Wrestling: Bowen falls to Antioch at state

Updated: February 25, 2012 12:36PM



BLOOMINGTON – Bowen didn’t have much margin for error Saturday morning, especially coming into the Class 2A state quarterfinals at less than full strength.

The Boilermakers were missing regular 120-pounder Montate Thomas, who was ill and didn’t make the trip Downstate. That helped to tip the scales for Antioch, which beat the Boilermakers 37-33 to assure itself of winning the first trophy for a boys sport in school history.

Bowen, meanwhile, finished 14-5 in its first trip to state and fell short in its goal of becoming the first Public League team to place since Lane was fourth in Class AA in 2000.

Boilermakers coach Ron Wilson wasn’t surprised by the back-and-forth nature of the match, which featured five lead changes. “I had it pegged (at ending) 33-33,” he said. “It was close like I thought it would be.”

Antioch clinched the win when Mike Gussarson got a takedown with 14 seconds left to beat Rudy Johnson 7-5 at 126 pounds. That gave the Sequoits an insurmountable 37-29 lead.

“I saw him wrestle (at individual state),” Gussarson said. “I knew he was strong.”

Johnson finished sixth in Class 2A, while Gussarson missed placing by one spot.

Johnson will be one of the leaders next year for Bowen, with fellow placers Ronzel Darling (26-3 at 113) and Dequence Goodman (38-2 at 220) graduating.

“It’s going to be hard to replace them but we’re going to move on,” Wilson said.

Bowen opened a 7-0 lead with a decision by Von Hill at 138 and a major decision by Ronnie Gibbs at 145. George Gonzalez got a major for Antioch ay 152, but Raheem Woods, Darling’s younger brother, made it 11-4 with a major decision at 160.

Antioch pulled ahead 22-11 thanks to a forfeit at 170 and pins by Zach Epker (182) and Zach Fruendt (195).

But Bowen rebounded to go up 23-22 on falls by Goodman and 285-pounder Jacky Dezir.

“I was actually expecting a decision out of him and he came up with a pin,” Wilson said of Dezir.

Briley Schultz’s fall at 106 gave the Sequoits a 28-23 lead but Darling put Bowen ahead for the final time, 29-28, on a first-period fall at 113.

Pat Unida’s pin at 120 put Antioch ahead to stay and Gussarson clinched the win before Bowen got a major from Kendall Gibbs at 132.

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