NIC-10 tournament next for wrestlers; late wins top Hononegah
By Bob Balgemann
The 2018-19 wrestling season is winding down for Harlem with the next big meet being the NIC-10 tournament Saturday at Rockford East.
There were some tune-ups for that competition with a big one being the 38-30 dual match win over Hononegah. The timing was great as it was on Senior Night. Seniors who were honored were Preston Schuelke, who scored a dramatic pin to secure the victory that night, and Thomas Morris, a transfer from Waukegan High School.
The Huskies were down 30-26 with two matches left and they were won by Cameron Pryor and Schuelke with pins, which were worth six points each.
There were 11 actual bouts with Harlem winning six of them. The Huskies also were awarded two of the three forfeits for another 12 points.
The event started at 170 pounds with Chad Richards giving the Huskies a 5-0 lead with a technical fall. The score was 19-0 when the match was called. Cadence Hecox made it two in a row, 11-6. But the Indians won the next three matches and picking up a forfeit to lead, 18-8.
Head coach Sam Eberle did some shuffling at the lower and middle weight classes. Mya Turnmire moved up one level, to 113 pounds, and won by forfeit. Jevin Doke wrestled at 120 and took a 10-4 decision. The Huskies were up 23-18 after Jackson Cross won by forfeit at 126.
Hononegah went back in front, 24-23, by winning the 132 contest. Kyetin Lindquist won 9-3 at 138, but the Indians took a pin at 145 to make it 30-26. That set the table for the pulsating wins by the two Huskies.
Pryor took the first one, with a 2:57 fall at 152, to regain the lead, 32-30. Schuelke’s pin, in 4:24 at 160, completed the comeback.
Batavia invite
Harlem also competed in the Batavia Invitational, a 20-team tournament featuring some of the best 2A and 3A teams and individuals in the area.
Team-wise the Huskies wound up 10th with 103 points, trailing Marian Central (Woodstock), the invitational winner, which had 199 points. Host Batavia was second; Plainfield South, third; Maine South, fourth; and Addison Trail, fifth. There were no other NIC-10 teams in that field.
Two Huskies battled back in the consolation bracket to finished third.
Richards lost in the semi-finals at 160 pounds, 5-2 to Jake Kendall from Plainfield South, ranked eighth in the state. Richards then came back and won twice in the consolation bracket, including a pin at 1:07 in the consolation finals.
Hecox advanced to the semi-finals at 182 with two first-period pins. He then lost, 10-7, to the No. 1 tournament seed, Justin Peake of Johnsburg. While in the tournament, Hecox responded to last week’s loss to Burlington Central’s Zach Collins, by beating him twice. He pinned Collins in the quarterfinals in the championship bracket, then won with an 11-3 major decision in the third-place match.
Lindquist and Thomas Morris wound up fifth at 138 and 285 pounds, respectively. Pryor (145) and Jackson Cross (126) were sixth and eighth, respectively, in their weight classes.
Junior Varsity
Harlem had one champion and one in third among the five who won places during junior varsity competition in the Jan Jamison Tournament at Guilford. This was formerly their NIC-10 tournament, but low numbers made it a 16-team invitational.
The Huskies were hit hard by injury and sickness, and only had five performers in the 14 weight classes, with four of them earning a place.
Their lone champion was the recently returned Owen Babcock (5-0), who scored 30 team points. He pinned each of his three opponents, in 54 seconds, in 1:39 and 2:37, the latter coming in the title match.
Third place was won by David Ranstadt (4-6) at 182 pounds. He split two matches, losing his opener, then rallying in the consolation bracket to win by fall in 2:49.
Fourth place went to Zach Olson (7-9) at 285 pounds. His only victory among three matches was in his opener, with a pin in 3:18.
Collin Swinney (10-6) was sixth at 126 pounds, going 1-2 with two byes. His lone win was a pin in 2:51 in the consolation semi-finals.
Also competing was Zander Stauffer (1-8), who was 0-2.
Team-wise, Harlem was eighth with 65 points.

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