McHENRY – McHenry put a stranglehold on the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division wrestling race Thursday with a 42-19 win against Cary-Grove.
Warriors coach Will Gaddy said his team has had this match circled on the calendar since the beginning of the season. Both teams entered the match undefeated in the FVC Valley with 2-0 records.
“They really wanted this,” Gaddy said. “They’ve been focused on this dual the whole season.
Being ranked second behind No. 1 C-G in the McHenryCountySports.com Power Rankings also was a big motivator, Gaddy said.
“We knew this was one of the top teams in the conference,” Gaddy said. “We just wanted to prove a point.”
The Warriors jumped to an early lead and never let the Trojans gain any momentum. Mike Infelise started the dual with a pin for McHenry at 126 pounds, and Brad Ostdick won by decision at 132 to put the Warriors up, 9-0.
Mike Underwood got C-G on the board with a major decision at 138, but the Warriors bounced back with two pins
and two decisions in the next four matches to go up, 27-4. Michael Gustafson (145) and Pat Roewer (170) recorded pins for McHenry.
Ryan Grannemann went from nearly being pinned to earning a pin at 195 against the Trojans’ Greer Bozeman. After being put on his back to start the second period, Grannemann turned Bozeman and stuck the pin.
“It was kind of nerve-racking, but I kept my balance,” Grannemann said. “It just kind of happened.”
The pin gave the Warriors a 33-10 lead. Earning the six points versus giving up the pin points was a big 12-point shift in the match, Gaddy said.
Luis Hernandez added a tiebreaker decision at 220, and Angel Hernandez won by decision at 285 to seal the win for McHenry. Angel Hernandez said he did not want to give up the lead his team had built.
“We were really pumped,” Angel Hernandez said. “I felt like I just had to keep the momentum up.”
McHenry’s Mike Sikula gave up two takedowns to Logan Hanselmann to go down, 4-1, early in the second period of their 120-pound match. Sikula battled back to tie the score at 4-4 heading into the third.
Starting down, Sikula got the reverse to earn a 6-4 decision.
“[Hanselmann] just doubled me right away and my spirit broke down,” Sikula said. “Come the second period, I came back and pushed through it.”
Heading into the dual, Sikula anticipated the match might rest on his shoulders, as 120 was the last weight to wrestle. Having his team put the match away ahead of him was a big advantage, he said.
“The pressure was off, and it was really nice,” Sikula said.
Also for C-G, Pat O’Malley (182) and Mike Cullen (113) earned pins.
Trojans coach Ryan Ludwig said his team did not wrestle well, but he gave most of the credit to McHenry.
“They’re a very good team,” Ludwig said of the Warriors. “They beat us up.”