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Defending champ Cathedral edges Crown Point at Portage Duals
Prep wrestling | Portage Duals

Defending champ Cathedral edges Crown Point at Portage Duals

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PORTAGE — It wasn’t a win, but it was still a statement.

Cathedral edged Crown Point at last year’s state meet for its third consecutive state championship. The Irish are the recent gold standard in Indiana high school wrestling.

The Portage Duals on Saturday offered the first chance for the Bulldogs, ranked No. 1 in the Indiana Mat power poll, to establish themselves as the team set to dethrone Cathedral.

The teams wrestled to a 28-28 tie in team scores. The Irish were given the win on criteria, having won eight individual matches to CP’s six.

“It was very important to show why we’re ranked No. 1 in the state,” Crown Point senior Stephen Roberson said. “We’re not losing to anyone.”

Roberson came up big in the last match of the day, earning a 22-7 technical fall over Luke Gonzalez at 132 pounds. He earned 12 of those points in a flurry of action in the third period.

“It felt great. I knew my team needed me right there. I knew I needed bonus points,” Roberson said. “I went out there and made sure I got it done.”

Crown Point’s Jesse Mendez pinned Jackson Edwards in 50 seconds at 138. Other CP winners against Cathedral were Cody Goodwin at 145, Javen Estrada at 152, Seth Willems at 195 and Anthony Bahl at 120.

The Bulldogs beat Franklin 51-13 and Portage 68-10 earlier in the day. Cathedral topped Franklin 38-28 and the Indians 57-20. Franklin beat Portage 51-20.

Portage coach Andrew Bradbury was hoping for a better team result but said he was happy with his team’s progress early in the season. Portage's Bradley Conrad (145) went 2-1, Jack Coyle (138) won three matches and freshman E’Shawn Tolbert (106) won two matches.

“We're good (in the weights) where we're good," Bradbury said. “Even though we lost, we battled and that’s something I think we can build off of.”

Conrad only lost to Goodwin.

“I’m pretty happy with my day,” he said. “I’m pretty comfortable wrestling at (145). I’ve done it before in the offseason so it’s not a new experience. I’m used to wrestling bigger guys.”

Bradbury said his roster isn’t at full strength and, like a lot of programs, much of his team is wrestling a higher weight than it will be come tournament time.

“In order to get the best competition, you’ve got to invite them,” he said. “We don’t want to just show up. We want to know what it’s going to be like to wrestle state-quality kids. They absolutely got to feel that today.”

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