Wrestling: Trio of MSL teams claim regional titles
What a day of wrestling for the MSL on Saturday.
MSL champion Hersey led a trio of league rivals who would each lift championship trophies at their respective regionals -- sending all three into 3A dual-team sectionals later this month.
The Huskies started strong and never looked back as it bested the competition in Carpentersville at the Dundee-Crown regional, outscoring Stevenson (241.5-192.0) to claim their first regional crown since 2001.
"We all knew we had to come in (here) and wrestle hard, grab bonus points wherever we could, and get as many into the finals against three really good teams. That's what we did," said Huskies heavyweight Oleg Simakov (35-8), who won his second consecutive regional crown, as did Esteban Delgado (120, 30-11). They were two of five to earn top honors.
Stevenson star Lorenzo Frezza (35-0), who won his third regional title, figured his club had a chance coming in with the Patriots lineup now at full strength.
"We've moved a couple of guys around in our lineup, and I feel like we are at our best right now, but Hersey was going to be a tough team to beat with its depth," said Frezza, No. 2 in the state at 138, who was joined by teammate Blake Duval (21-9) at 220 atop the podium.
The Patriots will send nine into the Barrington sectional next Friday, while Hersey advances 13.
Third-place Barrington would celebrated a pair of champions: Jon Fier (170, 33-6) and Ayden Salley (29-6) at 182, and advanced five into its own sectional.
Lake Zurich senior Scott Busse (41-2) dominated at 145 to win his title, as did Dundee-Crown senior Porter Leith (35-1, 195) who won his second straight regional title on his home mats.
"It means a lot to win here once again, but now I have to turn my focus toward getting downstate, and bringing home a state medal," said Leith.
Prospect (20-3-0) would win its second consecutive regional title, and third in four years, after the Knights led start-to-finish, using six individual titles to win the Fremd regional by (87) points (268.0-181.0) over host Fremd.
Loyola Academy was third overall with 175.0 points.
The Knights will face league rival Hersey (11-4-0) in 3A dual-team action at Huntley on Feb. 21.
Schaumburg (19-3-0) capped a most successful day for the league when it claimed its first regional title since 2010 in sensational fashion at Streamwood with an impressive
214.0 overall points, 39.5 more than UEC champion South Elgin (175.5) who finished ahead of third place Conant.
The Cougars, with champions Ethan Stiles (160, 25-0) and Harley Stary (220, 25-9), earned 156.0 points.
"It's been a long time coming, but the boys came in and would start strong, got themselves some big wins and bonus points to help put us over the top of the field," said a proud Schaumburg coach, Mike LeVanti, whose club will face York in its dual-team sectional semifinal in DeKalb.
The Saxons claimed six individual crowns going to Brady Phelps (113, 34-0) and Callen (120, 33-5) and Caden (152, 35-2) Kirchner to give the club 12 on its way to the Conant sectional, while runner-up South Elgin celebrated a trio of titles.
Freshmen Demetrios Carrera (106, 36-1) and Leo Rosas (138, 32-4) would sandwich their first regional title around senior Nico Clinite (37-3) who crushed the competition at 145.
"This feels great, especially in my last year at South Elgin. Now I want to quality for the state tournament," said Clinite, 26-3 a year ago.
Adam Lambaz (285, 27-2) advanced into his second straight sectional after his superb effort in the 285-pound division where he won by a fall. The Elgin senior will be joined by the Maroons' second champ on the day, sophomore Fabian Ramirez (18-6) who was an UEC champ a week ago.
"I am really happy for Fabian. (He's) like my little brother," said a thrilled Lambaz, who was a state qualifier in 2022.
Josh Ellery (Hoffman Estates, 30-6) is on his way to his first sectional and first round bye there following his win at 195 via a pin at 3:50, and will have four Hawks teammates there as well.
Host Streamwood is sending a pair of its men through -- Gabe Inorio (170) and Josiah Torres (220) -- while Larkin's Hector Torres (20-11) advanced from the 182-pound weight class with his third place medal.