Saturday, February 10, 2018

Naperville Central Competes at IHSA Sectional

Jackson Punzel and Ben Cianchetti Qualify for State

February 10, 2018

Seven Redhawk wrestlers competed at Hinsdale Central at the IHSA Individual Sectional Tournament with dreams of qualifying for State.  The two-day tournament was reduced to a single day due to inclement weather on Friday.  All seven Central wrestlers came away with at least one win and six of the seven won at least a pair.  NCHS finished the tournament with a 14-12 record overall.

Junior Jackson Punzel, wrestling at 182 pounds, finished in second place and became a state qualifier.  Punzel earned a first round bye by virtue of his reginal championship.  He qualified for the semifinals when he defeated McNeal of Thornton by a score of 19-11.  In the semifinals, Punzel defeated #5 ranked Benoit of Mt. Carmel by a score of 5-2.  The win put Punzel both in the finals and earn him a trip to Champaign.  Punzel was defeated in the finals to Swier of Montini by a score of 2-5.

Junior Ben Cianchetti, wrestling at 220 pounds, also had a first round bye.  He pinned Joy of Chicago Kennedy to make the semifinal round.  Cianchetti was defeated by Nako of Blue Island by a score of 1-8.  Needing a win to avoid elimination, Cianchetti scored a third period escape and followed that up with a late takedown to defeat Aqel of Tinley Park Andrew.  The nail-bitter win punch Cianchetti’s ticket to the State Farm Center next week.  Cianchetti came from behind to defeat Flavin of Downers Grove North in the third place match for 3rd.  Cianchetti avenged a loss to Flavin from earlier in the season.

Seniors Nick Keating and Derek McDaniel saw their illustrious seasons come to a close at the tournament.  Both just missed a trip to state.  Keating, 145, pinned Gaylord of Marist to open the tournament before losing to Stiles of Montini by a score of 4-15.  Keating bounced back with a pin against Urbanski of Chicago Kelly.  In the quarterfinal wrestle-back, Keating lost a hard-fought match against Tinajero of Marmion by a score of 2-5.  Tinajero later qualified for state when he won his subsequent match.  McDaniel, 152, opened with an 11-2 decision against Nash of Stagg before losing in the quarterfinals to top ranked Lewan of Montini by fall.  McDaniel returned with a second period fall against Canvin of Oak Lawn.  In the quarterfinal wrestlebacks, McDaniel fought down to the wire with Acevedo of West Aurora.  McDaniel earned a penalty and an escape in the third period to tie the score 3-3.  Then, with just 20 second remaining, McDaniel scored a takedown off a duck-under for a 5-3 lead, but slipped on the maneuver to his back and was pinned in the final seconds.

Tyler Driessens scored a couple of wins in the tournament wrestling at 106 pounds.  He pinned Pohl of Lyons Township and won 16-1 to Espinosa of Chicago Kelly.  His efforts were ended by nemesis Waszak of Wheaton Warrenville South by a score of 0-2.  Colin Baumgartner also scored a pair of wins at Sectionals wrestling at 120 pounds.  Baumgartner won 6-2 against Galindo of Tinley Park Andrew and locked down another decision verses Pentoja of Reavis by a score of 13-8.  He was eliminated by fall to Edwards of Wheaton Warrenville South.  Kyle Guttosch, 113 lost a tough battle to Cummings of Downers Grove North 5-8 before pinning Wynn of Thornwood.  Guttosch was defeated by Caliendo of Batavia 4-9 in his last match.

Punzel and Cianchetti will start competition at the State Farm Center at Champaign on Thursday, February 15.  The IHSA State Tournament will continue through Saturday.

Naperville Central will recognize all of their wrestling accomplishments at the awards banquet, February 20th.  Hope to see you there.