Bianchini, IC Catholic defeat Glenbard South, Guerin
IC Catholic Prep senior wrestler Joey Bianchini knows what it takes to win. He was the IHSA Class 1A champion a year ago at 113 pounds.
But he also realizes there is strength in numbers. That's why he's so pleased that 19 Knights' football players joined the team after winning the Class 3A championship in that sport in November.
"At the start of the year, when football was still in session, we started out with six, seven guys," Bianchini said. "They came in ready to work, and they're doing good so far. Wrestling shape is different from football shape. It's a little different transition."
Led by Bianchini, ICCP looked strong in the Metro Suburban Conference quad it hosted Thursday night, handily beating Guerin Prep 48-12 and then Glenbard South 42-18 to improve to 2-6 overall and 2-0 in the league. In an early-season meet loaded with forfeits, the Knights scored 6 pins. Bianchini won his only match, pinning Glenbard South's Austin Benesch in 2:39 after taking a 12-3 lead into the second period.
But the recent imports from the football team accounted well for themselves.
Take Kemon Reese, who wasted no time pinning Glenbard South's Mark Wilson at 182, doing the job in 1:56.9. Then there was Malachi Morris at 152, who endured a tight match with Guerin's Abel DeJesus, holding a slim 6-4 lead before pinning him in 3:25.
"He's probably one of the fastest learners I've been around in the sport," said ICCP coach Kevin Sliva of Morris. "He's been wrestling for eight practices and he's 3-1 -- three pins."
Due to a scheduling conundrum, Fenton wrestled just one match, against Glenbard South, and beat the Raiders 54-12 behind pins from Danny Sotelo at 145, Ramiro Bracamontes at 160 and Anthony Park at 182.
Bracamontes' match was particularly interesting. He was down 14-8 to Glenbard South's Minani Alexis before pinning him in the third period, at the 4:16 mark. Park had an easier time with Wilson, getting a 2-point takedown in the first period before pinning him at 2:38.
"Weighing in at 166 and jumping up to 182 kind of surprised me, but I knew that if I wrestled smart and kind of controlled up the ties," Park said, "when the second period comes up and I get my choice, I was going to get out and score more points then he was and I was going to outwork him."
But Fenton, now 7-0 overall and 1-0 in conference, also got five forfeit victories.
"I saw some good opportunities, so I think we could have been a little more aggressive and stayed on them a little bit more," Fenton coach Brian Hastings said. "But some good stuff, by Ramiro, Anthony and Danny."
The bright side for an otherwise down night for Glenbard South was its 21-6 meet-ending win over Guerin. The Raiders got pins from Hector Andreas (113 pounds), Alexis (160) and Adam Haushahn (220). Its only other win was an 11-4 decision for Austin Benesch over Abel DeJesus at 145, a match that was stopped several times due to DeJesus' bloody nose.
"We both are rebuilding, I guess you could say," Glenbard South coach Derrick Crenshaw said. "We've got a lot of work to do. We graduated nine and we've got one senior back. We need a feeder program. Without a feeder program this is going to happen to us a lot, every three years."