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Sports Shorts: Marmion wrestling starts strong at 3A wrestling prelims

CHAMPAIGN – Seven of Marmion’s nine qualifying wrestlers won their preliminary matches Thursday and advanced to the quarterfinals as the IHSA state tournament opened at the University of Illinois’ State Farm Center.

The Cadets, a traditional Class 3A power, got their quickest win from Lucas Warren, who delivered a fall in 28 seconds against Erik Velazquez of Minooka.

Senior 126-pounder Johnny Jimenez, a St. Charles resident eyeing the fourth state title of his career, defeated Ricky Vigil of Huntley by 16-0 technical fall in four minutes.

Marmion’s other winners included AJ Jaffe (120), Trace Carello (152), Nick Ferraro (170), Nathan Traxler (182) and Josh Meyers (195).

Batavia senior 220-pounder Connor McKeehan also earned a fall in his preliminary 3A bout, pinning Homewood-Flossmoor’s Devion May in 5:47. Keone Derain of St. Charles East was the lone member of the Saints’ three-athlete contingent to win his opening match, taking a 9-5 decision against Alton’s Qiante Wagner.

Athletes who lost their opening matches will hope not to fall victim to the “follow the leader” rule, in which a wrestler is eliminated if the opponent who defeated him in prelims loses in today’s quarterfinals.

Competing in 2A, Kaneland senior Justin Diddell lost a 3-2 decision to Taylorville’s Blake Hooper in his preliminary bout.

In Class 1A, Aurora Central Catholic senior 285-pounder Eduardo Gonzalez advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-1 overtime decision victory against previously unbeaten Tyler Ortmann of the Argenta-Oreana co-op. Mooseheart’s Joe Feemorlu, the first state-bound wrestler in program history, lost a 7-5 decision to Shelbyville’s Lucas Duckett.

Boys basketball seeds released

The Kaneland boys basketball team earned the top seed in the six-team IHSA Class 3A Kaneland Regional, the IHSA announced Thursday.

Behind the Knights at the regional are (2) St. Francis, (3) Marmion, (4) Glenbard South, (5) Aurora Central Catholic and (6) IMSA. 

In Class 4A, host St. Charles North is the No. 2 seed at its regional and St. Charles East is the No. 3 seed there, setting up a likely crosstown regional semifinal. Upstate Eight Conference River champion Larkin is the top seed at North.

Geneva and Batavia are both slotted in the 4A East Aurora Sectional, which was seeded 1 through 23, rather than by regional. Geneva was given the 6 seed and Batavia the 19 seed.

Postseason pairings with game times and dates will be released today. Regionals play for teams in classes 3A and 4A is scheduled to take place the week of March 3.

St. Francis boys win handily

WHEATON – The St. Francis boys basketball team knocked off Chicago Bulls Prep Academy on Thursday, 60-32. Senior Kilian Brown scored all 18 of his points in the first half for the Spartans (13-8) while Zach Prociuk and Nick Fabianski added nine points each.

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