Sandburg shocks Oak Park-River Forest in state quarterfinal
Sandburg's Ricky Robertson pressures Oak Park-River Forest's Malik Brumant in a 220-pound quarterfinal match. | Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 4, 2013 8:53PM
BLOOMINGTON — Two major upsets sent Oak Park-River Forest home early from the Class 3A state dual-team quarterfinals Saturday morning.
Defending state champion Sandburg took five of its last six bouts to win 33-23 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
Sandburg (26-4) had to pull off a couple major surprises to eke out a win and the chore rested with seniors Chris Pajak at 182 pounds and Bill Gore at 285 to carry their team back to the state semifinals.
“They are a really well-coached team,” OPRF coach Mike Powell said of Sandburg. “They are poised. They wrestle to win. We knew they were better than us, but I thought we could win.”
Gore (30-7), normally a 220-pounder, pinned sophomore heavyweight Adam Lemke-Bell (19-25) at 5:05 to give Sandburg a 30-23 lead with two bouts remaining. Lemke-Bell started the third period in the down position and was turned by his much smaller opponent before landing on his back.
Pajak (36-15) gave Sandburg a 19-18 lead when he delivered individual state champion Joe Ariola his first loss in 47 decisions, 2-1. The deciding point came on Pajak’s escape early in the final period.
Sandburg’s Christian Robertson then defeated Robert Campos 6-0 to seal the Eagles victory. Both teams forfeited the final, 113-pound bout.
Junior 160-pounder Davonte Mahomes (46-1) gave OPRF early momentum. Mahomes trumped Sandburg’s C.J. Brucki (42-7) 9-3 to provide the Huskies with an 18-10 lead.
The previous weekend, Brucki (42-7) had defeated Mohones 9-4 in the second round of the state individual meet, handing Mohones his first loss of the season. Brucki went on to win a state title while Mahomes took third.
“This time I started off and went hard the whole match,” Mahomes said. “It was important for me as an individual, but it was more important for the (other) wrestlers on the team.”
OPRF’s only win the rest of the match was at 195, where Andre Lee scored a technical fall in 4:48 over Pat Halpin.
“Mahomes showed what he is capable of,” Powell said. “When you watched him at state, he should have come in to win, but he wrestled not to lose.”
After Sandburg senior Sebastian Pique opened the dual with a 10-3 win over Matthew Rundell at 120, the Huskies won three in a row by technical falls from Isaiah White, Larry Early and senior Jake O’Mara.
O’Mara (30-7) and Ariola were the lone seniors to compete for OPRF on Saturday.
“My tears are probably 30 percent from the (dual) loss, but 70 percent from saying goodbye to Oak Park wrestling,” O’Mara said.
The loss ended OPRF’s 17-match dual-meet win streak. The only previous loss by the Huskies (33-2) was 28-26 to St. Michael-Albertville, Minn. at the Rochester Clash Dec. 28.
Saturday’s quarterfinal was a rematch of last year’s state championship final, which Sandburg won 30-24. The Huskies had won an earlier dual meeting this season, 27-24, at the Sandburg Super Duals Jan. 12.
SANDBURG 33, OPRF 23
120 — Sebastian Pique (S) maj. Matt Rundell 10-3; 4-0
126 — Isaiah White (OPRF) tech. Jake Vales 21-6 (6:00); 4-5
132 — Larry Early (OPRF) tech. Ben Schneider 26-1 (5:37); 4-10
138 — Jake O’Mara (OPRF) tech. Brian Krasowski 15-0 (4:030; 4-15
145 — John Pellegrino (S) def. Johnny Gahagan 7-2; 7-15
152 — Mitch Cook (S) def. Kamal Bey (OPRF) 3-2; 10-15
160 — Davonte Mahomes (OPRF) def. CJ Brucki 9-3; 10-18
170 — Colin Holler (S) pin Cory Cepak (2:500; 16-18
182 — Chris Pajak (S) def. Joe Ariola 2-1; 19-18
195 — Andre Lee (OPRF) tech. Pat Halpin 22-5 (4:48); 19-23
220 — Ricky Robertson (S) tech. Malik Brumant 20-5 (4:47); 24-23
285 — Bill Gore (S) pin Adam Lempke (5:050; 30-23
106 — Christian Robertson (S) def. Robert Campos 6-0; 33-23
113 — Double forfeit; 33-23