Tiebreaker favors host Deerfield over Stevenson
People knew that the Deerfield Class 3A wrestling regional was going to be a very close battle between the No. 7-ranked host Warriors and No. 6 Stevenson.
But nobody ever dreamed of all of the suspense and drama that followed the finish of this powerful nine-team meet.
After a long review of the final results -- which originally showed that Deerfield won 164-163 over the Patriots -- the re tabulated results showed that the two squads actually wound up in a pretty much unheard of 168-168 deadlock.
Once that was established, the Warriors still wound up being declared the regional champions as the tiebreaker came down to the fourth criteria, which was Deerfield having five individual champions to only two champs for Stevenson.
In spite of the heartbreaking news and just missing out on what would have been the second regional title in school history, the Patriots still got eight individuals into the Barrington sectional next weekend, including unheralded 195-pound junior Turbold Badral (4-2) with a third-place finish.
Warren had seven individuals qualify for the sectional with a third-place score of 123.5 points while Libertyville (102 points) placed fourth, with four wrestlers advancing. Mundelein will have three individuals at sectionals.
Badral lost to Deerfield's Erin Karp 13-3 in the quarterfinals. But wrestling up two weight classes, his shocking 5-3 decision over Karp in the third-place match meant that the Pats could win the regional crown if 285-pounder Nick Grujanac could beat Warren's Sergio Sosa in the first-place match.
Sosa (28-7) had defeated Grujanac 3-1 in overtime to win the North Suburban Conference title last weekend. And it was Sosa who worked his magic again Saturday, this time with a stunning 3-2 win in triple overtime as he escaped from Grujanac for the "sudden victory."
In addition to Badral, there were a lot of heroes in the Stevenson lineup, starting with 182-pound champion Michael Kordek (35-4), whose pin over Warren's Brandon Escamilla in 1:05 kept the Patriot's title hopes alive late in the meet.
The Pats also got a title from elite junior Dylan Geick (36-3) with an injury default win over Libertyville's Jack Damenti at 152.
But fate was not on Stevenson's side in the end as it had to settle for second-place finishes from Grujanac, Eric Carter at 132, and Nikita Nepomnyashchiy, who lost to standout Sage Heller (40-3) at 170.
"We gave it our all, we just came up a little short," said Stevenson coach Shane Cook. "For Michael Kordek to go out in the finals and put us in a position to have a shot to win was really courageous and impressive. Turbold (Badral) was 2-1 and he now is a sectional qualifier. And for a guy who was on JV all year long that is pretty incredible."
Besides Sosa's big win, the Blue Devils also got a championship from Grant Zamin (33-8) at 138. Warren got second-place finishes from J.T. VanderVere at 113, Chris Love at 160, Escamilla, and Zach Khoury, who dropped a devastating 6-3 decision to Mundelein's Cesar Obispo at 195.
"I'm pretty proud of how all of our guys wrestled today, Zamin has been wrestling tough all year and it showed today," said Warren coach Jake Jobst. "Him (Sosa) and the Stevenson guy (Grujanac) go back and forth, and it seems like it always comes down to overtime, so it is good to see his hard work paying off."
At 220 pounds, champ Mike Beck (26-14) was dominant for Libertyville with three pins in the regional. His teammates Alex Mitchell (106) and Damenti both placed second. The Wildcats also got a third from Charlie Schmidt with a 1-0 decision at 285.
"I think getting four out of this regional is saying a lot," said Libertyville coach Dale Eggert. "Beck is a pinner, no doubt about it, and the 106 weight class was absolutely stacked."
So much so that Mundelein standout Dane Durlacher did not reach the final round at 106, and thus did not advance to the sectional.
The Mustangs did get another first from Obispo (30-4), who won the NSC crown last week, and a crown from 160-pounder Kamil Olechno (29-15). Mundelein's Alec Riportella also advanced with a second at 120.
"I really wanted to get my 106-pounder (Durlacher) out, but five of the top 15 in the state were in that weight class," said Mundelein coach Mark Stewart. "I thought He (Olechno) could win it as a third seed, and I told Cesar (Obispo) this was his week, he deserved it, and he earned it."
Other sectional qualifiers placing third were Stevenson's Ben Ponto (138), Stevenson's Robert Pavlovics (160), and Warren's Jared Pompilus (220). Libertyville's Drew Onufer (120), Stevenson's Brandon Zisman (126), and Warren's Andrew Demos (170) all lost third-place matches by two points or less.
Class 2A at Antioch: The host Sequoits won the eight-team regional the hosted, pulling away from runner-up Wauconda 183-157 to win their fifth regional title in seven years.
Antioch was led by the same four champions as last week's NSC meet with Jake Gross (113), Nathan Dlugopolski (126), Patrick Shoenfelder (152), and George Bissett (195) all taking first place again.
Third-place Carmel Catholic (154.5) also got four regional crowns with undefeated Nathaniel Morris (36-0) at 160, Mike Tortorice (120), Riley Palm (106), and Kenny Barber (132) getting the job done for the Corsairs.
Grayslake Central's champs were Alex Cramer (138) and Larry Augustine (145) while Wauconda's first-place winners were Tyler Stankiewicz (182) and Mike Turzynski (220). Lakes' Jared Smith took first at 170 while St. Viator's James Valentino won the 285-pound title.