Wrestling: Hinsdale Central wins at Palatine
Updated: December 28, 2011 10:56PM
After finishing sixth and fourth in its first two major Illinois wrestling tournaments this year, Hinsdale Central found a pot of gold in Palatine.
The Red Devils won the two-day, 27-team, 57th Annual Berman Classic on Saturday, outpointing second-place Lincoln-Way Central 178.5-153.5. Lemont (145) finished third, just ahead of St. Charles East (143).
“As the season goes on, we’re getting better and better,” Hinsdale Central senior Justin Katzovitz said. “It’s our tough schedule. We’ll keep working hard and I think we’ll keep getting better.”
Unseeded, Katzovitz upset the second and third seeds of the tournament to reach the title match at 220 pounds before losing 3-1 in overtime to tournament champion Zack Urbanski of Downers Grove North.
Red Devils sophomore Brian Allen won his fourth tournament crown of the season and improved to 20-0 with his title-match pin of Oswego’s Luis Flores. Unseeded Central freshman Juwan Edmond also knocked off the second and third seeds before losing to the Saints’ Isaiah Vela (20-1) on the title mat at 126 pounds.
The Red Devils also got a fine performance from George Tolbert (113), who won four matches in the wrestleback round to place third, along with a fourth from Andrew Pyle (195).
“The wrestlebacks are where you win tournaments,” Red Devils coach Jason Hayes said. “We stayed tough and competed hard, even where we had banged up knees and banged up shoulders.”
The tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler Award went to Lake Park’s Blake Santi (22-2), who majored previously unbeaten Steve Galiardo of St. Patrick in the semifinals at 138, then won 6-3 in overtime against top-seeded Kyle Langenderfer (17-2) of Lincoln-Way East.
Langenderfer won 7-3 over Santi in last year’s tournament and went on to place second in Illinois at 135 pounds. “I’m different and I knew he’d be different,” Santi said. “I knew he was tough on top so I knew I had to keep fighting to escape and be tough on my feet.”
Of the 12 wrestlers that entered the Berman with undefeated records only five remained unbeaten in winning titles: Allen, Rock Island’s BJ McGhee (113), Richmond-Burton’s Cameron Kennedy (120) and Jack Dechow (182), and Mundelein’s Matt Ornoff (145).
“I feel like I wrestled well, but I still need to work on my conditioning,” Ornoff (21-0) said after his 8-4 title decision over Antioch’s George Gonzalez. “It’s nice to be undefeated but you still have to take one match at a time.”
Glenbard East’s Jake Drew (106) was the lone freshman to win a title. Also winning titles Palatine were St. Charles East’s Nick Ruffino (132), Warren’s Aaron Brewton (152) and Shakhiem Chapman (195), Lake Park’s Farai Sewera (160) and St. Patrick’s Anthony Ferraris (170).
Roch Island’s McGhee won his second Berman title while Richmond-Burton’s Dechow won his third consecutive Berman crown.