Driessens continues dominance at DVC tournament
Tyler Driessens' work day ended prematurely Saturday at Naperville North.
A returning Class 3A state qualifier, Driessens, a Naperville Central senior, needed only 30 seconds to advance to the championship match of the DuPage Valley Conference tournament.
Naperville North 126-pounder Cameron Clark did not fare much better in the finals as Driessens improved to 34-1 on a season with a second-period fall.
Driessens' victory marked a second consecutive conference championship as the senior won the 113-pound division last year at Waubonsie Valley.
Driessens is undefeated against in-state competition this winter after earning his third major tournament title.
"Their coach (Tom Champion) called neutral (to begin the second period)," Driessens said. "I went straight to it and took him down. The game plan is not to lose to anyone in Illinois. My eyes are on the state title."
Conference newcomer DeKalb dominated the team headlines, however, as the Barbs, ranked third in Class 3A, crowned half of the 14 champions to defeat Naperville Central 261.5-246.
Naperville North was third with 162 points, followed by Neuqua Valley (128), Waubonsie Valley (83) and Metea Valley (39).
"We expected to come in for a tough fight," said DeKalb three-time all-state 145-pound champion Fabian Gomez, a state champion as a sophomore two years ago who upended the Redhawks' Ayden Lutes in the championship match. "But we did expect to come out with a tournament win."
"DeKalb joining the conference has made it much harder," Champion said.
Naperville Central had four athletes other than Driessens claim titles on Saturday.
Angelo Eklou was the only other wrestler to author a fall in the finals as the Redhawks' senior terminated his match at 220 pounds midway through the second period.
Eklou won for the 30th time against 6 defeats in the process.
"All I was planning to do was take down and cut," Eklou said. "I was trying to get as many team points as I could. I was going for a throw. As I took him down and put on his back, that's how I got the pin."
Naperville Central also received an impressive victory by Shane Roth, who had the last of his 6 takedowns in the waning seconds in scoring 13 points in a major-decision victory over Naperville North senior Caleb Yu at 170.
"I tried to come in hard and keep him off-balance, so I could take the shots I wanted to take," Roth said. "It gives me a head start in the seedings (for the Marmion regional next month)."
"I thought Roth put on a good show," Champion said.
Naperville Central received its other two championships from freshman Ethan Olson at 106, and Ryan Silva has the same record as Eklou after prevailing at 152 pounds over Naperville North junior Nico Takano.
Neuqua Valley returning state qualifier Bryce Boumans did not allow the Redhawks' Elri Esporlas to score in winning the 138-pound division 5-0.
"I felt a little more nervous than I usually do," Boumans said. "I was looking to secure the victory. I would have liked to have scored more points."
Charlie Millington, making a returning to heavyweight after spending virtually the entire season at 22, had a takedown-making move against the Barbs' Tunde Oroye for the only offensive points in his low-scoring victory for Waubonsie Valley.
"My coach (Brad Caldwell) was screaming to go for his ankle," Millington said. "I shot in and was able to get him down. It's nice coming off a win for the regionals."