QUICK NOTE: While this is a recap of the Individual Sectional Tournament, we have news on the Dual Team Sectional as well. Our dual against Minooka next Tuesday, February 20, will be held at Downers-Grove South High School, alongside the duals from the Hinsdale sectional. Wrestling begins at 6:00pm. If we win, we return to the Dual Team State Championships for the fourth year in a row. If we don't, our season ends that night. Please clear your schedule and come out to support us!
This past weekend, a contingent of nine wrestlers headed down to Alton High School to compete in the IHSA 3A Individual Sectional being hosted there. After a day and a half of very competitive wrestling, the tournament came to a close with six wrestlers qualifying for the IHSA Individual State Tournament, to be held February 15-17 at the State Farm Center on the campus of the University of Illinois.
Leading the way for Lockport was the team's lone champion, Zach Reese (152). Anthony Molton (120) came in second, while Mike Kaminski (106), Matt Ramos (113), and James Pierandozzi (138) each grabbed a third place finish. Rounding out the half-dozen qualifiers for the Porters was Yousif Salah (182), who came away finishing in 4th place.
Also competing for the Porters were Jake D'Angelo (126), Matt Kronsbein (132), and Austin Kolada (160), but these three came up short in their efforts. Kronsbein grabbed a pair of wins during the tournament, but unfortunately that was not enough, while D'Angelo and Kolada were each shut out of the win column.
Full results for the Alton Sectional can be found here. And since the IHSA Individual State Tournament brackets are created using seeding criteria for sectional champions, they are already completed and posted as well. Click here for the IHSA Individual State Tournament brackets.
(Way Too) Detailed Recap
We're going to go through this wrestler by wrestler, rather than me try to spin any narrative.
106: Sophomore Mike Kaminski earned his first trip down state in his first year as a varsity starter with his 3rd place finish this weekend. Kaminski, the on-paper favorite in the bracket following the withdrawal of Marian Catholic's Anthony Talamonti, made his way into the semifinals with a bye and a 2-0 win in the quarterfinals. There, he squared off against Belleville West's Josh Koderhandt, who came out with the upset win, 3-1. Kaminski was pushed into the semifinal wrestlebacks - the blood round - with the loss. In the blood round, winners become state qualifiers, losers see their individual season come to an end. In the blood round, Kaminski wrestled arguably his most complete match of the tournament, besting Collinsville's Jalen May by a 9-2 score to put himself into the 3rd place match and earn his first state tournament berth. Kaminski ended the tournament on a high note, picking up a hard fought 4-2 win over Moline's Isaiah Tapia.
113: Coming into the tournament, it was a given that 113 was the bracket to watch in this tournament - it had so many storylines that could have played out. It was so eventful that it will get a couple paragraphs here. By virtue of his regional title, Matt Ramos had a first round bye, and was met by familiar opponent Briscoe Watson in the quarterfinal round - whom Ramos defeated via 19-3 technical fall at the 2:45 mark of the bout. This set the stage for the match that could very well be the state finals, and one of the most anticipated bouts of the tournament: the semifinal vs. Noah Surtin of Edwardsville. Surtin, currently ranked 4th by Intermat and 8th by FloWrestling in their latest national rankings, won a Fargo title in Freestyle this summer, and held a 44-1 record coming into the match - his lone loss coming at the hands of Montini's Dylan Ragusin in the Cheesehead finals.
Ramos vs. Surtin was arguably the most entertaining match of the tournament, from a unbiased fan view. It fully deserves its own paragraph. In the first period, neither wrestler was able to earn a takedown, but they battled back and forth. There was no standing around waiting. Surtin won the flip and chose to start the second period on bottom, where he then earned an escape. This time, however, Ramos countered an attack from Surtin with a roll to a tilt off of a whizzer, and was awarded two points for the takedown. The ref swiped for nearfall, but none were awarded, with the official saying he only got a one-and-a-half count (Full disclosure: this is technically accurate. A point of contention for Ramos, however, was that Surtin was on his back and exposed before the official awarded the takedown, not immediately recognizing that Ramos was indeed in full control). Surtin managed to escape by the end of the period, tying the match up at 2-2. Having had success in picking up the only takedown of the match, Ramos elected to start the third period in the neutral position. The two battled back and forth gain with no wrestler scoring. With under a minute left, the two got in a scramble from an ankle pass, but Ramos managed to freeze Surtin on his back for about 20 seconds - but no takedown was awarded, much to the chagrin of the coaches and a large number of fans. Surtin did still have a hold of Ramos's leg, but the fact that he was on his back for that long in a sport where being on your back is the worst possible position would generally indicate that Ramos had a degree of control, which would dictate a takedown being called. At one point, Ramos was even fully sitting on Surtin's chest. Regardless, there was no takedown awarded, so the bout went into overtime. Again, we had another acton filled minute on their feet, but no points in the first overtime period, so the wrestlers headed into the two 30-second tiebreaker periods. Each wrestler had a chance on bottom, but each wrestler was unable to escape. It came down to the final 30 second ultimate tiebreaker, for which Surtin had the choice of position based on having the first points scored. Surtin chose top, which turned out to be the right choice for him, as Ramos was unable to escape, and Surtin was awarded the riding point to pick up the 3-2 UTB victory.
Ramos, ranked 3rd in the state behind Ragusin and Surtin, dropped into the blood round. Usually, at that caliber, it's not where you want to be, but it's a relatively safe spot. However, due to an upset in the quarterfinals, Ramos found himself squaring off against Providence's Jake Lindsey, the defending state champion. Ramos had defeated Lindsey for the regional championship last season, but they met again in the state semifinals - a bout which Lindsey won 2-1 in 2OT. Lindsey missed the majority of this season with a shoulder injury, but was still a dangerous opponent. Ramos was not phased, however, and controlled the match from the beginning, scoring multiple takedowns and picking up a 10-5 win, securing his second trip down to Champaign. That said, Ramos did have one more match left on the day - the 3rd place match against Nick Minnito of Plainfield Central, the one who pulled the upset against Lindsey. In the rematch of last week's regional championship, Ramos again came out firing early, and cruised to an 11-6 win for third.
120: Anthony Molton was looking to secure his second trip down state and he did just that this weekend. Molton also started the tournament with a bye, before picking up a first period fall in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Molton won a comfortable 9-3 decision over Minooka's Austin Markee, in a matchup we may get a rematch of next week. But 120 was all about the finals. There, Molton, who is ranked 4th in the state, squared off against Travis Ford-Melton of Marian Catholic, ranked 2nd in the state. To his credit, Ford-Melton is also ranked 6th in the nation by Intermat and 5th in the nation by FloWrestling. And in the finals, he showed why. For as quick as Molton is, Ford-Melton was able to cut him off. The two had some flurries of action fast enough that it was hard to follow, but ultimately, it was Ford-Melton scoring the majority of the offensive points, and Molton only picking up a couple, losing to Ford-Melton 16-5.
126: Jake D'Angelo took the mat for Lockport, but was unable to find any successes on the weekend. In the opening round, D'Angelo took a 10-2 major decision loss to Adam Thebeau of Belleville East. In the second round of wrestlebacks, D'Angelo wrestled conference foe Payton Geigner of Lincoln-Way West, but came up just short, dropping a 1-0 decision, eliminating D'Angelo from the tournament.
132: Matt Kronsbein wrestled hard and gave himself a fighting chance in every match, but ultimately was unsuccessful in his bid to become a state qualifier this season. Kronsbein opened the tournament with a 6-5 decision against Paul Malito of Lincoln-Way East, before dropping the quarterfinal to Victor Guzman of Rock Island. Kronsbein bounced back in the second round wrestlebacks, picking up a 5-0 decision over Zach Kolb of Plainfield South, but was defeated 5-2 in the third round by Chad Lawler of Normal West, ending his bid for a berth at state.
138: James Pierandozzi was another wrestler whose semifinal match would have been a fantastic finals match. To get there, Pierandozzi had his first round bye, followed by a fall in 2:57 over Will Zupanci of Edwardsville in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Pierandozzi squared off against Holden Heller of Marian Catholic. Heller, a senior this year, is a 3x IHSA State Qualifier who has placed 4th last season. Pierandozzi, however, was not the least bit phased. He came out attacking in the first period, pushing the pace against Heller, and was close to scoring about 4 takedowns - most of which were thwarted by stepping out of the circle, rather than full-blown counters. In any case, the first period went scoreless. In the second and third, each wrestler picked up an escape, but the second went scoreless otherwise. In the third, with the score tied 1-1 and the wrestlers on their feet, Heller shot in, with Pierandozzi defending well from a front headlock. Pierandozzi went to hit a gator roll out of nowhere, catching everyone by surprise, but Heller has great hip control and did not go for it, instead picking up a takedown for himself off of it. Pierandozzi was able to escape but couldn't pick up another point, and lost 3-2. In the blood round, he had to beat Adam McDowell of Minooka, which he did by a score of 5-0, securing his second trip down to Champaign. To cap off the day, Pierandozzi added a 1-0 decision over Garrett Bass of Belleville West for third. Pierandozzi scored the only point of the match when he escaped in the second period, and managed to ride Bass out for the duration of the third period.
152: The lone champion for the Porters came at 152 in the form of Zach Reese, who is now a two time state qualifier. Reese started the tournament off on Friday night with a first round bye followed by a fall in 2:50 over Jared Skaggs of Granite City in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Reese took on Jake Kendall of Plainfield South, scoring an 8-4 victory to lock up his state berth and earn the spot in the finals. Reese came out aggressive in the finals, racking up early points against his opponent, Jayden Terronez of Moline. After establishing an early lead, Terronez began mounting a comeback. Reese went from being up 6-0 to holding a 7-6 lead with short time left, following a takedown by Terronez. Terronez went to cut Reese, who saw an opportunity to try to get a reversal and took hold of Terronez's leg. As Reese was holding the leg, Terronez was trying to get behind to get what he thought would earn him a takedown. He got behind Reese, but it seemed that neither Terronez or many of the fans had realized that no escape was awarded to Reese, as there had not been any separation. So instead of Terronez tying it up at 8-8 as he and much of the crowd thought, the score had maintained at 7-6, Terronez was still the wrestler in control on top for the duration of that chain of events, and Reese came away with his first sectional championship.
160: Austin Kolada came in to this tournament hoping he could pull out some upsets, but ultimately lady luck was not on his side. Kolada opened the tournament against Zack Katula of Yorkville, and pushed the pace throughout the match, but Katula was able to capitalize on more scoring opportunities and earned the 5-3 decision. In the second round of the wrestlebacks, Kolada was pitted against Caleb Grau of Belleville East. Kolada again pushed the pace, coming right at his opponent as he tends to do, but Grau used his size and reach to his advantage, not allowing Kolada to get to his offense, and taking advantage of that, picking up the 14-3 win, eliminating Kolada from the tournament.
182: In his senior season, Yousif Salah managed to achieve the goal that has eluded him over the past three years: becoming a state qualifier. Salah started Friday night with a bye and a fall over Nolan Woszczynski of Alton in 1:41. On Saturday, Salah faced off against a familiar foe - Nick Mihajlovich of Lincoln-Way East. The 5th ranked Mihajlovich came out aggressive early on, scoring a takedown and two pairs of nearfall points to put him up by 7 in under the first minute. Salah had to play catch-up for the rest of the match. Yousif was able to put his own points on the board, but in the closing part of the 3rd period, still trailing by five, Salah had to go big. Mihajlovich knew it, and was prepared for the last ditch throw attempt, catching Salah on his back mid-throw for the fall in 5:53. Salah was bounced into the blood round, but wrestled a solid, controlled match against Granite City's Reide Wilson, scoring a 7-1 decision to punch his ticket to state. For 3rd, Salah was taking on Jackson O'Reilly of Oswego East in a rematch of the regional finals, which was won by Salah. Salah scored an early takedown and looked to be in control, but O'Reilly scored a reversal, put Salah on his back, and got the late first period fall in 1:47. Salah took 4th with the loss, but 4th still qualifies!
IHSA 3A Sectional @ Alton (Sr.) Results for Lockport (Twp.)
Mike Kaminski (29-10) placed 3rd and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Mike Kaminski (Lockport (Twp.)) 29-10 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal - Mike Kaminski (Lockport (Twp.)) 29-10 won by decision over Nick Matthias (New Lenox (Providence Catholic)) 28-19 (Dec 2-0)
Semifinal - Josh Koderhandt (Belleville (West)) 39-7 won by decision over Mike Kaminski (Lockport (Twp.)) 29-10 (Dec 3-1)
Cons. Semi - Mike Kaminski (Lockport (Twp.)) 29-10 won by decision over Jalen May (Collinsville) 42-6 (Dec 9-2)
3rd Place Match - Mike Kaminski (Lockport (Twp.)) 29-10 won by decision over Isaiah Tapia (Moline (h.s.)) 35-9 (Dec 4-2)
Matt Ramos (43-5) placed 3rd and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Matt Ramos (Lockport (Twp.)) 43-5 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal - Matt Ramos (Lockport (Twp.)) 43-5 won by tech fall over Briscoe Watson (Flossmoor (Homewood-F.)) 31-10 (TF-1.5 2:45 (19-3))
Semifinal - Noah Surtin (Edwardsville (h.s.)) 46-1 won in double overtime over Matt Ramos (Lockport (Twp.)) 43-5 (2-OT 3-2)
Cons. Semi - Matt Ramos (Lockport (Twp.)) 43-5 won by decision over Jacob Lindsey (New Lenox (Providence Catholic)) 11-3 (Dec 10-5)
3rd Place Match - Matt Ramos (Lockport (Twp.)) 43-5 won by decision over Nick Minnito (Plainfield (Central)) 33-11 (Dec 11-6)
Anthony Molton (42-7) placed 2nd and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Anthony Molton (Lockport (Twp.)) 42-7 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal - Anthony Molton (Lockport (Twp.)) 42-7 won by fall over Ross Heimlich (New Lenox (Providence Catholic)) 21-22 (Fall 1:16)
Semifinal - Anthony Molton (Lockport (Twp.)) 42-7 won by decision over Austin Markee (Minooka) 35-10 (Dec 9-3)
1st Place Match - Travis Ford-Melton (Chicago Heights (Marian)) 28-1 won by major decision over Anthony Molton (Lockport (Twp.)) 42-7 (MD 16-5)
Jake D`Angelo (9-11) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Adam Thebeau (Belleville (East)) 39-11 won by major decision over Jake D`Angelo (Lockport (Twp.)) 9-11 (MD 10-2)
Cons. Round 1 - Jake D`Angelo (Lockport (Twp.)) 9-11 received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 - Payton Geigner (New Lenox (Lincoln-Way West)) 35-12 won by decision over Jake D`Angelo (Lockport (Twp.)) 9-11 (Dec 1-0)
Matt Kronsbein (8-5) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Matt Kronsbein (Lockport (Twp.)) 8-5 won by decision over Paul Malito (Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East)) 16-17 (Dec 6-5)
Quarterfinal - Victor Guzman (Rock Island (h.s.)) 30-6 won by decision over Matt Kronsbein (Lockport (Twp.)) 8-5 (Dec 10-4)
Cons. Round 2 - Matt Kronsbein (Lockport (Twp.)) 8-5 won by decision over Zachary Kolb (Plainfield (South)) 27-19 (Dec 5-0)
Cons. Round 3 - Chad Lawyer (Normal (Community West)) 34-13 won by decision over Matt Kronsbein (Lockport (Twp.)) 8-5 (Dec 5-2)
James Pierandozzi (11-1) placed 3rd and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - James Pierandozzi (Lockport (Twp.)) 11-1 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal - James Pierandozzi (Lockport (Twp.)) 11-1 won by fall over Will Zupanci (Edwardsville (h.s.)) 26-20 (Fall 2:57)
Semifinal - Holden Heller (Chicago Heights (Marian)) 14-0 won by decision over James Pierandozzi (Lockport (Twp.)) 11-1 (Dec 3-2)
Cons. Semi - James Pierandozzi (Lockport (Twp.)) 11-1 won by decision over Adam Mcdowell (Minooka) 27-11 (Dec 5-0)
3rd Place Match - James Pierandozzi (Lockport (Twp.)) 11-1 won by decision over Garrett Bass (Belleville (West)) 28-8 (Dec 1-0)
Zach Reese (30-10) placed 1st and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Zach Reese (Lockport (Twp.)) 30-10 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal - Zach Reese (Lockport (Twp.)) 30-10 won by fall over Jared Skaggs (Granite City) 32-17 (Fall 2:50)
Semifinal - Zach Reese (Lockport (Twp.)) 30-10 won by decision over Jake Kendall (Plainfield (South)) 41-10 (Dec 8-4)
1st Place Match - Zach Reese (Lockport (Twp.)) 30-10 won by decision over Jayden Terronez (Moline (h.s.)) 39-7 (Dec 7-6)
Austin Kolada (15-16) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Zack Katula (Yorkville (h.s.)) 27-9 won by decision over Austin Kolada (Lockport (Twp.)) 15-16 (Dec 5-3)
Cons. Round 1 - Austin Kolada (Lockport (Twp.)) 15-16 received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 - Caleb Grau (Belleville (East)) 41-9 won by major decision over Austin Kolada (Lockport (Twp.)) 15-16 (MD 14-3)
Yousif Salah (15-9) placed 4th and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Yousif Salah (Lockport (Twp.)) 15-9 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal - Yousif Salah (Lockport (Twp.)) 15-9 won by fall over Nolan Woszczynski (Alton (Sr.)) 31-15 (Fall 1:41)
Semifinal - Nick Mihajlovich (Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East)) 30-3 won by fall over Yousif Salah (Lockport (Twp.)) 15-9 (Fall 5:53)
Cons. Semi - Yousif Salah (Lockport (Twp.)) 15-9 won by decision over Reide Wilson (Granite City) 28-10 (Dec 7-1)
3rd Place Match - Jackson O`Reilly (Oswego (East)) 26-5 won by fall over Yousif Salah (Lockport (Twp.)) 15-9 (Fall 1:47)