Prep wrestling

Trio of Schurgs lead Crown Point to eighth straight wrestling regional title

2014-02-08T20:00:00Z 2014-02-09T01:17:05Z Trio of Schurgs lead Crown Point to eighth straight wrestling regional titleJim Peters james.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
February 08, 2014 8:00 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Several wrestlers came into Saturday's Crown Point Regional with payback in mind, and three of them exacted it.

Lowell's Jake Gross and Drew Hughes and LaPorte's Mike Eldridge all reversed sectional losses with regional victories.

One thing that didn't change as the host Bulldogs rolled to their eighth straight regional title. With 10 finalists and four champions among 12 entrants, C.P. racked up 195 points, well in front of runner-up Lowell (123.5).

"Up until the finals, we only lost two matches. You've got to be happy with that," 'Dogs coach Scott Vlink said. "We wrestled really well. If you get enough guys through and one or two who weren't expected, you put yourself in position to be in the running for the semistate championship.

"It's always fun to win."

Gross scored the day's top upset with a 6-2 decision over C.P.'s previously-unbeaten Zach Donaldson at 132. A late takedown-near fall provided the margin.

"We train together all summer. I knew it would be a close match," said Gross, who lost 2-1 to Donaldson a week earlier. "I was in position a couple times last week and wasn't able to score. I just had to fine-tune some details, fix some things to help me win the match.

"It felt good to come out on top this time."

Hughes hadn’t lost before a 4-2 sectional defeat at the hands of Crown Point's Josh Fuqua. He won the 138 rematch 4-0.

"I didn't have anything to prove (before)," Hughes said. "After I lost, it really helped me get motivated. It's better that it happened at sectionals. I just felt a lot better.

"What makes it so close is we know what each other do. Last (time), I wasn't shooting at all. That was in the back of my mind. I needed to attack."

Eldridge bounced back from a 15-13 sectional loss, his first of the season, to Chesterton's Jaycee Jensen by pinning him in 3:23 at 182.

"A lot of the problem last (time) was I was too consistent," Eldridge said. "The whole match, I was kind of out of control. Those matches are entertaining, but you leave it up to chance, wrestling like that.

"I just had to slow down, be overall smarter. There was a little revenge factor. You have to wrestle every match like it could be your last."

In another rematch, Hanover Central's Tyler Scott edged C.P.'s Morgan Kral for the second straight week at 195, holding off a late shot to prevail 5-4.

"It's always a good match," Scott said. "He has the height and I have the strength and speed factor. He's so tall, you can't tie up too much. You have to stay low. One long reach and you're on your back."

Three of Crown Point's four champions were named Schurg, Daylan at 120, Denton at 145 and Darden at 152. Darden and Dusty took regional titles last year, but this marked the family's first regional hat trick.

"Their matches are before mine, so they set the bar for me," said Darden, a winner by technical fall over Kankakee Valley's Andrew Schulteis. "Our family's competitive. It'll be one of things where we'll be saying, 'Oh yeah, I pinned my kid' or 'I teched my kid.'"

Hanover Central's Stevan Micic (126) and Lowell's Kenny Hughes (160) remained perfect, though Hughes had to hang on for a 9-8 victory over John Glenn's Adam Dodson.

LaPorte's Landon Blackburn downed Valpo's Ian Suttles 6-2 at 285.

"He stands straight up," Blackburn said. "It's hard to take him down, but it sets up my low shot."

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