(Apologies on a full 24-hour delay for this one; but the teaching job comes first!)
On paper, 6th ranked Lockport appeared to be heavy favorites heading into Tuesday night's dual with 19th ranked Moline. After all, even coming from the same individual sectional, Lockport qualified six wrestlers to the Individual State Tournament to Moline's three. Lockport placed three, Moline placed zero. Tuesday night, none of that mattered, as Moline pushed the Porters to the edge. Despite trailing for most of the dual, the Porters came through in many ways, and managed to pull out a 36-28 victory.
The dual started at 152, where Trevell Timmons, who medically forfeited out of the Individual State Tournament this Saturday, took the mat for the Porters. Timmons pushed through the pain and picked up a 20-5 technical fall over Moline's Jayden Terronez in 4:27. The 5-0 lead that Lockport gained would be the only Porter lead for quite some time.
At 160, Chandler Proszek took on Moline's Daniel Terronez, a state qualifier this year at 145 who ended the season ranked 5th at that weight. Proszek came out attacking, scoring a takedown in the first period, and an escape in the second. Carrying a lead halfway through the match and continuing to push, Proszek fell victim to a big headlock by Terronez, who got up the fall in 2:50. At 170, Moline bumped their in-season 160 pounder, Josh Bush, to take on Payton Fernandes. Fernandes stayed active throughout the match, but dropped an 18-10 major decision, after being taken to his back multiple times.
A short lived tide swung back in Lockport's favor at 182, when Nick Dado picked up a win over Moline's Hunter Henning, closing the gap in the team score to 8-10. Dado scored a first period takedown, and Henning an escape. The two then traded escapes in the second and third periods, and that accounts for all of the scoring. It was a very active match, with lots of offense, but only one offensive move actually scoring points.
Lockport's momentum shift was short lived, however, as Moline would go on and win at 195 and 220 pounds. At 195, Yousif Salah lost by fall in 0:23 to Moline's Daltyn Dodd, ranked 7th and qualifying for state at 182 this season. At 220 pounds, Dan Stojsavljevic lost an 8-2 decision to Moline's Aaron Ditsworth, but did a great job of preventing Ditsworth from picking up the major once the victory seemed near certain.
Lockport got itself back on the board at 285, with Freshman heavyweight Ronald Tucker Jr. picking up yet another win, pushing his season total to 45 wins, extending his team-lead AND his record number of wins for a Lockport freshman. Tucker headed into the match against Moline's Kevin Pancrazio knowing that he basically needed a pin for the team, and at the 3:22 mark, he delivered, making the score 19-14 in Moline's favor. At 106, Matt Ramos took on Moline's Isaiah Tapia, and went to work, picking up over 8 points in the first period. Ramos got the fall for Lockport in 2:33, giving Lockport a 20-19 lead, its first since the first match.
But again, as quickly as Lockport gained the lead, they lost it. Anthony Molton bumped up to 113 pounds, where he found himself on the losing end to Moline's Isaac Martinez, a state qualifier and sectional champion this year, by a 13-6 decision. Again, Molton did a great job of preventing a major decision and allowing Moline to get that extra point. Matt Kronsbein found himself in a similar situation, bumping up to 120 to take on a 2015 state qualifier in Trenton Jackson. Kronsbein wrestled well, but was simply outmatched. He too, however, was able to prevent Jackson from getting a major decision, losing the match by a final score of 10-4, and making the team score 25-20 in Moline's favor.
The 126 pound match between Brandon Ramos and Moline's Paladin Martinez was easily the match of the dual, and what would turn out to be the most pivotal match. Martinez, a sectional qualifier this season and state qualifier last season, was taken down seemingly effortlessly by Ramos. Ramos, perhaps a bit too fired-up, went to work on top, hard, and while running a pinning combination, Martinez was able to use Ramos' momentum to put Ramos on his back. Ramos fought off of his back for over 45 seconds, until the first period came to a close. The second period went very similarly - Ramos picked up another takedown, was almost reversed to his back - but bailed out at the last minute. Ramos got an escape and went big move, throwing Martinez to his back and nearly getting the fall before the time expired. In the third period, however, Ramos got it done, and managed to pin Martinez at the 4:38 mark, giving Lockport a 26-25 lead, and, with Assaf, Fernandes, and Oster left to wrestle, a sense of calm and relief amongst the team and fans.
That feeling was, again, short lived. Assaf, fighting through a heavily debilitating injury, took the mat at 132, having just wrestled over the weekend and all season at 120, against Moline's Caleb Schnell - who was one win from being a state qualifier this season. The injury clearly had an effect on Assaf, and he was unable to get anything going. Coupled with Schnell's exceptional talent, and Assaf ended on the wrong end of a 10-3 decision after the six minutes were up. Moline had also regained the lead, 26-25.
Baylor Fernandes took the mat at 138 against Moline's Edward Raya, knowing that a win would give the Porters at least a 28-26 lead, and possibly as much as a 31-26 lead. He also knew that Moline's JV 145 pounder would be taking on state runner-up Shayne Oster at 145. All in all, Fernandes knew that he could, for all intensive purposes, put the dual away for the Porters. Raya, obviously, had plans of his own, wanting the win for the team and to avenge a sectional loss to Fernandes two weeks earlier.
Fernandes wrestled absolutely lights-out.
The match went all six minutes, but ended in a 21-3 technical fall for Baylor, giving Lockport a 31-28 lead with only Oster to go. Shayne took the mat at 145, and although Moline's Grant Ohlsen was able to avoid the pin, Oster was able to take him down and turn him at will, scoring a 21-6 technical fall in 5:40. The win officially sealed the dual at 36-28, and Lockport's second-straight Dual Team State Tournament appearance was guaranteed.
(For those who are curious, Lockport wrestles Prospect at 9am Saturday, at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington. If we win, we'll wrestle again at 2pm, likely against Oak Park-River Forest, and then again at 6pm in the place match against whoever comes through the other side.)
Moline truly gave us a heck of a battle. They had their wrestlers ready to go for this dual, and they made us work hard for all the points we got, and maybe even harder at keeping them from getting more points. It was far too close for comfort for Lockport wrestlers, coaches, and fans, but probably made for one heck of a dual for the casual fan.
#6 Lockport 36, #19 Moline 28
152: #5 Trevell Timmons LTHS tech. fall Jayden Terronez MOL (20-5; 4:37) / 5-0
160: #5 (145) Daniel Terronez fall HM Chandler Proszek LTHS (2:50) / 5-6
170: Josh Bush MOL maj. dec. Payton Fernandes LTHS (18-10) / 5-10
182: Nick Dado LTHS dec. Hunter Henning MOL (3-2) / 8-10
195: #7 (182) Daltyn Dodd MOL fall Yousif Salah LTHS (0:23) / 8-16
220: Aaron Ditsworth MOL dec. Dan Stojsavljevic LTHS (8-2) / 8-19
285: #12 Ronald Tucker LTHS fall Kevin Pancrazio MOL (3:22) / 14-19
106: Matt Ramos LTHS fall Isaiah Tapia MOL (2:33) / 20-19
113: HM Isaac Martinez MOL dec. HM (106) Anthony Molton (13-6) / 20-22
120: HM Trenton Jackson MOL dec. Matt Kronsbein LTHS (10-4) / 20-25
126: #12 Brandon Ramos LTHS fall HM Palidin Martinez MOL (4:38) / 26-25
132: HM Caleb Schnell MOL dec #3 (120) Abdullah Assaf LTHS (10-3) / 26-28
138: HM Baylor Fernandes LTHS tech. fall Edward Raya MOL (21-3; 6:00) / 31-28
145: #2 Shayne Oster LTHS tech. fall Grant Ohlsen MOL (21-6; 540 ) / 36-28
WAY more photos available at Coach Sealy's Photo Site!!!!
That said, here are just a handful - I took a lot, but picking and choosing is tough, so go to the site and look at them all!