Maine South's Halvorsen hands Glenbard North's Assad first loss
Maine South's Joe Halvorsen had a takedown with just one second left to stun Glenbard North's Abe Assad 2-1 in the finals of the 182-pound weight class at the Class 3A Conant wrestling sectional Saturday in Hoffman Estates.
It was Assad's first loss this season after being an undefeated state champion at 170 pounds last year. He moved up a class this year.
Assad (42-1) led 1-0 after a second-period escape. The pair battled on their feet for the final period and both had opportunities for a takedown. But in the final seconds, Halvorsen pulled out the victory.
"It was a tough match," Glenbard North coach Mark Hahn said. "All a sectional is is a vehicle to getting downstate. Abe did that. He is a champion. He will bounce back."
Glenbard North had four sectional runner ups.
In the 106 title match, Ronan Schuelke (38-4) lost to Proviso East's Jameir Castleberry (28-0) in overtime when Castleberry got a takedown. George Marre (36-7) lost to Oak Park-River Forest's Joe Chapman (38-7) 11-5 for the 152 title.
"It was nice to get to the finals, but it would be better to get some wins" Hahn said. "Everyone of them is capable."
Wheaton North's Quinlan Nelson (32-3) won the 180 class by pinning Glenbard North's Anthony Pennington (40-7) in 2:54. Nelson got a reversal and quickly got Pennington on his back for the win.
"I just reversed him and I put him on his back," said Nelson, who is making his first trip downstate. "I was just wrestling though the position. I didn't want to overthink it."
Glenbard East had a pair of wrestlers in the finals. Unfortunately for the Rams, both came up a bit short in their title matches.
Reese Martin (38-5) lost 6-4 to DeKalb's Danny Curran (25-3) in the 120 title.
Alex Posada (38-4), who lost in the regional finals last week, came back strong in the sectionals. After winning his opening-round match in a fall, Posada defeated a regional champions to move into the finals where he lost to Bradley Gillum (43-8) of De Kalb 5-2.
St. Charles East's Justin Benjamin (43-4) knocked off OP-RF's Tory Early (36-8) 9-5 for the 138 championship. It is Benjamin's fourth consecutive trip downstate.
"Four wins to get it all done," Benjamin said. "I am a much different wrestler than I was the first three years."
Oak Park's Ashford Hollis (33-5) pinned the Saints' Justin Hull (35-5) at 1:53 in the 285 title bout.
Elijah Lopez from South Elgin advanced to the finals in 160. Lopez beat at pair of regionals champs along the way but Lopez (35-7) then lost to DeKalb's Austin Johnson in the final 11-1.
Both Larkin's Diego Facio and Lake Park's Demarco Lee lost to unbeaten wrestlers in their finals. Facio (35-5) lost to Blah Dahnweih (44-0) of DeKalb 9-1 in the finals at 195 while Lee (26-2) lost to Evanston's Ramin Abraham (51-0) 5-3 at 220.
Schaumburg's Jaylan Claudio, who was pinned by Geneva's Ian Huck in the opening round on Friday, was able to turn the tables on Huck in the third-place match with an 8-3 victory. Both wrestlers will advance to the state finals next week in Champaign.
Other third-place winners include Addison Trail's Jake Matthews (132), Schaumburg's Jack Lingle (145) and Wheaton North's Jett Dowell,
Fourth-place finishers included Addison Trails's Guillermo Juarez (106), Conant's Alex Giuliano (120), St. Charles East's Peyton Schroeder (132) and Tommy Schroeder (160), York's Antonio Gutierrez (145), Wheaton North's Antowon Tolbert (195), Leyden's Fernando Corona (285) and Maine West's Jake Bellizzi (220), who will be making his third trip downstate.
Corona was able to earn that trip thanks to an exciting wrestleback match against DeKalb's George Colbert. The match went to overtime tied at 1-1. Colbert had an escape at the end of the second overtime, but the officials ruled that time had expired. Corona then had an escape just before time expired in the third overtime to win.