Antioch's win over Grayslake Central tightens NLCC race

 
By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent

It may have been Senior Night for host Grayslake Central, but Antioch was on a mission of its own Thursday night in Northern Lake County Conference wrestling action.

Starting at 106 pounds, the Sequoits stormed out to a commanding 33-0 lead behind five early pins before rolling to an impressive 54-19 NLCC victory over the Rams.

With the win, Antioch (15-5, 5-1) moves into a second-place tie with Grayslake Central (9-10, 5-1) in the NLCC as the Rams will visit first-place Grant (6-0) next Friday.

Freshman Alex Wisdom's pin in 4:09 gave the Sequoits the early 6-0 lead before 113-pound teammate Drew Lehn's 5-4 decision over Tristan Burch made the score 9-0 right away.

Then came a barrage of pins by Antioch starting with two-time state qualifier Alex Barbarise (27-3 at 120), state qualifier Danny McPherson (32-3 at 126), Eli Reyes (132), and Devin Nobling (138) putting the Rams in a huge 33-point deficit.

"We're a little beat up right now. We've got a couple of starters out, but Antioch is a quality team and they're going to be tough," said Grayslake Central coach Matt Joseph, whose team just lost 220-pounder Ethan Torres for the season due to a torn ACL. "They (Antioch) are in our regional and their coach (Wilbur Borrero) always gets them fired up. He does a great job."

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The Rams got on the scoreboard when No. 6-ranked Joey Murphy (29-5) posted a 5-3 decision over No. 4 ranked state qualifier Jackie Sistrunk (23-5) at 145.

But the Sequoits got those team points right back when 152-pounder Gavin Calabrese captured a hard-fought 3-2 decision over Mark Martinez.

Antioch's Mikey Volkmar pinned sophomore Joey Jens (fifth in Class 2A) at 160 as Jens moved up a weight class.

Trailing 42-3, Grayslake Central got going behind undefeated sophomore Adrien Cramer (31-0) getting a 13-4 major decision over state qualifier Niall Schoenfelder (28-7) at 170.

Then Old Dominion-bound senior Alex Cramer (34-0, 2018 Class 2A state champ) won by forfeit in 3:30 before senior teammate Ethan Lester's pin in 51 seconds made the score 42-19 with two matches left.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I knew they were going to be tough at the higher weight classes, but our other kids did their jobs," said Borrero, whose team will compete in the Lake County meet this weekend at Grant.

"But it's about what we're going to do down the road and as long as we continue to improve that is what is most important."

A pin by Antioch's Max Ness (220), and a forfeit win by 285-pounder Xavier Sanchez (16-2, 2017 state qualifier) accounted for the final score.

"The county meet is another opportunity to see where we stand as a program," added Borrero, whose team will face new Class 2A team Lake Forest at regionals. "The regional will be interesting because everybody has some tough kids."

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