Wrestling | DAC meet

Crown Point continues DAC wrestling dominance

2011-01-15T22:00:00Z 2011-01-19T17:54:17Z Crown Point continues DAC wrestling dominanceBy Jim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
January 15, 2011 10:00 pm  • 

PORTAGE | Crown Point's unprecedented dominance of the Duneland Athletic Conference this season continued in Saturday's league meet.

The state No. 1 Bulldogs, who have shut out three DAC foes and allowed just 26 points in seven matches, won seven weight classes, as many as the other seven teams, in rolling to their four straight title. Crown Point scored 267 to runner-up Merrillville's 193.5 and was without 135-pounder Jake Fuqua due to a minor injury.

"We're just on a roll with some really good kids," C.P. coach Scott Vlink said. "Some of the best matches we have are in the (practice) room."

Josh Fuqua (103), Jason Tsirtsis (140), Eric Roach (145) and Tyler Kral (215) all remained undefeated. Colton Saroff (112), Josh Flamme (152) and Kyle Shrewsbury (171) also triumphed, Shrewsbury prevailing over Chesterton's Tony Sanchez 4-2 in overtime.

"Jason and Eric are not only great wrestlers, they're great team members," Vlink said. "Their value goes far beyond their wins and points. They've got more tricks than most guys twice their age."

Roach captured his fourth DAC crown, downing Merrillville's Javier Avalos 10-2. Tsirtsis picked up his third in as many chances.

"It gets a little easier as you get more mature," Roach said. "I've got a big target on my back, having won state. That causes a lot of guys to try to stall or bundle up, to keep it close. I can't let that affect me. I have to find a way to get the job done. I can't give them anything."

The list of other unbeatens -- Lake Central's Kyle Ayersman (119), Chesterton's Anthony Quiroz (160) and Merrillville's Kourtney Berry (189) -- remained intact.

"Honestly, it just feels like another match, another tournament I have to get through," said Berry, who won as a sophomore but was hurt last season. "I'm doing good right now, but I have room to improve."

Quiroz, a two-time DAC runner-up to Portage great Sean McMurray, claimed his first crown, handling LaPorte's Alex Stewart 13-2. He is 18-0 since returning from a second-degree LCL tear.

"At the time, it kind of sucked because I was losing, but I kind of wish I had him back in there," Quiroz said of McMurray. "He gave me a lot of competition and helped me get better. I don't want to sound cocky, but I haven't had much competition yet."

Portage's Julian Torres scored the day's surprise, pinning Adam Garcia of Merrillville in 1:04 at 125. He earlier reversed a loss to Crown Point's Matt Harvey.

"It's a definite confidence booster," Torres said. "I'm definitely in better shape than at the beginning of the season. The coaches are working hard with me after practice. You've got to be getting better. It's almost sectional time."

Like Torres, Chad Miller of Valpo won as a third seed. Miller knocked off C.P.'s Cameron Halsted, then bested top-seeded Al Padilla of Merrillville 10-6.

"Just determination," Miller said. "Those guys are frickin' tough. I'm not perfect by any means, but beating them shows I can wrestle with the best of 'em, that I'm up with a higher caliber. It's certainly feels really good, but now I have to get ready for sectionals. That's what really matters."

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