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Naperville North went 5-2 at DeKalb’s two-day dual team tournament, placing second behind tournament champion Rockton-Hononegah.
Coach Tom Champion’s Huskies opened with a loss to Waubonsie Valley but then beat DeKalb and Glenbard West to ensure themselves a spot in the first-place match.
“DeKalb has a really good team, but I’m really proud of our seniors,” Champion said. “They got after every point, went for bonus points, and one of them held off a DeKalb kid for a major — things you don’t often do unless you’re a senior.”
The dual against DeKalb went down to the last two matches, one of which pitted the Huskies’ Chase Llanes against DeKalb’s Doug Johnson, who is currently ranked third in Illinois at 132 by Illinois Best Weekly.
“I think DeKalb figured they’d get a guaranteed pin at that weight, but Chase held him to a major decision,” Champion said. “Chase is only a sophomore but he’s one of the toughest kids you’re going to see. Out of the top ten ranked kids in Illinois, he has wrestled seven of them this year.”
Ben Obriecht (285) also won a key match with a late takedown against DeKalb to help ensure the win.
In their 37-21 semifinal win over Glenbard West, the Huskies got pins from Chris Junior (152) and Chris Zhang (195), a tech fall win from Wayne Yuan (113), and major decision wins from Kijuan Walker (220) and Blake Bougadis (138).
In the ever-important swing matches, Konrad Hausman (170), Ben Brancaleon (182), Ben Obriecht (285), and Alec Engblom (145) all won simple decisions to ensure the Huskies’ victory, while Jake Kruk (120) held one of West’s best in CJ Sojka to a straight decision.
“(Kruk) went out there as hard as he could and he rode Sojka for almost a whole period,” Champion said. “I told him beforehand that he needed to go out and show me something, and he sure did. He lost but he’s only a sophomore and he held off a very good wrestler.”
Unbeaten Hononegah swept the field, capped by a 58-15 over the Huskies. Wayne Juan went unbeaten for North in the two-day tournament.
Metea Valley finished 10th at this year’s 27-team Berman tournament, hosted by Palatine, getting a pair of second-place finishes from Devin Kane (23-4 at 126) and Breon Hoosier (14-2 at 170).
Unseeded freshman Kane beat the third and fourth-seeded wrestlers before battling to a 6-4 decision loss on the title mat to the top-ranked wrestler in Illinois in Class 2A, per Illinois Best Weekly, in Richmond-Burton’s Cameron Kennedy (25-0).
As an unseeded freshman going up against a top-ranked and unbeaten senior, Kane was ready for the challenge.
“I had to get used to wrestling against older kids at the beginning of the year, but it’s not such a big deal anymore,” Kane said. “I’m getting more confident as the year goes on.”
Sam Elston (15-17 138) finished sixth for Metea Valley, while Axle Ariza (18-11 at 113), Cole Lettieri (17-11 at 132) and Sam Freedlund (20-11 at 220) each placed seventh.