GENEVA – The Geneva wrestling team used four pins, three major decisions and three South Elgin forfeits Friday to cruise to a 54-19 win during Upstate Eight Conference crossover action.
“I thought we did a nice job,” Vikings coach Tom Chernich said after his team moved to 16-7 in duals this season while the Storm fell to 5-8. “Our kids wrestled tough, wrestled aggressive, so that is good.”
After a pair of Storm forfeits, the first match to be contested on the mat, at 120 pounds, was dominated by Geneva’s Brad Martens, who posted a 15-1 major victory over Mike Perez.
At 126, South Elgin’s Cory Pych got the Storm on the board with a 13-2 major decision over Keneen Freeman to cut the lead to 16-4.
“That is a tough match against Pych,” Chernich said. “Pych has a great shot at all-state.”
Geneva came right back with another major win, this time by Colin Parsens, 15-5, over the Storm’s Ricardo DeAnda at 132.
Thomas O’Brien continued the Vikings’ momentum with a pin of South Elgin’s Lucas Davis in 3 minutes, 34 seconds at 138 pounds to put Geneva ahead, 26-4.
“I think we did real well,” O’Brien said. “We have been practicing real hard all week and it showed. We dominated a lot of the matches. We came out strong and it turned out well.”
South Elgin’s Grant Saldivar pinned Geneva’s Colin Andersen at 145 to cut the lead to 26-10.
The back-and-forth pins continued at 152, as Geneva’s Mike Villanueva took down the Storm’s Ben Abraham in 3:18 to bump the lead back up to 22 points.
The night’s most exciting match was probably at 160, as Geneva’s Alex Kunkel used a takedown at the third-period buzzer to force overtime only to lose 15-10 in triple overtime to the Storm’s William Aleman.
Late in the third overtime, Aleman used an escape to take the 11-10 lead and followed it with a takedown and near fall to wrap up the win.
“That was an exciting match, but a tough one for Alex to lose, especially since he is a senior and it was senior night,” Chernich said.
At 170, the Vikings’ Tony Castelvecchi earned a 14-0 major decision over South Elgin’s Joe Garcia to propel his team to a 36-13 lead.
After another South Elgin forfeit at 195, Geneva’s Jake Boser claimed a pin in 1:01 to run the score to 50-13.
Geneva forfeited at 220, giving the win to South Elgin’s Uriel Gonzalez, because the Vikings’ Stephen Kemp has a broken ankle that will keep him out for the season.
In the final match of the night, Geneva’s Jake Andersen won by pin in 2:20 at heavyweight over Jacob Bergroschtje.
“I am a little disappointed in the way we came out,” Storm coach Mark Cameron said. “We didn’t have the intensity we needed. I was hoping we could carry over what we had started before the holidays, but we didn’t have the same fire tonight.
“We have no excuses this time of the year. Excuses aren’t going to get you out of the regional.”
The Vikings will be right back on the mat at 9 a.m. today as they host the 16-team Jim Newbill Invitational in their final home meet of the season.
Chernich said the Vikings hope to defend their title from last year, but will be challenged by Stillman Valley, among other tough teams.
“The goal is to repeat,” he said. “But we have some holes. We’ll put in 12 or 13 guys. It is unusual for us not to put in 14 guys at this tournament, but injuries will prevent us from doing that.”
O’Brien said Stillman Valley, Lake Zurich and West Chicago will all be tough teams.
“It will be tough, but I hope we come out No. 1,” he said.