Barrington wraps up another Mid-Suburban West championship

 
By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent

Barrington put the finishing touches on its third straight Mid-Suburban League West Division wrestling title following a 44-16 win over Conant Friday night.

The Broncos would treat a big Senior Night audience to their 22nd win on the season when they broke things open with a 17-0 run, highlighted by an impressive win by Kai Conway (27-5) over Filippo DeFrenza (22-3) -- two of the best 152-pounders in the league.

"I know Conant was missing a few guys and are not 100 percent healthy, but anytime we can beat (them) is a good thing for our guys and obviously it's a great way to end the regular season as well," began Broncos head coach Dave Udchik, whose club went 5-0 in the West and is now 22-1-0 overall.

"With us losing so many fantastic wrestlers from last season, I am sure that at the onset of the season everyone picked us to be behind Conant and Schaumburg," continued Udchik.

"But on the inside, the guys really bought in, and have worked hard in order to challenge for the top spot in the division and next weekend, we hope to make a good run at a conference championship also."

The two sides exchanged wins by decision to open the night, Brian Beers (28-6, 106) for Barrington, Joe Gagliani (13-6, 113) for the Cougars (94-0, 2-3-0) but after the visitors built a 13-3 lead thanks to an Alex Giuliano (120, 20-2) major decision and a pin from Dominic Laskero (126, 21-4) the tide quickly turned in favor of the home side.

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"We're a little banged up, and missing a couple of guys who didn't make weight but I thought we did compete, and the effort was there but Barrington has a very strong lineup and they were the better team tonight," admitted Conant head coach Chad Hay.

Erik Hennin (25-8) got the Broncos' attack up and running with a pin at 132 in advance of a Trey Cysewski win in overtime to set up the Conway-DeFrenza contest.

Conway, a state qualifier a year ago, went on the attack from the opening whistle and would methodically continue to build a lead which would eventually reach an 11-1 ending.

Luke Rasmussen (32-0), the No. 1 160-pounder in the state, impressed during his 10-1 victory as did Jack Hartman (182, 26-6) and Dayven Shinhoster (195, 19-2) who along with Farouk Shaaban (220) and Tim Nichols (285) helped the Broncos win the last four bouts of the evening.

"We'll have to be ready to step up against three high profile teams (Saturday) -- Glenbard North, Lockport and host Neuqua Valley, but these are the opponents we want to face at this time of the year," said Udchik.

For Conant, it's another tough weekend of wrestling to close out the regular season as it hosts state powers DeKalb and Libertyville, in addition to Lyons.

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