CROWN POINT — In an early season Duneland Athletic Conference matchup on Wednesday, featuring host Crown Point and Chesterton, it came down to the final few weight classes as do most tightly-contested meets.
Chesterton won three of the final four weight classes to come away with a 33-28 victory. It also helped that C.P. had to take forfeits at 195 and 220 pounds.
“It feels good,” said Chesterton sophomore Brock Ellis, who picked up one of those wins. “It just feels good to wrestle.”
Chesterton also picked up a couple unexpected wins to help get the victory.
“I had two freshmen out there win matches for us today,” coach Chris Joll said.
Chesterton’s Tyler Martin got a third-period reversal and pinned Crown Point’s Caden Rice at 152 to start the Trojan comeback. Martin’s win got Chesterton within 25-15.
Ellis won 10-4 at 160 before Crown Point’s Nick Taborski beat Gavin Layman 7-3 at 170 for a 28-18 count to set up the finish.
“A tighter dual without two it comes down to little points like that,” said Ellis, who usually wrestles at 152.
Freshman Gage DeMarco beat C.P.’s Matt McElroy 6-4 with a takedown with 2 seconds left in the 182-pound match for a 6-4 victory. It cut C.P.’s lead to 28-21 and with forfeits at 195 and 220, it gave the Trojans the win.
“We bumped my 52 to 60, my 60 to 70, my 70 to 182 and my 82 to 195,” Joll said. “It didn’t go the way we hoped it would go, but it came down to Gage DeMarco having to win the match, to take the kid down, and he did it.
“He’s another freshman we’re sticking out there.”
Chesterton freshman Angel Hernandez got a late takedown to beat Frank Keller 2-1 at 285 in the first match of the meet.
Joll said they’ve been working hard five days a week.
“What you saw out there were kids that have been through a battle before and came out on the other side ready to fight some more,” he said. “I am so proud of those guys.”
Joll said defending state champion Eli Pokorney (285) is recovering from an injury and will wrestle 220 this year instead of heavyweight.
Crown Point’s Stephan Roberson (106), Jacob Carter (120), Reily Bettich (126) and Jess Mendez (132) all won by pins, while Jake Burford (145) won by decision to stake the Dogs to a 25-9 lead.
“We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” C.P. coach Branden Lorek said. “We had two matches we lost in the last few seconds. It’s just execution. We came up a little short (Wednesday) night. We’ll get things together and get ready for this Saturday (and the Chris Traicoff Memorial Tournament).”