Wrestling: McHenry, Marian shine at Batavia
Chris Moore is no longer making the long commute he made as a Class 1A state champion at Aurora Christian.
But the now-McHenry junior continues to dominate his winter sport of choice.
Saturday afternoon at the 17-team Batavia Invitational, Moore extended his season-opening winning streak to 31 matches with a third-period technical fall at 160 pounds.
"I was just going out there, getting my offense under control and doing what I needed to do to win those matches," Moore said.
Moore remarkably failed to score any back points in accruing 24 points against Blake Hinrichsen of top-ranked Class 2A downstate power Washington.
"It was just all takedowns," Moore said of felling Hinrichsen 12 times.
Moore is the top-ranked athlete in the coaches' Class 3A poll.
But McHenry as a team had to settle for third place with 168.5 points.
In a potential preview of the team dual-match state championship, Washington slid past Lemont -- the 2020 state champion -- 199.5-184 for the overall title.
Batavia (153.5) was fourth, followed by Downers Grove North (128), Marian Catholic Central (120.5), Naperville North (115.5), Andrew (112), Maine South (78) and Hinsdale Central (70.5),
Brody Hallin is not terribly far from the Moore pace for the Warriors.
Hallin made it back-to-back McHenry titles as the senior had the only offensive points in a 3-1 tactical meat-grinder with Lemont senior Alex Tagler.
"I felt like my pace was really good," the Warriors' second-ranked 170-pounder who improved to 33-1 on the season said. "I knew he was a strong kid. I knew I had to move him around, get to his legs and get him tired."
"At this point in the season, it doesn't matter as much as three, four weeks later," Tagler said of the loss.
Marian Central also had two champions.
The Hurricanes' Nik Jimenez used a series of takedowns to overpower Batavia junior Cael Andrews at 145 with a 10-2 verdict.
"I felt like the difference was my stamina," said the 21-2 Jimenez. "I'm not really cutting weight this year, but I am feeling the best I have for my entire career. (Andrews) started to tire out the second period and third period; that's where I started taking advantage."
"Finishing some of those takedowns definitely could have helped," Andrews said. "It would have changed the whole momentum of the match, I think, if I had finished the first one."
Charlie Fitzgerald denied Andrew sweeping the opening three weight classes with a third-period technical fall in the finals at 120.
"I wrestled (Casey Griffin) earlier in the year and knew what to do," Fitzgerald said. "I feel getting into my offense really got me going. When I got the first turn, I felt like I had this."
Downers North also crowned two champions as Harrison Konder denied Batavia 29-match champion Kaden Fetterolf 10-2 at 138.
"In the first takedown, I had a blast double (leg)," Kondor said. "I felt confident for the rest of the match. I am ready for the state series."
"It was rough," Fetterolf said. "I was having some knee problems. I didn't even know if I could wrestle."
The Trojans' Ben Bielawski upended top-seeded Lemont senior Moe Khalil to win the 182-pound title with an 8-3 victory.
Batavia junior Noah Ajazi dropped a 5-1 championship match at 152 to Harlem senior Marshal Cubs.
"Guys are facing top competition here," Batavia coach Scott Bayer said. "This tournament is tougher than a regional, similar to a sectional."
Jacobs' Dom Ducato fell 3-1 to undefeated Max Siegel at 106 pounds.
"I lost focus and got taken down," Durcato said.
Pierre Baldwin had the misfortune of knocking noggins with Washington superstar Kannon Webster, a Fargo national champion who was the lower-weights' MVP for his one-sided triumph
at 132, but the West Chicago senior had a signature victory in the semifinals.
"I had an escape and immediate takedown and rode him out for the win," Baldwin said of his 3-2 victory over Hinsdale Central junior Cody Tovaso. "The difference was I was more prepared and stayed calm, even when I was losing."