CEDAR LAKE | Prior to the championship round of Saturday’s Lake County Wrestling Tournament, Lake Central owned just a 10.5-point lead on host Hanover Central.
Was it going to be enough?
It was. The two-time defending champion Indians won four of the championship matches and picked up enough points in the third-place and fifth-place bouts to hold off the Wildcats. The Indians amassed 273 points to the runner-up Wildcats' 247. Hobart took third with 245 points.
“What a team effort,” L.C. coach Rod Wartman said. “We had four champions, but everyone scored on our team. No one was shut out. Every one of our 14 guys scored points.”
Earning Lake County titles for L.C. were Matt Lechowicz (120), Jake Sebahar (145), Kodie Christenson (152) and Gelen Robinson (220).
“We’re pretty happy about what we did today,” said Robinson who remained unbeaten on the season. “The key was we worked pretty hard in practice all week. We’re defending our championship from last year so that pretty much kept us going.”
What made Robinson’s title even more amazing, he returned from a Friday football combine in Texas for the top 600 juniors in the country in the middle of the night to make it back for the tournament. His flight got into Chicago’s O’Hare Airport at 1 a.m., and the tournament started at 9 a.m.
Hanover got titles from Isaac Cortez (106), Stevan Micic (113) and Josh Bartoszk (285).
Tony Vasquez (138), Scottie Sopko (170) and Tony Rodriguez (182) won titles for Hobart.
In the 160-pound championship match, Highland’s Mark Maldonado (26-0) got a takedown in overtime to edge Bishop Noll’s Damien Gomez (21-1) 3-1 in a battle of unbeatens.
Micic was named the meet’s most outstanding wrestler.
The win also marked the third title in a row for the Indians, who were also co-champs in 2010.
“I’ve got three young coaches, and they are heavy on our kids,” said Wartman. “It makes me look a lot better because of everything they do.”