PLANO — The Rochelle Hub varsity wrestling team recovered from a 51-27 loss against Sycamore on Thursday, defeating LaSalle-Peru 51-21 in an Interstate 8 Conference triangular meet at Plano High School. Rochelle (17-5, 5-2 Interstate 8) clinched the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, which will begin with a home dual meet on Wednesday, June 9.
Freshmen Riley Damask and Tommy Tourdot received forfeits at 106 and 113 pounds to open the dual against the Spartans. Senior Ivan Pineda stepped up to 120 pounds, scoring two takedowns and one reversal to defeat Jonathan Buckheister with a 6-2 decision. Sycamore notched pins at 126 and 132 pounds before senior Grant Thompson kept Rochelle in the lead at 138 pounds, recording a second-period pin against Syler Larson to make the score 21-12.
Junior Caleb Nadig wrestled a high-level match against Brayden Peet at 145 pounds, falling in a 5-1 decision. Three consecutive pins from the Spartans at 152, 160 and 170 pounds gave Sycamore a 30-21 lead before senior Ben Harvey received a forfeit at 182 pounds. After Sycamore took a forfeit at 195 pounds, the Spartans won the final two bouts at 220 and 285 pounds, with Dylan Shuman earning a 9-2 decision and Lincoln Cooley winning by injury default.
“We had a few kids give some really good effort tonight and it’s really important that we wrestle hard and have fun,” head coach Alphonso Vruno said. “But it was rough overall and I think part of that is because we were outwrestled and part of that is because we’re banged up right now. But we need to find ways to wrestle better as a team. We beat a qualify team in LaSalle-Peru and we’re hoping we can put something together if we face Sycamore again.”
Tommy Tourdot opened the dual against the Cavaliers at 113 pounds, taking down Zach Znzniecki twice and pinning him for Rochelle’s first points. Ivan Pineda followed with a 4-2 decision over Greg Williams at 120 pounds before LaSalle-Peru’s Gunnar Skoog outlasted Hub sophomore Weldon Nay for a 19-16 decision at 126 pounds. After the Cavaliers scored a pin at 132 pounds, Grant Thompson delivered another pin at 138 pounds, beating Trenton Johnson.
Three straight forfeits for Caleb Nadig, freshman Brock Metzger and junior Matt Eyster at 145, 160 and 170 pounds gave Rochelle a 33-9 advantage. LaSalle-Peru won by fall at 170 and 195 pounds, but freshman Leo Stoffel took a forfeit at 182 pounds for six more Hub points. Cavalier 220-pounder Rylan Poole held off senior Noah Messer for an 11-10 decision, but sophomore Jaden Cook helped the Hubs bounce back, pinning Gunner Wright at 285 pounds. Riley Damask made quick work of Sylvester St. Peter at 106 pounds, pinning him in only 29 seconds.