Chesterton Tribune

Thornton wins LaPorte Regional Wrestling title

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LAPORTE -- His string of matches without allowing a takedown ended, but his string of wins did not.

Zack Thornton gave up a takedown to Crown Point’s Dallas Schurg in the championship match of Saturday’s LaPorte Regional, but the Chesterton 130-pounder rebounded to win 7-3.

“It’s pretty cool to win my first regional title,” Thornton said. “(Schurg) was a lot stronger than I expected. I just had to work my takedowns, like always. I knew their coaches would work to defend my kind of shots. In the end, I just wore him down. I was disappointed he got a takedown. I didn’t like it. I was pretty upset. But I got back to the center and got a quick reversal.”

Thornton (33-2) reached the finals with a technical fall in the quarterfinals and a decision over Lowell’s Cameryn Brady in the semifinals.

“He beat two quality kids (Brady and Schurg) pretty handily,” Chesterton coach Chris Joll said. “They were talking about how you can look at the kid (Thornton) on tape to see what he can do, but until you experience it, you don’t understand. You don’t know what you’re dealing with.”

One win over a fourth-place finisher in the Semistate is all that separates Thornton from a state finals berth, but he’s looking for a little more than that.

“I’m excited for next weekend,” he said. “I can’t wait. I don’t want to just stop at winning my first match. It’s going to be harder competition, but I’m going to try my hardest against the top guys and see what happens.”

Thornton will be one of six Trojans to take the mats at Merrillville. He will be joined by Anthony Quiroz, the 152 runner-up, third-place finisher Spencer Stockwell (145) and a trio who took fourth -- freshman Joe Kelly (112), Bill Petrocelli (125) and Brandon Garvey (140).

“We went in with the idea that we could get eight out in the best possible scenario,” Joll said. “This is a tournament that ends kids’ seasons and it’s really hard to lose guys who have put so much time into it. It’s a pretty tough regional. Tony (Sanchez) and Alex (Boatright) were in situations we wish could’ve gone better, but we’re going to have those kids again and it was something we felt was a positive experience for them. We’re pretty proud of them and confident we’re building toward a really good year.”

Quiroz (31-10) lost to Portage’s unbeaten Sean McMurray in the finals for the second week in a row, this time 9-3.

“We thought Anthony wrestled pretty well,” Joll said. “We’re confident the experience is going to make him a better wrestler.”

Stockwell (17-6) lost in the semifinals to North Newton’s Cody Ray (43-1), the eventual champion, before pinning Crown Point’s Tommy Renn at 5:22 in the third-place match.

“Spencer was really close against (Ray),” Joll said. “He rebounded really well. He didn’t need to pin Renn, but he went ahead and did it anyway, which made everybody feel good.”

Garvey (21-10) dropped his third-place match to C.P.’s Josh Flamme 5-0.

“Brandon missed some practice and wasn’t back to full speed,” Joll said of Garvey. “But he really got a good (Semistate) draw where, with a really good week of training, he’s got a really good shot to be a state qualifier, so we’re pretty excited about that.”

Kelly (21-13) sustained an injury in the semifinals and defaulted to Glenn’s Travis Mowery for third place. Joll is hopeful he will be able to make a go out of it in Semistate. Petrocelli was pinned in 30 seconds by Knox’s Kyle Hernandez to wind up fourth as well.

“Bill just keeps plugging away and taking advantage of his situation,” Joll said.

The Merrillville Semistate is Saturday. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the state finals Feb. 20-21 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

"You always like to get guys to the next level and I don’t know why we can’t get two, three more other than Zack,” Joll said. “I’m going to say we have a goal of qualifying for state and we’re going to go hard and practice and do the best we can to reach that goal. With the coaching staff and the facilities we have, if we don’t achieve it, they’ll be partially to blame for it.”


LaPorte Regional

(Top four wrestlers advance to Saturday’s Merrillville Semistate)

Championship Matches

103 -- Cameron Halsted (CP) dec. Paul Petrov (HC), 5-1. 112 -- Anthony Hawkins (CP) dec. Brandon Coppinger (P), 9-4. 119 -- Danny Bradley (K) dec. John Petrov (HC), 9-5. 125 -- Jason Tsirtsis (CP) tech fall Luis Acuna (P), 16-0. 130 -- Zack Thornton (C) dec. Dallas Schrug (CP), 7-3. 135 -- Eric Roach (CP) dec. Chris Santos (P), 22-11. 140 -- Dustin Schultz (KV) dec. Garrett Payne (MC), 9-8. 145 -- Cody Ray (NN) pin Tony Nuzzo (P), 3:02. 152 -- Sean McMurray (P) dec. Anthony Quiroz (C), 9-3. 160 -- Mark Myers (CP) dec. Kurt Monix (L), 6-0. 171 -- Andrew Sands (HC) dec. Jeremy Kooi (CP), 18-9. 189 -- Marcus Shrewsbury (CP) pin Bryce Holland (L), 4:14. 215 -- Nathan Cleveland (L) dec. Kannon Keigley (NP), 7-3. 285 -- Craig Fitzgerald (JG) pin Wade Vyhnanek (NN), 2:21.

Third Place Matches

103 -- Ivan Ruiz (KV) dec. Jesse Duque (P), 5-3. 112 -- Travis Mowery (JG) inj. default Joe Kelly (C). 119 - Josh Manes (CP) dec. Damien Torres (P), 9-2. 125 -- Kyle Hernandez (K) pin Bill Petrocelli (C), :30. 130 -- Cameryn Brady (L) dec. Zeke Escobedo (A), 8-2. 135 -- Thomas Lusco (MC) dec. Aaron Jeske (NP), 5-0. 140 -- Josh Flamme (CP) dec. Brandon Garvey (C), 5-0. 145 -- Spencer Stockwell (C) pin Tommy Renn (CP), 5:22. 152 -- Jordan Martin (NP) dec. Jeremy Pogorzelski (CP), 3-2. 160 -- Justin Rhein (P) dec. Jimmy Krause (K), 11-5. 171 -- Aaron King (P), dec. Deron Johnson (L), 12-6. 189 -- Kyle Keith (P) pin Alex Windbigler (K), 5:09. 215 -- Nathaniel Coleman (P) dec. Jim Bakalik (CP), 3-2 (ot). 285 - Andrew Hale (KC) dec. Kyle Marshall (CP), 5-4.


Posted 2/9/2009