Antioch just keeps going against Fenton

By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/25/2020 9:54 PM

The Antioch wrestling team held all of the trump cards Tuesday evening in Bensenville.

The Sequoits ran the table in their 20 regular-season dual meets to earn the No. 4 ranking in Class 2A as determined by the coaches' poll.


Antioch showed little rust in its team sectional dual-meet final against Fenton.

Winning 11 of the first 12 matches against the Bison, Antioch cruised into Saturday's Elite Eight in Bloomington with a 51-19 victory.

Antioch (21-0) will face Mahomet-Seymour at Grossinger Motors Arena in the quarterfinals in search of its first state trophy since winning back-to-back fourth-place plaques in 2012 and 2013.

Fenton had its season close at 17-7.

"It feels pretty good to accomplish our goals and go for a state trophy," Antioch 132-pounder Danny McPherson said. "We just kept going and kept it rolling. We fell short of our goal last year."

But the Sequoits would not drop their Sweet Sixteen match this season.

With the dual meet opening at 170 pounds, Antioch ripped off four quick wins, scoring 19 unanswered points.

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Joshua Sanchez, Daniel Bemis, Lucas Bentley and Briar Russell did not allow an offensive point to their Bison counterparts between 170 and 220 pounds.

Bemis and Russell registered pins in the Sequoits' opening run.

"I think it's more confidence than pressure," Bemis said of the Sequoits continuing their season-long dual-meet winning streak. "We are capable of making big things happen downstate."

Fenton saw its first bright spot when heavyweight Quin Wilcoxen, one of two individual state qualifiers for the Bison, used 3 back points as the basis of a 5-3 victory.

But it would be some time before Fenton scored again.

Antioch took it to the Bison with the next 32 points in succession.

Mark Espejo and Caleb Nobiling, one of three state medal winners for the Sequoits began the six-match uninterrupted run with a 6-2 decision and third-period fall, respectively, at 106 and 113 pounds.


The Sequoits scored bonus points like a pinball savant in the following three matches as well.

Anthony Streib and Alex Barbarise had back-to-back pins at 120 and 126 to extend the fall streak to three.

McPherson then recorded the sufficient number of points to secure a technical fall at the second-period buzzer at 132.

Fenton was shellshocked.

"We hoped to wrestle hard, compete and score points," Fenton coach Brian Hastings said.

But it was not to be for the Bison as the Sequoits' Brandon Pinto had a fall 33 seconds into the second period at 138 to give Antioch a whopping 51-3 lead.

"Everybody was wrestling like we do in practice," Bemis said of the Sequoits' dominance.

Jeremy Piskorz, Daniel Saucedo and state qualifier Daniel Ramirez ended the evening on a bright note for Fenton with wins between 145 and 160.

"Coming in, we all absolutely knew it was going to be a hard match," Piskorz said. "(Hastings) told us to fight for every point."

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