Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton trio wins individual IHSAA Wrestling Regional titles

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With state-title contenders on both sides of his weight class, Gage DeMarco has been somewhat lost in the glare cast by Chesterton's Brock Ellis and Evan Bates.

"I hadn't really kept track, but then I heard he's like 36-7," Trojans coach Chris Joll said. "Yeah, he's pretty good. He just gets better every single time he goes out there. We were very excited with Gage's performance in the finals."

DeMarco (36-7) continued his impressive if not slightly inconspicuous post-season march at Saturday's Crown Point Regional, handling Crown Point's Matt McElroy 10-2 of the 195-pound final.

"My goal was just to hopefully see McElroy in the finals and do better than the last time," said DeMarco, who was the second seed despite being a 7-1 winner over McElroy in a previous match. "I was expecting to win since I beat him before, but I changed my style so I could use more offense, attack, get more points."

If the uncertain seeding wasn't enough incentive for DeMarco, the simple opportunity to wrestle in the regional was. DeMarco broke both bones in his right forearm in a 170-pound Sectional semifinal match last season when Valpo's Colin Kwiatkowski rolled over his arm as he had his hand planted on the mat. He was in a cast for five months and had no wrestling activity for eight months.

"I've been looking forward to this day since the day after I broke my arm." DeMarco said.

Ellis (145) and Bates (220) took their next step in their trek to Indianapolis with titles in their respective classes.

"I've got to get ready for Semistate now, get a good draw for state," Ellis said. "That's the ultimate goal, the top of the podium, not just next week, but two weeks. I had some background things I was worried about. It's not really an excuse to not score points. Everybody's got stuff going on. Everyone's got to battle through it. I didn't do a great job of that."

The 42-0 Ellis still churned out a 7-2 decision over Orlando Cruz in his fourth meeting with the Crown Point freshman.

"I just didn't get to my offense as much as I should have," Ellis said. "I got to my first shot and finished. I should've kept shooting the whole match. I think I just hung out. I think, once I get to my shot, I can finish most of the time. I don't want to compromise anything, but I should've pushed it more, working more on top, putting more points on the board. It matters for the team score. He definitely had a different style. He stayed a lot more in space, not letting me get to my ties as much. I should've worked through it, used more fakes. I wasn't moving my feet very well. When he got in his shot, I wish I used my hips more, stretch him out and get that takedown.

Bates (33-1) spent all of 1:50 on the mat in three matches, pinning Lake Central's Eddie Alonso in 52 seconds in the final.

"It's just another step to state, just go out there and wrestle," Bates said. "Obviously, every match, I didn't look over anyone. My finals match, I was getting to my attacks, even though it wasn't very long. The season's going by fast. It was already Semistate. This weekend, we were trying to get the team title. Our group of guys, especially our class, the camaraderie, rooting on your teammates, seeing them be successful, it really makes it more enjoyable."

Chesterton had runner-up finishes at 126 (Aidan Torres), 152 (Cade Johnson), 160 (Nick Winland), 170 (Gavin Layman) and 182 (Shae Jackson). Torres, Johnson, Winland and Layman all lost by decision.

"It was a pretty good day," Joll said. "You always like to win, but I think for what we came in with, in the situations we had, we got out what we expected to get out. We would've liked to had one or two more champs, but as long as we're progressing to the next level, getting another week to prepare, that's what we're happy about.

Layman fell for the third time in four weeks to La Porte's Matt Neff, this time, 3-2.

"It's fun every Saturday," Neff said. "It was a good match as usual. I knew it was going to be another close match. Oh, can I get an easy finals round? I never go in thinking I'm going to win. I know I have to wrestle my best if I'm going to come out with a win. If I was in his position, I would be frustrated. I keep working and working and losing to the same guy. It just gets us both better."

Other Semistate qualifiers for Chesterton were Doug Walters (third, 113), Ethan Contreras (third, 132) and Ethan Kaiser (138). Kaiser lost in overtime in the semifinals.

"We had some really good performances even in some of our losses even though we came out on short end of the stick," Joll said. "Luke Stento (106) had an incredible task and almost came out on top. We should've started our attack a little sooner than we did. We're very proud of him, the work he's put in this year. He stepped in in a couple of good meets."

Chesterton finished second in the team standings behind the Bulldogs, 195.5-187.

"Evan and Brock, we're just trying to get through with less wear and tear as possible to state so they can be at peak performance," Joll said. "We're clicking on all cylinders, looking forward getting back in the room and having a good weekend next weekend."

IHSAA Regional


Team Results

1. Crown Point 195.5, 2. Chesterton 187, 3. Lake Central 96, 4. LaPorte 73.5, 5. Lowell 62.5, 6. Valparaiso 56, 7. Kankakee Valley 33, 8. New Prairie 28, 9. Wheeler 26, 10. Hanover Central 11. (tie) Boone Grove, Hebron, Knox and North Judson 8, 15. Michigan City 7, 16. John Glenn 0.

Individual Results

Championship Matches

106 -- Sam Goin (Crown Point, 30-1) dec. Johnny Cortez (Lake Central, 29-9), 10-0. 113 -- Logan Frazier (Crown Point, 31-2) dec. Nam Doan (Lake Central, 19-6), 14-5. 120 -- Giovanni Diaz (Wheeler, 35-1) dec. Riley Bettich (Crown Point, 21-3), 4-2. 126 -- Stephen Roberson (Crown Point, 31-2) dec. Aidan Torres (Chesterton, 38-4), 8-3. 132 -- Jesse Mendez (Crown Point, 32-1) pin Isaiah Ponce (Lake Central, 28-10), 0:50. 138 -- Tyson Nisley (LaPorte, 40-4) dec. Nick Tattini (Crown Point, 26-8), 11-1. 145 -- Brock Ellis (Chesterton, 42-0) dec. Orlando Cruz (Crown Point, 28-5), 7-2. 152 -- Shawn Hollis (Lowell, 31-3) dec. Cade Johnson (Chesterton, 39-6), 14-8. 160 -- Noah Hollendonner (Crown Point, 33-4) dec. Nick Winland (Chesterton, 28-6), 12-5. 170 -- Matt Neff (LaPorte, 39-4) dec. Gavin Layman (Chesterton, 34-5), 3-2. 182 -- Colin Kwiatkowski (Valparaiso, 38-1) pin Shae Jackson (Chesterton, 28-10), 2:48. 195 -- Gage DeMarco (Chesterton, 36-7) dec. Matt McElroy (Crown Point, 15-11), 10-2. 220 -- Evan Bates (Chesterton, 33-1) pin Eddie Alonso (Lake Central, 24-13), 0:52. 285 -- Hunter Whitenack (New Prairie, 42-3) dec. Bryer Stoner (Lowell, 25-8), 5-1.

Third Place Matches

106 -- Ashton Jackson (LaPorte, 37-8) pin Jimmy Snow (Lowell, 22-13), 3:50. 113 -- Doug Waters (Chesterton, 38-8) pin Stefan Vitello (Valparaiso, 33-11), 1:45. 120 -- Cole Solomey (Kankakee Valley, 36-4) pin Sebastian Cortez (Lake Central, 21-15), 4:11. 126 -- Josh Daniels (Lake Central, 22-12) pin Matt Adamczyk (Hebron, 36-10), 1:30. 132 -- Ethan Contreras (Chesterton, 27-14) pin Nick Durall (Wheeler, 27-17), :23. 138 -- Ethan Kaiser (Chesterton, 32-6) dec. Jak Krouse (Valparaiso, 35-12), 6-0. 145 -- Tyler Tillema (Kankakee Valley, 33-11) dec. Zane Rayson (Boone Grove, 18-11), 4-3. 152 -- Aidan Pollitt (Valparaiso, 37-10) dec. Jerome Tra Anderson (LaPorte, 27-14), 11-4. 160 -- Ryan Breedlove (Hanover Central, 35-5) dec. Kamare Dunlap (Michigan City, 24-12), 10-6. 170 -- Aiden Sneed (Kankakee Valley, 38-5) dec. Abel Verbeek (Lowell, 21-10), 5-1. 182 -- Jaden Browder (LaPorte, 36-9) pin Hunter Rohweder (Lowell, 22-8), 2:02. 195 -- Michael DeGrado (Lake Central, 28-17) pin Gavin Alonso (North Judson, 22-15), :46. 220 -- Jake Woods (Crown Point, 19-12) dec. Joshua Brewer (New Prairie, 31-15), 13-4. 285 -- Zack Velazquez (Valparaiso, 25-14) pin Cody Winkler (Knox, 17-13), 2:22.


Posted 2/10/2020




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