BARRINGTON – Crystal Lake South’s Eric Barone managed only 13 seconds into overtime something neither he nor Hononegah’s Femie Silva could do in the first six minutes – score an offensive point.
Silva almost was out of bounds, but Barone was awarded the takedown, which gave him a 3-1 decision for the 145-pound title at the Class 3A Barrington Wrestling Sectional Meet Saturday.
“That was the best match, so far, of my high school career to win a sectional,” said Barone, who had lost to Silva, 7-5, earlier this season. “It’s a big dream of mine to win a sectional and I finally achieved it.”
Barone had to wait a few seconds as Hononegah coach Jason Glodowski questioned the officials about the validity of the call, but nothing was changed.
“I thought it was a takedown when they called it,” said Barone, who is 39-4. “I’ve never seen a call reversed. I thought I had won, but still had a little bit of doubt.”
South’s Nick Gil won the 138-pound division right before Barone took the mat. Prairie Ridge’s Travis Piotrowski (113) was the other local sectional champ from Barrington. The lead 14 area wrestlers who will compete in the Class 3A State Tournament Thursday through Saturday at the University of Illinois in Champaign.
Gil (40-1) defeated Wheeling’s Tulga Zuunbayan, 5-3, in the championship match with a late takedown. Zuunbayan, trailing 3-1, was awarded a point in the second period when Gil tried to throw him and Zuunbayan landed on his head.
“It was a call that didn’t go my way,” Gil said. “I just had to stay focused and keep wrestling and I got the win, so that’s all that matters now. Coach [Ross] Ryan says if there’s time on the clock, anything can happen.”
Gil let Zuunbayan loose in the third period, which tied the score at 3-3, then scored in the final 15 seconds on the takedown.
Piotrowski (37-1) finished third in the Class 3A state at 106 pounds last year and wants to improve on that. He held off Grant’s Nick Koch, 2-0, scoring on a first-period takedown.
“I was moving on my feet well and attacking well,” Piotrowski said. “Then it kind of slowed up a little bit, but I’m happy with what I did. I was working on my moves and controlling the match.”
Dundee-Crown sophomore Christian Brunner (40-4) lost to Deerfield’s Colton Emmerich (43-1), 5-3, in the championship match. It was Brunner’s third loss to Emmerich, and his closest. Emmerich held a 3-0 lead after two periods and Brunner, starting on bottom for the third period, escaped for a point and then scored a takedown to tie.
Emmerich, a senior, came back with a takedown in the final 10 seconds for the victory.
“I got off-balance, I should have grabbed the ankle and waited,” Brunner said. “I just had to fight back [down 3-0], take everything, you have nothing to lose. It’s a good moral victory [to come back] only being a sophomore.”
The top four finishers in each class advance to the state meet, which makes the consolation semifinals the most intense matches of the day. Those winners advance to the third-place match knowing they already had qualified for state.
Cary-Grove sophomore John Cullen (132) will join his senior brother Michael (120) at the state meet. The Trojans’ Logan Hanselmann (126) also advanced. John Cullen had the toughest route on Saturday, defeating Mundelein’s Sam Riportella, 3-2 in double overtime, and then beating DeKalb’s Jackson Montgomery, 3-2 in triple overtime, for third place.
Riportella received a third caution for a false start in the consolation semifinal, which proved to be Cullen’s winning point.
“It was nerve-racking,” Cullen said. “It was my entire season in that match. Last year I was in the same situation and just came up a bit short. I was remembering last year, I didn’t want that to happen again. It was a weird way to win, but, I mean, a win’s a win.”
South’s Garrett Dziedzic faced Jacobs’ Cody Ferencz for the fifth time in a consolation semifinal at 120 pounds. The two had split their first four meetings, each decided by one point, and Dziedzic won another tight match, 5-1. He led 3-1 before a late takedown.
“I was just staying aggressive,” Dziedzic said. “I really wanted to make it to state so I didn’t have to wait until next year to try again.”
Prairie Ridge’s Charley Popp was 1-2 against McHenry’s Cam Pait heading into their 160-pound consolation semifinal, but had the lead late before pinning Pait at 5:57.
“It was nice to finally beat him,” said Popp, who lost to Pait in their regional match last week. “I’m pumped to compete next week.”
McHenry’s Luis Hernandez (220) suffered his first loss of the season in the semifinals and came back to face Jacobs’ Mark Mamola in the consolation semifinals. Hernandez (34-1) scored a late takedown and went on to take third place.
“It’s kind of unreal,” Hernandez said. “I’ve never been there to watch [state], so I’m kind of shocked right now. I just want to go there and get a medal.”
Class 3A State Qualifiers
Cary-Grove: John Cullen (132), Mike Cullen (120), Logan Hanselmann (126).
Crystal Lake South: Nick Gil (138), Eric Barone (145), Garrett Dziedzic (120), Brian Pence (195).
Dundee-Crown: Christian Brunner (182), Jeremy Marshall (285).
Huntley: Ricky Vigil (126).
McHenry: Ian Mullen (106) Luis Hernandez (220).
Prairie Ridge: Travis Piotrowski (113), Charley Popp (160).