Chesterton Tribune



Four CHS Wrestlers win DAC titles

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It's not necessarily the formula Cade Johnson would recommend for winning a wrestling match, but on this day, in this instance, the Chesterton junior 152-pounder made it work.

"I don't want to really rely on that too much, but when it comes down to who's the better man, you're going to have to," Johnson said after a frantic third-period comeback that saw him overcome a 12-7 deficit to down Lake Central's Cristian Ponce 18-15 in the championship match at Saturday's Duneland Athletic Conference tournament.

The final score was listed as 15-14, but the points were coming so fast, the scoreboard operator couldn't keep pace, so all that Johnson knew for sure was that he won. He took down and let up Ponce three times to pull within two before following a fourth takedown with a near fall that proved to be the winning margin.

"We've been doing a lot of conditioning," Johnson said. "I just kept pushing the pace. I felt him start breaking under me, so I knew it was right there. You just have to have a whole lot of confidence. We're both tired, but I've had better conditioning, so you just got to go with it."

Ponce pinned Johnson in the Hobart Super Duals and seemed on his way to another decisive victory before Johnson got it rolling.

"I was flat-footed, so it was easy for him to take me down," Johnson said. "I wasn't thinking that much either, so I was making kind of stupid choices. I wanted it."

Four Trojans claimed titles with Ethan Kaiser (138), Brock Ellis (145) and Evan Bates (220) joining Johnson atop the podium.

"They all got a taste of what making a team contribution to a meet like this is," Chesterton coach Chris Joll said.

The Trojans finished a close second to champion Crown Point, 212.5-203, close enough to make Joll wonder just a bit what might have been.

"Our goal was not to win this," he said. "If we were third here, if we were first here, we were still going to be second (overall) in the DAC. We did not take a break this week. We trained right through this. I could see it in some of our younger kids, they were just a little tired. I'm thinking maybe if our 60-pounder (Tyler Martin) had a little more of a break, he'd have gotten fourth instead of fifth and our 20-pounder (Luke Stento) would've placed instead of losing his first two matches. But the boys know what the goal is -- to support each other and get as many of them to State as possible. I saw them walking in the door and realizing we could do it."

Kaiser (25-3) started in a deficit situation, giving up a takedown to Merrillville's Anthony Rivera before a late first period reversal tied the match. On bottom to start the second, he reversed Rivera to his back and pinned him at 2:24.

"I tried to go to my offense and it didn't work, so I just bailed out. He wasn't on top of me the first (match) at all, so when he got on top of me, it was kind of a surprise," Kaiser said. "Honestly, I don't really know (what happened). I was just trying to keep moving and I caught him. I caught a head and arm. It was kind of just there. I think it was pretty good, but I can always do better. I'm always working to improve, just more offense on my feet, getting takedowns."

Ellis remained undefeated with a methodical 7-3 victory over Crown Point freshman Orlando Cruz, opening up a close match in the third period.

"I just trust my conditioning, all the stuff my coaches have taught me that we work on in the room," Ellis said. "The third period flurry involved a little bit of funk and scramble, something I just saw was there. I went for it, tried to be a little creative, and it worked. We work in groups of three, me, Cade and (Aidan) Torres, and all three of us are working hard together, pushing the pace as best as we possibly can. None of us like to lose. I think that really translates into our matches. We've always got a game plan for our next match."

While happy with the win, Ellis is always looking for more.

"It was a good win against a tough opponent, but my goal wasn't just to get a decision," he said. "I was aiming for much higher than that, which is a little disappointing. I don't think I was getting to my attacks as much as I should have, being as offensive as I needed to be to accomplish that goal, but it gives me something to work for in the room and prepare for hopefully Regional finals and a rematch."

Bates took the drama out of what was supposed to be a marquee matchup, dominating Merrillville's Jason Streck 11-1. Both of Streck's losses have come to Bates, though this one was more decisive than the first.

"It was pretty close. I didn't need to make it that close. We were neutral for about three minutes. I wasn't really shooting," Bates said of their 5-2 first meeting. "I wanted to open up more. This shows I can compete with anyone in the state if I believe in myself."

Chesterton took second at 126, where Torres fell 10-4 to C.P.'s Stephen Roberson. Matt Neff (La Porte) edged Gavin Layman 3-1 in overtime for the 170 title. A locked hands call on Neff in the final seconds gave Layman his only point and sent the match to a seventh minute, but Neff promptly hit a takedown. At 195, Jevonte Williams' late takedown of Chesterton's Gage Demarco gave the Merrillville senior a 7-5 win.

"We saw some kids suck some matches up, Cade, Brock, even to get to the finals," Joll said. "We had kids who were sick. We had a JV '32 (Chad Berdine), '60 (Martin) and '82 (Kaleb Wymer) in there and they wrestled like champs. Our JV '70 takes third at '82 in the DAC. That's excellent. I'm proud of 'em."

In addition to Wymer, Doug Waters added a third at 113.

Crown Point won the first five weight classes and garnered six in all, followed by Chesterton's four. Merrillville picked up two titles, while La Porte and Portage had one each.

DAC Meet


Team Results

1. Crown Point, 212.5; 2. Chesterton, 203; 3. Merrillville, 181; 4. Portage, 180.5; 5. Lake Central, 164; 6. Valparaiso, 120; 7. LaPorte, 115; 8. Michigan City, 10.

Individual Results

Championship Round

106 -- Sam Goin (CP) fall Johnny Cortez (LC), 2:35. 113 -- Logan Frazier (CP) tech fall Nam Doan (LC), 18-1. 120 -- Riley Bettich (CP0 dec. Ty Haskins (P), 11-2. 126 -- Stephen Roberson (CP) dec. Aidan Torres (C), 10-4. 132 -- Jesse Mendez (CP) tech fall Bradley Conrad (P), 19-4. 138 -- Ethan Kaiser (C) fall Anthony Rivera (M), 2:24. 145 -- Brock Ellis (C) dec. Orlando Cruz (CP), 7-3. 152 -- Cade Johnson (C) dec. Cristian Ponce (LC), 15-14. 160 -- Noah Hollendonner (CP) dec. Isaac Hegwood (P), 11-1. 170 -- Matt Neff (L) dec. Gavin Layman (C), 3-1 (OT). 182 -- Khris Walton (M) dec. Colin Kwiatkowski (V), 5-1. 195 -- Jevonte Williams (M) dec. Gage Demarco (C), 7-5. 220 -- Evan Bates (C) dec. Jason Streck, 11-1. 285 -- Damari Dancy (P) dec. Zach Velazquez (V), 7-3.

Third Place Round

106 -- Ashton Jackson (L) dec. David Maldonado (M), 1-0. 113 -- Doug Waters (C) dec. Stefan Vitello (V), 8-0. 120 -- Sebastian Cortez (LC) dec. Sean Angillo Mitchell (L), 8-2. 126 -- Aleksander Pejovski (M) dec. Lucas Underwood (P), 8-2. 132 -- Isaiah Ponce (LC) fall Alex Bennett (V), 2:59. 138 -- Jak Krouse (V) dec. Nick Tattini (CP), 4-3. 145 -- Tyson Nisley (L) dec. Tyler Herring (P), 9-2. 152 -- Aidan Pollitt (V) dec. Seth Willems (CP), 7-5. 160 -- Caleb Carter (M) dec. Kamare Dunlap (MC), 3-2. 170 -- Tylee Swopes (P) fall Jake Sues (LC), :33. 182 -- Kaleb Wyme (C) dec. Aiden Alonso (LC), 8-4. 195 -- Michael Degrado (LC) fall Collin Bergquist (L), 3:38. 220 -- Cory Hill (P) dec. Eddie Alonso (LC) 9-5. 285 -- Seth Garcia (LC) dec. Theodore Sparks (M), 3-2.

Consolation Round

106 -- Miles Conrad (P) fall Xavier Hicks (V), :56. 113 -- Adam Partin (P) fall Lucas Clement (M), 2:44. 120 -- Joey Bengs (V) dec. Nasir Christion (M), 3-0. 126 -- Dylan Mullens (LC) fall Thad Blevins (L), 3:39. 132 -- Cameron Williams (M) dec. Chad Berdine (C), 14-4. 138 -- Alex Cornejo (P) fall Leevi Ferguson (L), :39. 145 -- Jack Thrusby (V) dec. Elijah Sandridge (M), 11-5. 152 -- Tyler Turner (M) fall Jerome Trae Anderson (L), 2:05. 160 -- Tyler Martin (C) dec. Dylan Kwiatkowski (V), 8-1. 170 -- Deante Windrom (M) FFW Camden Morgan (CP). 182 -- Jaden Browder (L) fall Trey White (P), 2:04. 195 -- Christian D’Antonio (P) dec. Pierceton Pine (V), 13-8. 220 -- Drew Kubaszyk (L) fall Jack Yagelski (CP), :36. 285 -- Jack Ruess (CP) fall Connor Katsafaros (C), 4:50.




Posted 1/20/2020




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