Barrington fights its way to third place at state tourney
BLOOMINGTON -- It was a six-match run of victories perhaps to be immortalized in Barrington wrestling history.
The Broncos' 40-28 victory was inconceivable without the half-dozen maestros.
Saturday night at the Class 3A third-place team-dual state finals, the Broncos put a hurt on the legendary program Sandburg between 152 and 220 pounds.
Sandburg, with five state championships in its illustrious history, could only watch in collective dismay after the Broncos' Marko Hennin, opening the match at 152 pounds, and state runner-up Luke Rasmussen, Tom Sweeney and Jack Hartman all recorded falls.
Kai Conway had a major decision for the Broncos as well at 160 pounds.
But the coup de grace came in the Broncos' final unanswered run of wins when Evan Roper, third in state, dominated Sandburg state runner-up Kevin Zimmer 11-3.
Barrington (26-3) had a commanding 31-0 lead after six matches.
The Eagles' state-champion heavyweight Mike Bosco and state runner-up Sammie Hayes scored 12 quick points with consecutive falls, but Barrington could not be overcome.
"We weren't ready to wrestle," Sandburg coach Clinton Polz said. "I knew it was going to be hard to come back from that (unanswered run). We were in too big of a hole."
Rasmussen had his dreams of an undefeated season vanquished by Huntley two-time state champion David Ferrante last week in Champaign.
"All of our guys just wrestled with heart," Rasmussen said. "Guys were fighting for six minutes -- and then some. No single win won the dual for us."
Sweeney, on the other hand, is far from a state fixture.
"It was only my second match of the season," Sweeney said. "I just stepped up for the occasion. Coach (Dave Udchik) told me right before the match that I was wrestling, like a minute before."
With Sandburg (24-7) possessing three state finalists between 220 and 106 pounds, the Barrington athletes realized an early lead was a must.
"We knew from all the matches between 152 and 220 that we had to get bonus points," said Hartman, who capped the Broncos' three-fall run -- all in the first period -- at 195. "But I don't think we expected to get pins in four matches."
Brian Beers, Phil Chapa and Trey Cysewki had decisions at 113, 120 and 145 pounds, respectively, for Barrington to close out the 12-point victory.
Despite its lofty record, Barrington was considered an underdog against Huntley in the morning quarterfinals.
But the Broncos escaped the Raiders' grasp with a 34-28 victory.
"I think we were ready to wrestle," Udchik said. "We won some big swing matches. We got three pins, and they had zero."
"There were a couple of matches I wish we could have had back," Huntley coach B.J. Bertelsman said.