Wrestling: Lockport clinches first state berth

Story Image Lockport’s Shaun’Qae McMurtry (top) beat Plainfield Central’s
Kyle Ledbetter in the 160 pound match, during the
Sectional Duels at Lockport High School February, 21, 2012.
| Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media
Story Image

Updated: February 21, 2012 11:18PM

Lockport Central’s gymnasium has hosted many memorable events during its rich history. A special moment was added to that Tuesday night.

The Porters advanced to the dual-team state tournament for the first time via a 33-23 sectional victory over Plainfield Central.

As a result, Lockport (19-4) advances to Saturday’s Class 3A quarterfinals in Bloomington where it will meet Sandburg.

“I knew that this would be a cool atmosphere. It was loud and there were a lot of people here watching two good teams,” Lockport coach Josh Oster said. “This was a showcase piece for wrestling.”

The Porters won eight matches and had a 9-5 edge in bonus points to deprive the Wildcats (10-8) of their second state trip in three years.

“The environment was awesome. It’s something that the kids will remember the rest of their lives,” Wildcats coach Jim Kappas said. “All of our guys battled; that’s all that you can ask for.”

Lockport wrapped things up with two matches left when Tony Rossi got a pin in 5:32 over Tommy Kokkines at 138 to give the hosts a 33-13 lead.

“It felt good to get the first pin of the night to secure the dual and give us our first state tournament berth,” Rossi said. “It was a great venue and the big crowd helped me to get that fall.”

The Porters won four of the first five matches to take a 14-4 lead, with Eric Dietz (170) and Luis Montoya (195) collecting major decisions for the hosts and Jordan Ellingwood (182) doing the same for the Wildcats.

Central’s Kyle Ledbetter fell 11-4 to individual state champ Shaun’Qae McMurtry at 160 and the Wildcats’ Greg Cameron fell 7-4 to state champion Brad Johnson at 220.

The Wildcats got a 17-12 win from Mike Farr over John Jaso at 285, but Lockport answered with a technical fall from Brian Rossi (106) and a major decision from Austin Strzelczyk (113).

After Central’s Nick Nasenbeny edged Dominic Naso 3-2 at 120, the Porters’ Dan Radcliffe won a major decision. The Wildcats’ Nathan Davis beat Vince Dietz 10-4 at 132.

The Wildcats got a pin from Ryan Holzrichter (145) and a major decision from Mike Marro (152).

“I was glad that a lot of our friends came out since wrestling normally isn’t a big thing, so that was exciting,” Radcliffe said. “I thought the way we matched up with them was really nice.”

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