PONTIAC – Watch out, Class 2A wrestling state tournament. Here comes Kaneland senior 285-pounder Justin Diddell.
Diddell finished second at Saturday's Pontiac Sectional to advance to next weekend's state tournament at the University of Illinois, where he'll enter the draw at 32-9.
"I'm impressed with Justin's mobility and improvement in his feet and his handwork," Knights coach Monty Jahns said. "His attitude is where it needs to be this time of year, and next weekend, he's going to surprise some people."
Knights sophomore Austin Parks was an alternate at 160.
Kaneland stayed in Pontiac after Friday's opening rounds to avoid what would have been an extremely daunting travel crunch had the team attempted to make Saturday's weigh-ins by commuting from home.
"It was just too much for the kids to get some decent sleep and then get back down here," Jahns said.
Class 1A Byron Sectional: At Byron, Aurora Central Catholic senior 285-pounder Eduardo Gonzalez (28-6) finished in fourth place to advance to next weekend's state tournament at the University of Illinois.
Mooseheart junior Joe Feemorlu (13-4) finished fourth at 170 and also qualified, the program's first athlete to advance to state. The Red Ramblers had five wrestlers at sectionals, one more than last season.
“It feels great – like I made history here,” Feemorlu said.
Freeport Sectional: At 4-Seasons Bowling Center in Freeport, St. Charles North (eighth, 5,328 pins) and St. Charles East (11th, 4,883) were unable to finish in fourth place or better and did not advance to next week's state meet in Rockford.
Bobbi Jo Buhlman paced North, rolling a 1,228 series to finish 11th overall. Jessica Miller (1,081) and Ashley Montgomery (1,065) were next.
St. Edward 70, Aurora Christian 62: At Elgin, Wes Wolfe (19 points) and Johnathan Harrell (18) paced ACS (13-11, 5-4 Suburban Christian Conference Blue) in defeat.
Wheaton Academy 78, Chicago Christian 50: At Palos Heights, Wheaton Academy rolled in SCC play behind a career-high 15 points from Chris Johnson, who shot 4 for 5 from long range.
Batavia hosts dual: At Batavia, Batavia competed against Wheaton Warrenville South in a non-scored dual. The Bulldogs' event winners included Ryan Wieties in the 800 meters (2:00.6) and Peyton Piron in the 400 (52.2).
• Darryl Mellema contributed to this report.