Wrestling: De La Salle’s James Buss wins showdown of unbeatens

Updated: February 11, 2012 11:16PM



It wasn’t the prettiest of James Buss’ 38 victories this season, but it was unquestionably the biggest.

Buss, a De La Salle senior, edged Hinsdale Central sophomore Brian Allen 2-1 in a battle of unbeatens Saturday to win the 285-pound title at the Class 3A De La Salle
Sectional.

Buss (38-0) won by pushing the pace for the entire six minutes. After a scoreless first period, he wriggled out for a second-period escape and a 1-0 lead. Allen (41-1) tied it with an escape of his own in the third period but was called for stalling with 1:03 left to give Buss the
decisive point.

‘‘I came in with the mind-set [that] I’d keep shooting and shooting and shooting, no matter what happens,’’ said Buss, whose only loss in the last two seasons was in the 2011 state semifinals.

Allen fended off Buss’ takedown attempts but couldn’t muster enough offense in the matchup between the top two Class 3A heavyweights in the state.

Buss knows a rematch next weekend at the state tournament in Champaign is a distinct possibility.

‘‘That was a good test to see where we both stood and what we had to work on,’’ he said.

Two other wrestlers also remained unbeaten. Lane’s Max Schneider (36-0) won a 20-5 technical fall against Oak Park-River Forest’s Davonte Mahome in the 152-pound final after getting past Marist’s Peter Andreotti 5-3 in the semis. Sandburg’s Ricky Robertson (40-0), top-ranked at 170, ended a competitive title match by pinning Hinsdale Central’s TJ Sally eight seconds into the third period.

‘‘I don’t feel I wrestled my best,’’ Robertson said. ‘‘That’s why I looked a little frustrated.’’

Mount Carmel’s Bryce Brill (42-1), top-ranked at 145, survived the toughest road to a title, beating No. 2 and previously unbeaten Kevin Moylan of Stagg 3-2 in the semis before winning 9-3 against No. 3 Colin Holler of Sandburg in the title bout.

‘‘It was fun going out there, [having] good matches the whole day,’’ Brill said. ‘‘Hopefully that’s what’s going to happen at state, too.’’

Other Class 3A top-ranked winners were Marist’s Mark Duda (33-2), who beat Sandburg’s Jim Panozzo 10-7 in the 113-pound final, and Oak Park-River Forest’s Sammy Brooks (34-1), who had three tech falls and a fall en route to the 182-pound title.

Brooks, a state champ two years ago and a runner-up last season, is focused on getting healthy.

‘‘I need to work on getting my ankle better,’’ he said.

Sandburg led the qualifying, advancing nine wrestlers, one more than Oak Park-
River Forest and Marist.

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