By JIM PETERS
Be a hero.
Crown Point Regional, Chesterton coach Chris Joll asked his wrestlers to dig
a little deeper.
"On paper, I
thought getting 10 through made perfect sense," Joll said. "For us to get
eight into the finals, it required some kids to raise their level. I
challenged one of them to step up and... do something unexpected for them."
Not only did Joll
have one Trojan answer that call, he had four respond with semifinal
victories in situations that were 50-50 propositions at best.
"Nick Winland had
lost to (Lake Central's Brad Park) before. Cade Johnson had lost to (Lake
Central's Cristian Ponce). (Lowell's Abel Verbeek) had finished higher than
Gavin (Layman) in every single thing they've been at. Chris Merrill wasn't
even 50 percent (upper body injury) and he had a nice win," Joll said. "We
wrestled pretty well in that round. If you asked me if I'd rather have six
seconds or six thirds, I'd rather have six seconds. We wrestled tough and
made Crown Point a little nervous."
The host Bulldogs
topped Chesterton, 174.5-159.5, for the team title with Brock Ellis (152)
and Evan Bates (182) claiming firsts for the Trojans. Merrill (113), Danny
Tolin (120), Ethan Kaiser (132), Johnson (138), Winland (145) and Layman
(160) were all runners-up with Luke Stento (third, 106) and Brandon Bolin
(fourth, 126) also advancing to Saturday's East Chicago Central Semistate.
"These boys have
been around us a really long time," Joll said. "They've been in my room
since they were little. They work really good together as a team. They're
not just beating guys for themselves, they're beating them for the team.
They have confidence in what we're doing as a coaching staff that they're
going to be at their best. I had a friend tell me we looked better than we
did (at Sectional). I said, well, that's the idea. That's part of the plan.
Different kids need different treatment and it looked like things worked out
Ellis (33-2) was a
3-0 winner over Wheeler's Isaiah Mohammed in the 152 final, giving him two
sectional titles in as many seasons.
"I would've liked
to have scored a little more points in the finals but that just didn't
happen," Ellis said. "I'm very forward. I like to push the pace, be
offensive, and a good counter to that is to be more defensive. That's kind
of how the match went. I've improved a lot in keeping my head. Last year, I
feel I could've lost my head and not done smart things, (like) charging
forward. I guess I've matured in not doing that. I'm sticking to my offense.
I'm hoping I can keep the winning going, win semistate to set myself up well
for state. That's the ultimate goal."
Bates (41-2), also
a sophomore, was impressive in a six-minute technical fall (20-3) of
LaPorte's Noah Perez in the finals.
"I felt good,"
Bates said. "I had a good week of practice. I just attacked him more. I was
a little hesitant (at the sectional). I knew I had good conditioning from
practice, so I kept pressing. It gives me a little confidence going into
Without having seen
the semistate brackets, Joll was optimistic about the Trojans' prospects for
“If we can get in a
full week of practice, I think we'll set up well to advance kids to the next
level," he said.
AT CROWN POINT
1. Crown Point,
174.5; 2. Chesterton, 159.5; 3. Lake Central, 106; 4. Lowell, 97; 5. LaPorte,
63.5; 6. New Prairie, 51.5; 7. Valparaiso, 42; 8. Wheeler, 36.5; 9. Hebron,
28; 10. Kankakee Valley, 22; 11. (tie) John Glenn and Michigan City, 6; 13.
(tie) Boone Grove, Hanover Central, Knox and North Judson, 0.
106 -- Stephen
Roberson (Crown Point, 29-2) tech. fall Johnny Cortez (Lake Central, 29-11),
17-2. 113 -- Giovanni Diaz (Wheeler, 31-1) dec. Chris Merrill (Chesterton,
35-10), 13-3. 120 -- Riley Bettich (Crown Point, 33-1) dec. Danny Tolin
(Chesterton, 35-4), 3-1. 126 -- Jesse Mendez (Crown Point, 34-0) fall Jak
Krouse (Valparaiso, 24-10), 1:08. 132 -- Andres Moreno (Lowell, 24-0) dec.
Ethan Kaiser (Chesterton, 31-12), 8-2. 138 -- Tyson Nisley (LaPorte, 36-4)
dec. Cade Johnson (Chesterton, 27-14), 6-3. 145 -- Jake Burford (Crown
Point, 33-2) tech. fall Nick Winland (Chesterton, 33-11), 15-0. 152 -- Brock
Ellis (Chesterton, 33-2) dec. Isaiah Mohamed (Wheeler, 31-7), 3-0. 160 --
Matt Neff (LaPorte, 33-8) dec. Gavin Layman (Chesterton, 28-10), 2-0. 170 --
Aiden Sneed (Kankakee Valley, 31-5) dec. Colin Kwiatkowski (Valparaiso,
29-7), 10-6. 182 -- Evan Bates (Chesterton, 41-2) tech. fall Noah Perez (LaPorte,
36-6), 20-3. 195 -- Ewan Donovan (Hebron, 33-1) dec. Ethan Potosky (Crown
Point, 18-3), 14-5. 220 -- Bryer Stoner (Lowell, 23-10) fall Frank Keller
(Crown Point, 16-16), :35. 285 -- Nick Garcia (Lake Central, 34-4) dec.
Chandler Austgen (Lowell, 26-7), 5-4.
106 -- Luke Stento
(Chesterton, 28-12) d. Stefan Vitello (Valparaiso, 25-14), 7-4. 113 -- Nick
Tattini (Crown Point, 29-10) dec. Isaiah Ponce (Lake Central, 23-14), 5-2.
120 -- Sebastian Cortez (Lake Central, 26-10) dec. Matt Adamczyk (Hebron,
25-5), 5-0. 126 -- Ryan Russell (Lake Central, 19-12) dec. Brandon Bolin
(Chesterton, 29-16), 2-1. 132 -- Brayden Ruiz (New Prairie, 38-5) fall Jacob
Carter (Crown Point, 15-8), :57. 138 -- Cristian Ponce (Lake Central, 33-6)
fall Collin Taylor (Crown Point, 21-12), 3:53. 145 -- Daniel Park (Lake
Central, 29-11) dec. Shawn Hollis (Lowell, 26-6), 4-3. 152 -- Noah
Hollendonner (Crown Point, 25-10) fall Skyler Querry (LaPorte, 23-15), 2:38.
160 -- Abel Verbeek (Lowell, 27-4) dec. Nick Taborski (Crown Point, 20-11),
7-5. 170 -- Luke Lenig (New Prairie, 31-10) fall Jake Sues (Lake Central,
13-22), 1:56. 182 -- Richard Bisping (Lowell, 23-7) tech. fall Matt McElroy
(Crown Point, 17-17), 17-1. 195 -- Grant Johnson (New Prairie, 42-3) fall
Hunter Rohweder (Lowell, 23-9), 3:20. 220 -- Eddie Alonso (Lake Central,
21-17) dec. John Wilcher (Michigan City, 35-5), 6-0. 285 -- Hunter Whitenack
(New Prairie, 31-7) fall Brody Miskimon (Glenn, 27-7), 1:38.