Hinsdale Central upends Plainfield Central
By Gary Larsen
Sure, No. 11 Hinsdale Central’s 34-24 win over No. 6 Plainfield Central on Wednesday featured pins from Jack Allen, Tommy Ward, and TJ Salley. The Red Devils also got a major decision win from Ernest Battaglia.
But the night’s unsung heroes for Hinsdale were Matt Freyn and Joey Tosello.
Freyn used a third-period takedown to gut out a 3-2 decision at 125 late in the dual, and Tosello secured the dual win by fighting off bonus points in his match at 140.
Filling in for injured starter Jimmy Grimm, Tosello battled throughout a late, pivotal match with Plainfield Central’s Ryan Soraghan pushing hard for a major decision.
“We came out tougher today,” Allen said. “With three seconds left in that match, Joey Tosello doesn’t give up that takedown and then the (dual) is over. He fought hard all the way and Matt Freyn had a great match today, too.”
Red Devils coach Jason Hayes was happy to see Tosello get the job done in a big varsity match. “Joey Tosello is one of the hardest-working kids in our whole program,” Hayes said. “He has put in a lot of work and he did a great job for us.”
Plainfield Central grabbed the early momentum with a pair of major decision wins to start the night. Tyler Ledbetter’s 11-3 win over Steve Stefani at 152 preceded teammate Henry Thigpen’s 13-4 win at 160 over Max Evers, and the Wildcats had an 8-0 lead.
“Tyler has been wrestling some of our kids at 160 and 171. He’s down at his weight class at 152 pounds and he showed a physical aspect – really hand-fighting, moving, and setting the tempo,” Plainfield Central coach Jim Kappas said. “He did a good job of doing that, and so did (Thigpen).”
Ledbetter was only semi-satisfied with his major decision win.
“I was kind of aggravated because he wasn’t really doing much, but it makes sense,” Ledbetter said. “They were looking at the overall picture and match points and all that, so it’s fine with me, but I couldn’t work my stuff in neutral as much as I wanted to.”
The explosive Salley opened a 12-4 lead at 171 over Wendall Daviston after two periods, and led 13-4 on an escape to start the third when he used a headlock to put Daviston on his back. The pin came at 4:33 to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 8-6.
Plainfield Central sophomore Jordan Ellingwood led 4-1 after a period of his match at 189 against Andrew Pyle and won by fall at the 3:51 mark of the second.
Trailing 14-6, Hinsdale Central won six of the next seven matches wrestled from 215 through 130 pounds: a 7-5 decision from Brian Allen at 215 over Greg Cameron, a pin from unbeaten heavyweight Jack Allen over Mike Farr, and a 7-0 decision win by Marco Del Rosario at 103 over Plainfield’s Dylan Cramer.
Jack Allen stayed unbeaten with a pin at the 1:04 mark, and the No. 2-ranked heavyweight in Illinois is feeling good heading into Hinsdale Central’s 30-team Whitlatch tournament, where he could square off with top-ranked Chris Lopez of Carl Sandburg.
“I put on about thirty pounds so I’m stronger, I can hold onto things a lot longer now, I’ve got pretty much the same speed,” Allen said. “And I’m a little more relaxed this year.”
Hinsdale Central led 18-14 when the Wildcats’ Nick Nasenbenny knotted the score with a 12-4 major decision win at 112 over George Tolbert.
“Nick might be our hardest worker in the room as a freshman,” Kappas said. “But by the same token, he’s got to push the pace. He did a nice job to get the major but there are times when you’ve got to push the pace and try to get the major a little sooner, so you can work on getting a tech or a fall. But he’ll learn.”
The next three matches were pivotal, and the Red Devils’ Tommy Ward posted a first-period fall at 119 over Thomas Cleaves. “Those are things you have to do,” Hayes said. “When you have an opportunity to get big points against a top team, you have to capitalize on it.”
That’s when Freyn grabbed the spotlight. In the tenth match of the night and with his team holding a 24-18 lead, the Red Devils’ senior used a third-period takedown to gut out a 3-2 win over Plainfield’s Ryan Whitten.
“Matt has grown so much in the two years I’ve been here,” Hayes said. “He’s gone from 112 to 125 and he stayed tough tonight and found a way.”
One of the night’s most anticipated matchups came next, at 130 pounds. Illinois Matmen has Plainfield’s Jeremy Brown ranked ninth and Hinsdale’s Ernest Battaglia ranked eleventh, and Battaglia got the better of a few scrambles in an 11-3 major decision win.
Battaglia-Brown was the funk-vs.-funk match of the night, “and I out-funked him,” said Battaglia, who had a takedown in each period, one reversal, and two back points in the win.
“I just tried to wear him out and put the pressure on him and make him make mistakes,” Battaglia said. “I probably came through those scrambles because of the conditioning we do and just pushed through it.”
Battaglia led 4-0 after a period on a takedown and back points, putting Brown in a less advantageous situation than he would have liked.
“Jeremy was fighting in a hole against a very good, very well-coached wrestler,” Kappas said. “Battaglia has his number right now but Jeremy will get back at it, he’ll work hard, and hopefully he can capitalize on some of those scrambles and stay in better position.”
Trailing 31-18 with three matches left to wrestle, the Wildcats were behind the proverbial 8-ball, needing to win all three and get bonus points in the process. The Wildcats’ Ryan Holzrichter won by 8-4 decision at 135 over Louis Skibicki to set up the match at 140 between Tosello and the Wildcats’ Ryan Soraghan.
Soraghan posted four takedowns and led 8-5 after two periods, but Tosello battled throughout the third in holding Soraghan to a straight 13-7 decision. That put the dual out of reach for Plainfield Central with one match left to wrestle.
The Red Devils’ Terry Ward earned a first-period takedown at 145 against Kyle Ledbetter, and rode him out in the second en route to a 3-1 decision win.
“He’s a very tough kid, very strong and very physical,” Ward said of Ledbetter. “I kept the pace going and at no point did I have an easy match against him.”
Since a dual loss to York on Dec. 3, Hinsdale Central (6-2) swept a quad at Riverside-Brookfield, beat state-ranked Lockport by a point, lost by a point to state-ranked Downers Grove North, and won the Downers Grove South tournament before topping Plainfield Central.
“I think people in the room realized that something had to change (after the loss to York),” Ward said. “The work ethic in the room is getting better and now we’re winning those close matches where those matches didn’t go our way against York.”
“Once we start winning the close matches we start getting good results like this, and it’s a good feeling.”
For Plainfield Central (9-3), the dual loss was partly a lesson in pushing the pace.
“We set the tempo in those first two matches but we did not do that for the rest of the meet,” Kappas said. “Every (loss) is a complete failure if you don’t learn from it. Today we talked about getting bonus points and minimizing bonus points because we knew it would be 8-6 or 7-7 in matches either way.”
“It’s still early but we have to learn from this and for some of us it’s gut-check time.”
Senior Tyler Ledbetter has faith that his side will take away all the right lessons from Wednesday’s dual.
“We have to learn in dual meets how to get off our back, and this was a great setting to learn that ‘hey, I’m not here just to win a match. I’m here to score bonus points or stay off my back if that’s what I need to do’,” he said.
“We knew there were going to be some hard-fought, three-period matches. That’s what’s going to happen and you’re going to have to gut it out. Unfortunately we lost but it’s still a good matchup for us, to make us better for state, which is all we’re worried about.”
Last edited by admin; 12-16-2010 at 02:47 PM.