Wrestling: Warren finishes 2nd at 25-team Whitlatch invite

Things did not go as planned for Glenbard West's Jacob Lachs at the start of this weekend's Rex Whitlatch Wrestling Invitational, but the senior did not let the situation keep him down long.

The Hilltopper captain came to the Hinsdale Central meet unbeaten on the year but suffered a 5-3 setback in his first bout on Friday, an emotional setback for sure. But Lachs battled his way back to a third-place match on Saturday and knocked off Cale Stonisch of Minooka 7-4 to close out the meet with six straight wins.

“It definitely sucked a little bit. I wasn't the happiest guy after that match last night,” said Lachs, now 20-1 on the year. “But it sparked me I guess and it fueled the fire in me which maybe is not the worst thing in the world. Better to face adversity now just so I'm ready for later in the year.”

While storming back through the wrestlebacks Lachs, a state qualifier last year, avenged Friday's loss to Joliet Catholic Academy's Jake Hamiti with a 5-3 overtime victory.

“I think there are some good things to take away from day two,” he added. “I feel good and knocking off the guy who beat me is a nice confidence booster.”

Glenbard West coach Pat McCuskey was impressed with his wrestler's fight this weekend after the sluggish start.

“He showed a lot of leadership,” the Hilltoppers coach said. “He had a tough first match and then came back and won six matches. It showed a lot of leadership especially for our young wrestlers — keep your mind in this and just pick them off one at a time.”

Joliet Catholic topped the 25-team with a score of 250 points, a comfortable margin over runner-up Warren (162.5) and third-place Neenah from Wisconsin (162.0). DeKalb placed fourth at 147. JCA had three champions, including nationally ranked heavyweight Dillan Johnson (13-0), who easily bested Downers Grove North's Ben Bielawski by fall at 1:44 mark of the finals.

Hinsdale Central 220-pounder Marko Ivanisevic stayed perfect on the year at 17-0 after pinning JCA's Hunter Powell in the first period of the championship bout, while Stevenson's Lorenzo Fressa won at 138 and he too is unbeaten this year while looking for a fourth straight trip downstate.

“It's kind of not my best tournament,” said Ivanisevic, who survived a 3-2 battle with Eric Schaufelberg of Neenah in the semifinals before capping off his weekend with a pin. “I don't think I wrestled all that well. In the semifinals match I gave up a takedown and that was disappointing. In the finals, I said I work too hard to be giving up stuff like that and that I have to get the job done.”

The Red Devil junior was fifth in the state last year at 220 and won a regional title and a Rex Whitlatch title as well. Hinsdale Central also won at 145 pounds after Cody Tavoso won a 6-2 decision with JCA's Luke Hamiti.

Fressa has been getting the job done for four seasons now. After making state as a freshman, the Stevenson star has finished third in the state the last two years. This weekend he had two pins and a technical fall on his way to the finals where he bested Warren's Evan Onstad 11-3.

“Overall, I think this weekend's gone really well. I just wanted to finish a little stronger,” Fressa said. “There's still some room for improvement but overall still performed pretty well. In the finals I was pretty in control, but I wanted to push a little more ... maybe get a few more takedowns on my feet.”

The team champions picked up a first-place finish at 120 as Gylon Sims topped that weight class, where Downers Grove South's Donnie Fields finished fifth. The champs also won at 160 as Mason Alessio defeated West Aurora's Noah Quintana 13-3. At 106 pounds, Noah Avina of JCA took third, and teammate Jason Hampton added a third at 113.

DeKalb's Austin Martin was third at 145 and Kaden Klapprodt was sixth at 113. The Barbs added a fifth at 126 as Hudson Ikens defeated West Aurora's Aiden Massaro 9-6 to move to 13-6 on the year.

Warren freshman Aaron Stewart beat Downers Grove North's Harrison Konder 7-3 in the 152-pound finals on his way to being named MVP of the invite. In the third-place bout West Aurora's Dominic Serio beat Luke Swan of Downers Grove South via major decision 15-5.

Downers Grove South's RJ Samuels came up just short in the championship bout at 170, but the Mustang walked away from the meet feeling real good about the way he wrestled this weekend. He took a deceiving 6-6 record into the meet and advanced to the finals before losing 3-2 to Barrington's Jon Fier.

“I was trying to get to my offense in the third period. We went out of bounds with seven seconds left and I just couldn't quite get there,” said Samuels, who bested Fier 17-15 last week. “I came in just hoping to place top three. I knew I didn't have the best record but I knew I wrestled some tough guys along the way. My record didn't really reflect it so I knew I was going to come out and battle and try and place top three.”

Also at 170, West Aurora's Francisco Solis was third, Hinsdale South's Alex Miller fifth, Glenbard West's Sasha Boulton seventh, and Silvano Spatafora of Neuqua Valley placed eighth. Hinsdale South earned third-place points at 182 pounds from Jovanni Piazza (12-1).

DeKalb's Davis Stewart advanced to the finals at 195 pounds before falling 9-4 to Cooper King of Lyons Township. Stewart recorded a takedown and a near fall for an early 4-0 lead, but King erased the lead with an escape, a takedown and three back points for a 6-4 lead after one period, a lead he never relinquished.

“I was gassed,” Stewart admitted. “This week I'm gonna come back stronger. If I see him again I'm gonna win next time. I had him on his back, and my coaches told me I went to the leg super quick. I'll just work on that [move] in practice. Yesterday I used that move and turned him [opponent]. With a guy like that (King) you can't do that.”

  Warren's Aaron Stewart, left, wrestles Downers Grove North's Harrison Konder in the 152-pound finals match of the Hinsdale Central wrestling invite in Hinsdale Saturday. Joe Lewnard/
  Above: Stevenson's Lorenzo Frezza lifts Warren's Evan Onstad in the 138-pound finals match of the Hinsdale Central invite.Below: Barrington's Jon Fier, left, wrestles Downers Grove South's RJ Samuels in the 170-pound finals match. Joe Lewnard/
  Joliet Catholic's Mason Alessio, top, wrestles West Aurora's Noah Quintna during the 160-pound finals match of the Hinsdale Central wrestling invite in Hinsdale Saturday. Joe Lewnard/
  Barrington's Jon Fier, left, wrestles Downers Grove South's RJ Samuels in the 170-pound finals match of the Hinsdale Central wrestling invite in Hinsdale Saturday. Joe Lewnard/
  DeKalb's David Stewart, left, wrestles Lyons Township's Cooper King in the 195-pound the finals match of the Hinsdale Central wrestling invite in Hinsdale Saturday. Joe Lewnard/
  Barrington's Jon Fier celebrates his victory in the 170-pound finals match of the Hinsdale Central wrestling invite in Hinsdale Saturday. Joe Lewnard/
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