WOODSTOCK – Marian Central’s Dylan Connell didn’t shy away from a sectional championship rematch.
Connell pinned Prairie Ridge’s Drake Regenhardt in the 160-pound match Wednesday, which set the tone for the Hurricanes in a 40-30 dual meet victory over the Wolves.
Connell and Regenhardt squared off in a Class 2A sectional championship match last year, which Connell won, 6-0, on his way to a 152-pound state championship.
“I had to be aggressive,” Connell said. “Last year, it was a slow, close match. I went out there [Wednesday] and just did what I could do. All the hard work paid off.”
Marian (19-0) remained unbeaten on the season. The two teams split the total matches Wednesday with seven wins apiece, but the Hurricanes came away with five pins: Connell at 160, along with Josh Glover (106), Elon Rodriguez (113), Daniel Valeria (132) and Hugh Holian (152).
“Even their kids that are not their top kids are good wrestlers,” Prairie Ridge coach Trey Breeden said. “So it’s hard to get those bonus points.”
Prairie Ridge kept it close most of the night, even holding a three-point lead through eight matches. Pins from Glover and Rodriguez turned the tide for the Hurricanes. Glover pinned the Wolves’ Beau Smith in the first period. Rodriguez pinned Sam Ilkow in the third period after amassing a 15-1 lead.
“Everything was a little hectic,” Rodriguez said. “I had to stay calm. Third period, I knew I had to get six for the team.”
Prairie Ridge (10-6) recorded pins from Jace Sparks (120) and Calvin Pesina (220).
In the night’s second matchup of returning state qualifiers, Prairie Ridge’s Trey Piotrowski edged Marian’s Bryce Shelton, 2-1.
“That is a quality match,” Marian coach David Silva said. “Both guys who are going to be at state and competing for state medals. I just wish it would have ended a different way.”
Silva liked the way Marian’s heavier wrestlers competed. The Hurricanes’ Joey Fitzgerald avoided a pin against Prairie Ridge’s Tommy Evans at 170 in a 9-4 Evans win. Marian’s Cade Bokowy did so as well against Kyle Koelblinger at 182 in an 11-5 Koelblinger win.
“I was really pleased to see our guys compete against those guys who are noted as being some of the top guys in the regional,” Silva said.
These two teams will see each other again at the Class 2A Harvard Regional. Breeden said he’s “not surprised” to see the Hurricanes unbeaten this far into the season.
“David’s a great coach,” Breeden said. “He does a lot of good things around the wrestling community.”
STAR OF THE MEET
Elon Rodriguez, Marian Central, so., 113
Rodriguez pinned Prairie Ridge’s Sam Ilkow in the 113-pound match of the Hurricanes' 40-30 victory. It was one of five pins for Marian in a nonconference win. Rodriguez improved to 30-2 on the season.
19: Marian Central improved to 19-0 on the season. The Hurricanes will test their unbeaten record on Monday at Carmel Catholic’s Mega Duals.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Prairie Ridge’s Josh Crandall won the night’s only overtime match with a takedown in the extra period for a 6-4 victory over Marian’s Lou Gaddy at 195.
Marian Central 40, Prairie Ridge 30
106: Glover (Marian) p. B. Smith (PR), 1:38.
113: Rodriguez (Marian) p. Ilkow (PR), 2:35.
120: Sparks (PR) p. Burke (Marian), 3:29.
126: Harman (Marian) def. Ferree (PR), 9-2.
132: Valeria (Marian) p. Stone (PR), :30.
138: Piotrowski (PR) def. Shelton (Marian), 2-1.
145: Sinchak (PR) by fft.
152: Holian (Marian) p. Devenport (PR), :16.
160: Connell (Marian) p. Regenhardt (PR), 4:43.
170: Evans (PR) def. Fitzgerald (Marian), 9-4.
182: Koelblinger (PR) def. Bokowy (Marian), 11-5.
195: Crandall (PR) def. Gaddy (Marian), 6-4, OT.
220: Pesina (PR) p. Schwalbach (Marian), :57.
285: Paglialong (Marian) by fft.