Warren takes it to Stevenson
With a raucous atmosphere from the very first match, host Warren was on a mission to finally beat Stevenson Thursday night in North Suburban Conference wrestling action.
Starting the dual meet at 138 pounds, the Blue Devils built an early 16-4 lead by winning five of the first six matches that were pretty close the whole way.
But a pin by Warren 285-pounder Marcus Thompson in just 25 seconds boosted the lead to 25-7 before the Blue Devils pulled away from the Patriots for an impressive 39-16 NSC victory.
With the win, Warren improved to 3-2 in the NSC while Stevenson (11-5) fell to 3-2 in the league as both teams prepare for the powerful Lake County meet next weekend at Grant.
Gino Ortiz got the Blue Devils going with a 3-1 decision over Ryan Allen before 145-pound teammate Noah Hergenreder's 8-2 decision over Jason Qualich made the score 6-0.
Warren sophomore Isaiah Parker rolled to a 23-9 major decision at 152 before Stevenson's Ivor Gueorguiev responded with a 13-2 major decision at 160 to get the Patriots on the scoreboard.
But the Blue Devils' depth from top to bottom was too tough to beat as 170-pounder Keann Matias got the momentum back with a crucial 3-2 decision over Alex Scott.
Then 182-pounder Logan Haar posted a 6-1 decision over Michael Phelps at 182 for the 16-4 lead.
"Hats off to Warren -- they came ready to wrestle tonight and they won a lot of close matches," said Stevenson coach Shane Cook. "We just weren't at our best and they wrestled really well, but we're coming along."
Senior Max Gomez kept the Pats in it with a 14-7 decision over Armondo Barrandey at 195. But a key 6-5 decision by Warren 220-pounder Christian Goeden over Dan Erdenetsogt, and Thompson's pin turned the tide.
Undefeated Warren senior twins Sawyer Nash (23-0 at 106), and Austin Nash (11-0 at 113) got a technical fall and a decision to boost the lead to 33-7 with three bouts left.
"I'm a senior, and none of us has beaten Stevenson at the varsity level so I'm pretty happy after four years we finally did it," said Sawyer Nash, who is ranked third in the state. "The ultimate goal is to keep scoring points, and it would be cool to win state. You just have to be relentless."
In a battle of elite wrestlers at 120, two-time state qualifier Tommy Frezza (23-2) pinned Warren junior Cam Domke (21-2) in 3:33. A decision by Stevenson's Yoni Leibovitz at 126, and a pin by Warren 132-pounder Nate Padilla accounted for the final score.
"I think we are starting to wrestle as good as we thought we were at the beginning of the season," said Warren coach Brad Janecek, whose team could get all-stater Joel Vandervere back from injury next week.
"Hopefully we start peaking here before the Lake County meet and going into regionals. Both (Sawyers) are starting to look at wrestling in college, and the success they've had just shows how hard they've been working."