ALGONQUIN – Crystal Lake South got three pins and avoided giving up any in its 34-31 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division win Thursday against Jacobs.
Not giving the Golden Eagles the bonus pin points was a critical part of the victory for South, as both teams each won seven matches.
The Gators opened a 15-0 lead on pins by Hunter Stroh at 170 pounds and Brian Pence (182). Jacobs fought back, led by a technical fall by Carson Shoemaker at 195. Heading into the lighter weights, South was up just 15-14 and going against ranked wrestlers at 106 and 113.
Jacobs’ Austin Ryan, ranked No. 5 by Illinoismatmen.com, got a first-period takedown against Garrett Dziedzic, and the score remained 2-0 after the second period. Dziedzic, starting down in the third, got a reversal to tie the score, but Ryan escaped and got a takedown to clinch the decision.
Gators coach Ross Ryan said not giving up the pin to Ryan was as good as a win.
“Garrett wrestled an excellent match,” Ryan said. “Mentally he was prepared. He pushed the pace.”
Dziedzic said he has wrestled Ryan many times, so he knew what to expect.
“I’ve been wrestling him my whole life,” Dziedzic said. “I shouldn’t have given up the takedowns.”
Chris Dranka, ranked as an honorable mention for Jacobs, won by a 6-5 decision against Joey Fetherling. Again, Ryan said avoiding the pin was important for the Gators.
Down 6-1 heading into the third period, Fetherling made it close with a reverse and back points. Ryan said Fetherling, a sophomore, has to face some tough competition at that weight class.
“[Fetherling] has more heart than anybody I know,” Ryan said. “He’s going to take some lumps right now, but it’s going to pay off in the long run.”
After a pin by Nick Gil at 132, Nick Peters sealed the win for South with a major decision at 145. Peters said seeing teammates wrestling well is a big motivator for the team.
“That really gets everybody else in a good mood,” Peters said. “That definitely gets us up.”
The Gators wrapped up their Valley Division duals with a 3-3 record. Peters said the .500 record is not a true reflection of his team.
“We’ve taken more losses than we’re used to,” Peters said. “We know how good we are.”
Jacobs coach Gary Conrad said his team has lost some wrestlers to skin problems, and the Golden Eagles are battling illnesses, but he said they weren’t able to take advantage when they needed to.
“We just got outwrestled,” Conrad said. “We needed our go-tos to get falls,”
Also for Jacobs (1-3 FVC Valley), Cody Ferencz won by technical fall at 126.