Wrestling: Neuqua Valley dominates Upstate EightNeuqua Valley's Casey Greenberg takes Waubinsie Valley's Anthony Napolitano to the matt during their 220lb semi-final at the Upstate Eight Conference at Bartlett High School Saturday. Greenberg advanced to the finals on a fall at 5:12. January 21, 2012. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 21, 2012 11:42PM
Luckily enough for all the other teams aside from Neuqua Valley, the Upstate Eight Conference does not keep team scores at its conference meet.
Otherwise, the Wildcats would have been the runaway winners Saturday.
Beginning with 182-pounder Nick Parker, Neuqua Valley ended the meet on a four-match winning streak in the finals. Parker won a come-from-behind, 11-10 decision, then Vince Marrone followed with a 5-2 win at 195 pounds.
Casey Greenberg took the match by default at 220 and Andrew Geers rounded out the unbeaten streak with a 4-0 win in his match at 285. Geers is now 29-2.
“We had a good, strong finish,” Wildcats coach Mick Ruettiger said. “We had six in the finals and we knew that there were going to be some tough matchups in there.”
Ruettiger called Parker’s win “pretty cool.”
Wildcats sophomore Connor Swier (30-3) fell to South Elgin’s Cody Pych (27-3), a senior, who earned the win by fall in 2 minutes, 24 seconds in their championship match at 170 pounds.
Neuqua Valley senior Matt Slavik finished second, losing his 152 championship match by a 5-1 decision to St. Charles North’s Tim Noverini.
Waubonsie Valley did not produce a champion but featured four second-place finishers in Andrian Morrison (126), Jimmy Davis (132), who was beaten by Bartlett’s Sal Annoreno by a 10-2 major decision, Elton Manuel (160) and Adam Szott at 285.
Metea Valley 145-pounder Eddie Gonzalez won by fall at 3:32 in his championship match against Geneva’s Mark Henriksen. The sophomore now is 30-1 this season.
So, what was his key?
“Constant pressure, that’s the key,” Gonzalez said. “At the beginning, he was strong. I just knew I had to wear him down to get the win.”
Gonzalez also won his match against Henriksen last year by pin.
East Aurora’s Nestor Rodriguez placed second — the highest finish by a Tomcat. He fell by a 9-1 major decision to Lake Park’s Blake Santi in the championship match at 138.
In other championship matches, St. Charles East’s Ryan Rubino won by major decision 17-9 at 106 and Cory Pych of South Elgin defeated Bartlett’s Anthony Zipparro in a 3-0 decision at 113.
“It’s nice to finally win one,” Pych said. “The last two years, I wrestled hard but I just couldn’t win. I took second my freshman year, third my sophomore year, so it finally feels good to win one.”
Pych didn’t let his opponent affect his style or strategy.
Said Pych: “I was just gonna go out there (and) wrestle my match, my style, regardless of what he does. …My goal is to go to state, so this is just a stepping stone to get there.”
Pych went undefeated in conference dual meets and now sports a 23-6 overall record.
Geneva’s Brad Martens won by an 11-6 decision in the 120-pound championship and Lake Park’s Austin Schoen was a winner by technical fall (19-3 score) at 126. Lake Park’s Farai Sewera capped the list of championship winners with a 7-3 win by decision in his match.