell have state-meet experience to fall back on when the going gets tough.

After reaching state as a freshman, Bessette missed almost the entire 2014-15 campaign for Antioch with a torn labrum before emerging pretty strong last weekend with a third-place finish at sectionals. Like Carmel, the Sequoits have four individuals heading to state, including two-time qualifier Schoenfelder and sectional runner-up Dlugopolski.

Makey is a serious top-six medal contender with his only loss this season at 152 coming in a 3-1 defeat against Montini's Luke Fortuna in the sectional finals.

Vernon Hills has two experienced wrestlers competing in three-time qualifier Blitstein and two-time qualifier Vanderbloomer.

Hill placed second for Lakes at sectionals despite seeing very limited action during the regular season with a 7-3 record heading downstate.

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