By Al Zipsie

Several Stateline wrestlers punched their ticket to be in the State championships at the University of Illinois this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The top four in each Sectional advance to State.

3A Barrington. The NIC-10 had three Sectional champions in Hononegah's Giovanni Cassioppi at 145, Cadence Hecox of Harlem at 182 and Aydin Guttridge of East at 285. Cassioppi had a 10-0 major decision to take the title and his teammate Paul Fay was runner-up at 285. Guttridge slipped by Fay 2-1 in the 285 final. Harlem advanced a trio to state in Hecox who had a quick 28-second fall in the title match. Chad Richards was third at 160 and Jevin Doke fourth at 113. Saw Htoo of East was second at 113. For Belvidere/North Coop Trever Dawson placed fourth at 220 and Auburn's Lance Morgan was fourth at 285.

2A Geneseo. Freeport advanced five to State with champions in Major Dedmond (now 31-1 in a quest for his first state title) at 170 and Isaiah Batteast at 285, both winning the title matches by injury default. Third were Markel Baker was third at 113 and Keondre Jackson at 152 with Matthew Chavers fourth at 182.

1A Byron.

Lena-Winslow/Stockton and Dakota both advanced five wrestlers to State.

Dakota's five were all in the finals, with a trio of champions in Conner Elmer 113, Caleb Alber 138 and Andrew Wenzel at 170. Runners up were Maddux Blakely at 106 and Lucas Sutherland at 120. Elmer who was third at the Regional turned in an impressive showing with the Sectional championship. He made fast work of Briar Nevills in 23 seconds in the semifinal and then got a pin in 1:20 for the title. Alber won a thrilling final at 138 beating Kyle Tunink of Sterling Newman 3-2 in overtime. Wenzel had a 12-4 major over Dvorak for the crown. Blakley (5-1) and Sutherland (6-4) lost tough matches in the championship both to Aurora Christian wrestlers.

The Panther/Hawks best effort was second from Colin Dvorak at 170. Placing third was Ian Kuehl at 285. Fourth was Zach White at 106, Jason Hermann 145 and Case Harmston at 160. Harmston, 39-2, lost his only two matches all season at the tough Sectional.

West Carroll had two state berths in Ethen Doty who stayed unbeaten at 41-0 winning the title at 126 and Nevills fourth at 113. Doty got by Carlos Sanchez of Winnebago 8-7 and had a 9-5 decision over Cameron Johnson of Aurora Christian in the final.

Oregon had four state berths with a second from Chase Clark at 152. Third places came from Andrew Herbst 106, Jacob Milliman 113 and Noah Paul at 132. For Byron, they had a trio advance in second places from Colton Ingram at 195 and Tyler Elsbury at 285. Peyton Lind was fourth at 220. Elsbury fell 3-2 in OT in the final to Logan Lee of Orion. It was Lee who edged Kuehl 6-4 in the semifinal. Those three in Lee, Elsbury, and Kuehl will battle it out again this weekend at state.

Stillman Valley's Mason Engelkens was third at 152, Byrce Faworski of Winnebago third at 145 and Avery Shaw of Amboy fourth at 195.


Girls Basketball.

The Eastland girls 1A Sectional features three state-ranked teams (Stockton, Eastland, and Aquin) and the other no slouch at 23-5 Dakota, all from the NUIC.

The semifinals are Monday with Dakota facing Stockton (26-4). The teams are led by super sophomores Tabytha Toelke from Dakota and Tiana Timpe of Stockton. The teams have not played this season. On Tuesday in the other semi, it's host Eastland (27-4) and Aquin (26-4). Toelke scored 23 points as Dakota won the Polo regional over Forreston 47-25. Other Regional champs Friday Aquin beat host Durand 66-53, host Stockton crushed Sterling Newman 60-32 and at Galena, Eastland beat East Dubuque 53-40.

Amboy (25-2) won a 1A Regional and play Aurora Christian at the Ottawa Marquette Sectional Monday. In the latest AP poll, four teams from the NUIC were in the top ten with Eastland fourth, Stockton fifth, Aquin seventh, and Amboy eighth.

in 2A Winnebago won their own regional beating Byron 81-48. They play Sherrard at the Oregon Sectional Monday.

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